Monday, November 30, 2009

13 Million Views!



Congratulations to the PS22 Chorus for garnering over 13,000,000 views of its videos!! Crazy, baby!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

PS22 Chorus Socks SAKS with Holiday Cheer!



On Monday, the PS22 Chorus of 2010 helped add some holiday cheer to the Saks 5th Avenue Windows Unveiling in Manhattan. The kids gave a Christmas-themed performance, singing some holiday classics as well as some of their biggest hits thus far this year. The chorus opened the performance with "Fireflies" by Owl City. They rocked it big-time, as did soloists Justin F. and Kayla S., who did their best job yet!




Brielle leads the chorus in a fantastic rendition of "Halo" by Beyonce! And man, if that girl is not getting better by the minute....




Here's the Christmas traditional, "Joy To The World," which the kids put together at rehearsal that afternoon just before the performance!




This version of "Jingle Bells" (traditional) was another song the chorus learned that day! The kids bring their own flavor to this holiday classic, and were quite happy to perform it (especially John apparently!). After the song is done, stay tuned for some great PS22 Chorus testimonials from Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, and even a peek at some of the unveiled windows and the kids' reactions.




The kids topped off their performance with "Run This Town" by Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Kanye West. Check it out!




When the chorus was through, Tony Award-winning actress, Kristen Chenoweth took the stage to perform a beautiful rendition of "I'll Be Home For Christmas." Here she is below with the chorus.



It was an amazing time for the kids and for all who were lucky enough to witness the performance, including such notables as Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas, Fern Mallis, and Nannette Lepore. Below is Phil and his wife Marlo posing for a shot with the chorus.



Saks was awesome to the kids, giving them each beautiful hard cover copies of Twinkle Twinkle Little Flake, the book that inspired the theme for this year's windows.



In addition, the kids were given the hats and scarves they were wearing for the performance. Big thanks to everyone on hand at Saks for taking such good care of our chorus!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

PS22 Chorus Reigns Supreme!



On Monday, the chorus performed at the Staten Island Supreme Court House for a ceremony sponsored by Judge Robert Gigante celebrating adoptive families. It was such a pleasure to be celebrating with my own "adopted family" (all 66 of 'em!!). The kids performed about 5 or 6 songs, but this one, "We're Going To Be Friends" by The White Stripes, really seemed to be perfect for the occasion. Props go to Julian for the sweet soloing!




And here are some more pics from our afternoon at the courthouse.





Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ashton Sees Fireflies!



Ashton Kutcher found the PS22 Chorus's "Fireflies" by Owl City, and according to his Twitter page, he liked what he saw! Thanks to Ashton for his 21st PS22 Chorus tweet! (To see more, start here.)

And More Fireflies!



Here is an a capella version of the kids latest musical triumph, "Fireflies" by Owl City.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fireflies!



Yesterday the kids finished up a brand new song, the amazingly cool and catchy "Fireflies" by Owl City! Here's an awesome performance of the song from rehearsal, with some great lead vocals by Justin & Kayla S.! This group is just keeping 'em coming!




UPDATE: Thanks to Perez Hilton for linking to the new video on his Twitter page! So proud and appreciative of the plug!



UPDATE 2: The Fireflies video has already begun to earn itself YouTube Honors within just a few hours of being uploaded, including the #12 Top Rated Music Video today! Congrats to the PS22 Chorus kids!!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mraz-amatazz!



The PS22 Chorus earned itself a new and extremely talented fan in Jason Mraz, who is best known for his amazingly catchy tune, "I'm Yours." On Tuesday, Jason linked to the chorus's version of "Joga" by Bjork, one of my own personal favorites. In his post, he calls the chorus "a fully expressed group of young persons." Check it out in the screencap above. Below you can watch the video of Jason singing a live rendition of his biggest hit to date.



Twenty Tweets!



Thanks to Ashton Kutcher for what is now his 20th PS22 Chorus tweet! This time he links to the kids' version of "A Winter's Carol" by Tori Amos! For more of Ashton's PS22 Chorus tweets, start here.

*New* IAVA Heroes Gala Footage



Check out some newly posted footage from the IAVA Heroes Gala last week! Thanks to Paul Reickhoff for sending on the link to these videos. In addition to the two videos below that feature the PS22 Chorus of 2010, you can see all of the amazing footage from IAVA covering the event, click here.




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PS22 Preparing to Sock Saks!

On November 23, the PS22 Chorus of 2010 will be performing at the eagerly anticipated Saks 5th Avenue Windows Unveiling! The event takes place from 6:00-7:00 PM! The kids will be performing just before the big reveal. The theme for the windows this year is inspired by the children's book, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Flake. This treat for the eyes will certainly be well complemented by a wonderful treat for the ears, happily provided by the kids of the PS22 Chorus!

Tirzah & Maya Return!




Today saw the return of two of the PS22 Chorus of 2009's finest! Tirzah sings a bit of "Run This Town" and Maya and I duet on "The Climb," while Tirzah's little bro (currently in the 4th grade chorus!) gives us the inside scoop.... :)

UPDATE 11-19-09: The video has gone on to earn itself a YouTube honor! Check it out below!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Blast from the Past!



While the group is hard at work for their upcoming holiday performances, I thought I'd bring back the performance that started it all! This is the PS22 Chorus of 2010, back when they were in 4th grade, opening up the holiday show last December. We knew even back then these kids were show-stealers! The song is a "Santa Medley" I put together, and Justin & D'ahvionne are doing the awesome soloing!




And one more Christmas-inspired bonus prize -- here is the PS22 Chorus of 2008 doing a reprise of one of their most memorable songs from their holiday show, with the help of Andrew on lead vocals and former student "Saxophone Stevie" giving some extra help with the instrumentation. The song is "Christmas Blues" by blues legend, John Lee Hooker.



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brielle sings 4 Alicia Keys.... (well kinda!)



Here's a video of Brielle singing "No One" by Alicia Keys. I asked Brielle what song she thought she sings best, and this is the one she said. So yesterday at rehearsal I had her warm up with it. And you can check it out below! We think it's a good choice!



And it looks like Brielle knows what she's talking about -- our friend Perez Hilton even sent it to Alicia Keys on his Twitter page! Congrats Brielle and thanks to Perez! Who would have thought a liitle warm-up video would make such an auspicious debut?!



UPDATE 11/15: This video has gone on to earn some YouTube honors, including the #36 Top Rated Music Video on YouTube today!


Friday, November 13, 2009

More RecognAshton!



Thanks to Ashton Kutcher for once again showcasing the talents of the PS22 Chorus of 2010 on his Twitter page! This time he links to the kids singing "Come Sail Away" by Styx at the IAVA Heroes Gala performance on Tuesday. We think it's a good choice!

(For more of Ashton's PS22 tweets, start here.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Winter's Carol



Here is an utterly brilliant song by Tori Amos called "A Winter's Carol" from her incredible new album, Midwinter Graces. I am extremely proud of the kids for their quick work in making this video happen! Another feat performed by the new PS22 Chorus of 2010!



Here's an alternate version from the soundcheck at the IAVA Heroes Gala last night.




Thanks to Perez Hilton who tweeted about the kids' newest accomplishment!


Allie's Back!



The PS22 Chorus of 2010 got a surprise visit from one of last year's star soloists, Allie. And to give you an idea of the talent, I literally lent her my iPod with this song for about a half hour and she was ready to give the performance you see here on the first take. The girl is a marvel! And the song is "A Silent Night With You" from the brilliant new album by Tori Amos entitled Midwinter Graces.



Veterans Day



Last night, the PS22 Chorus of 2010 had a wonderful opportunity to give back to the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The kids were invited by Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of IAVA, the country's oldest and largest association of its kind. It was a privilege and an honor to be invited to perform at such an important event honoring J.R. Martinez, Iraq War veteran/actor/speaker, and Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks, Music and Logo Group. The event was hosted by NBC Nightly News host Brian Williams who gave the kids a terrific introduction, as they went on to bring the audience to a wild eruption of cheers and tears!





Big thanks go to Ms. Laurie for that incredible video footage, as well as to Mrs. Rehak (who took the fantastic pics of the kids performing)and Ms. Brandner for all their help! Biggest thanks on this Veterans Day go to Paul and all the veterans who've given and sacrificed so much. Much love from the PS22 Chorus!

Enjoy some more pics below.









Saturday, November 07, 2009

The PEMDAS Parrot




Back in April, Mrs. Johnson's son, Zach, had a school project for which he enlisted the aid of the PS22 Chorus of 2009. He wrote a song for his math class called "PEMDAS The Parrot" that he wanted set to music. Of course we were glad to help him out, and even got (then) fourth grader, Brielle, to join in on the fun! For the full version, click here.

UPDATE: Congrats to Zach and the chorus on earning YouTube honors for this vid!


PS22 Chorus is ICKY!



Check out this newly-posted video from the PBS show, Electric Company, featuring the PS22 Chorus of 2008! Then check out some more below.... (For behind the scenes footage from the shoot, click here.)



Silent E!


Sound Carnival -- "Short 'I'"


Sound Carnival -- "OU"


Sound Carnival -- "S"


Sound Carnival -- "TR"


Sound Carnival -- "Short 'E'"


Sound Carnival -- "IGHT"


UPDATE 2-2-10:
Sound Carnival -- "AI"

Friday, November 06, 2009

A+(k)8



PS22 super-fan Ashton Kutcher strikes again with another PS22 Chorus tweet on his highly read Twitter page! This time he links to the video of our kids singing for Marcia Gay Harden! Big thanks to the man for his incredible support of our chorus program -- this is the 8th time he's linked to the videos of the 2010 crew, and the 17th time he's linked to the PS22 Chorus overall. SICK!

For more Ashton Kutcher PS22 Chorus tweets, start here.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Marcia Gay Harden Runs The Town!



On Monday, the PS22 Chorus of 2010 had the pleasure once again of singing for our dear friend (and Academy & Tony Award-winning actress), Marcia Gay Harden! Marcia, adding to her collection, was being given a Big Apple Award at N.Y.U.'s THIS IS TISCH! Gala at the Rose Theater in Manhattan. The kids sang a re-reworked version of "Run This Town" (by Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West) for Marcia, and were perfectly in tune! Marcia was amazing, giving each child individual attention and making them all feel like the stars they are!




The event was helping to raise money for scholarships to the performing arts program at N.Y.U, as well as to honor some of their prestigious alumni, such as Marcia Gay Harden! Other honorees of the evening included Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Sheila Nevins, and Diana King. Knowing of our relationship with Marcia, producer Ken Davenport contacted me and asked me if the kids would be able to sing at the ceremony as a surprise for Marcia. Of course there was no way we would ever turn down an opportunity to give back to Marcia! (In 2006, she had the PS22 Chorus over to her house for Christmas!)



What we DIDN'T realize was that the ceremony would be a veritable Who's Who of show business! In the audience sat Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, Alec Baldwin, Glenn Close, and many more! Even backstage, as the kids were gearing up for their performance, they got some love, adoration, and inspiration from 3rd Rock From The Sun actress, Kristen Johnson. How amazing for the kids to perform for such an illustrious array of talent! Needless to say, chorus member Ethan got in his fair share of celebrity sniffing. And from the looks of the pictures below, it seems like the PS22 Chorus kids are becoming quite the celebs themselves.... in EVERY WAY!




Big thanks to Ms. Lisa and Ms. Sassano for all the great video footage and pics you see here. And of course, big thanks to Marcia Gay Harden for making time for the kids on her special night.



Sunday, November 01, 2009

Multi-Talented!



Chorus member & notorious Beyonce-sniffer Ethan designed this awesome new poster of the group! Great job, buddy!!

Trick or Tweet!



Thanks to our pal, Ashton Kutcher, who linked to the chorus's new Halloween video! Hope that he and everybody reading had a great holiday! (For more Ashton tweets, start here).

Cross Cultural Festival on WLIW



photo by Steven Churnin

WLIW (Channel 21 in NYC on Time Warner Cable) will be airing footage from the Cross Cultural Youth Festival that included the PS22 Chorus on October 27th. 10 minutes of footage from the event will be featured on the show, Out of Ireland. It airs at 11:30 AM on Sunday, November 1st, and 11:30 PM on Monday, November 2nd. Catch it if you can!