Saturday, September 30, 2006

Get ready for an early "Winter" by Tori Amos

One of the classics! Still love this one from the holiday concert of 2002. Really good job chorus of 2002-3!

PS22 Chorus sings Sloop John B

PS22's principal and chorus groupie, Mrs. Costantino (pictured above with our chorus)loves the Beach Boys so we dedicated this song to her! Dig the reggae twist!

PS22 Chorus sings Massive Attack & Hooverphonic

Here are two more goodies from 2003. First, I wrote this little tune called "Pull Some Time," and then realized it worked perfectly on top of Massive Attack's "Eurochild".

Next is a beautiful song by Hooverphonic called, "The Kiss." That's Alexandra doing the lovely soloing.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Because of his incredible performance of "Lift Every Voice & Sing" at the Sandy Ground dramatic musical (posted previously), the P.S.22 Chorus' very own Justin has been selected to perform at the Martin Luther King Memorial Observance Ceremony ( on Monday, January 15th, 2007!!!

One of the Sandy Ground descendants took notice of Justin's prodigious talent, and recommended him for this huge honor! And a HUGE honor it is, as this observance is the most highly-regarded & prestigious M.L.K. Jr. honarary event in the entire nation. It will be broadcast live in 5 states, and is known to attract over 40 million viewers! Justin, we are so thrilled for and incredibly proud of you! No one is more qualified than you to represent the heart and soul of P.S.22 at this important tribute to a real American hero.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Highlights from PS22's 2006 production of Sandy Ground: Flowers Of The Sand

"Sandy Ground: Flowers of the Sand", is the true story of the trials, tribulations, & accomplishments of a local Staten Island community that left a legacy of humble greatness. PS22 wrote, produced, and performed this show after visiting the Sandy Ground museum, in Staten Island. Sandy Ground was the first free African-American community started by ancestors of many who still live in the area. We thank all of the many Sandy Grounders who attended the performances, including Lois Mosley (author of "Sandy Ground Memories") and her sons Greg and Gerald, Julie Moody Lewis (Sandy Ground Historical Society president), and Sylvia D'Alessandro (Sandy Ground Museum curator and executive director). Your presence there gave us added pride and inspiration. To learn more about Sandy Ground and why it is an officially documented United States historical landmark, check out:

Justin's JAW-DROPPING performance of "Lift Every Voice And Sing", the African-American anthem.

Strawberry Fields....

Van Diemen's Land by U2 (changed to "Sandy Ground" for the show)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

PS22's Oscar Mayer Wiener Commercial! HILARIOUS!!!!

One of the funniest PS22 Chorus videos of all-time! Starring in order of appearance: Noshavyah, Taylor, Julissa, Warren, Shamari, Chris, Olubade & Farouk, David, Sandra, & the kid with the biggest smile ever.... Russell!!!!

Highlights From PS22's 2003 American Idol Competition

Our first American Idol competition in 2003 was one of our most beloved productions, and gave rise to some legendary PS22 vocal performances and otherwise! See them here!

David (the amazing singer of Tori Amos' Not The Red Baron posted previously) hosted PS22's American Idol competition. A funny, entertaining, multi-talented kid! Check out his antics here as we introduce the show!

Chris won in his category with this amazing rendition of the Wayne Wonder hit, "No Letting Go"! And singing to mommy? Brilliant!! One of the winning performances:

It was quite a shocker when the votes revealed a tie between Chris & Farouk, and the audience couldn't have been more thrilled to see these two share the title of American Idol! So here is the other winner of the 5th grade chorus member category, Farouk, singing Lil' Corey's & Lil' Romeo's hit, "Hush Lil' Lady"!

And here is little Zaria in kindergarten when she stole the show with her amazing performance of the spiritual, "Do Lord". No surprise that Zaria is currently a star member of this year's PS22 Chorus!

Check out these highlights of our elementary school's extremely entertaining American Idol auditions....

Noshavyah's Unforgettable Audition -- singing Deniece Williams "Silly"

Kevin's memorable call-back round performance of Sean Paul's "Like Glue"

For highlights of our 2005 American Idol 2 competition, click here.

Friday, September 22, 2006

PS22 Chorus featuring David sings Tori Amos' Not The Red Baron

In 2003, David blew us away with his rendition of Tori Amos' Not The Red Baron.....
This is one of our favorite solo performances of all time!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Excerpts from "The Conference", PS22's award-winning September 11th Movie

In the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11th 2001, the teachers at P.S.22 felt the responsibility to provide our students with an opportunity to take the day back from the terrorists. We decided to make a movie. The Conference looks at the events of 9/11 from a child’s perspective. The title is a reference to the historic Conference House in Staten Island, which has its own special September 11th connection. There the protagonist learns about other significant events that occurred on that date throughout history, and helps him put the tragic events of 2001 into a broader perspective. The real emotional punch of the film is in the interspersed documentary footage of actual conversations with P.S.22 students, in which they address all sorts of relevant issues. What’s it like to have a 9/11 birthday? What can we do about racism against Muslims? What’s it like for a kid whose name is Ossama? Did anything positive come out of the attacks? Is there healing after so great a tragedy? These are just some of the many issues we chose to tackle in our feature length presentation of The Conference. The students involved in the project truly represent the voice of hope, which makes for a viewing experience that is nothing short of cathartic.

The beginning & the premise.... "What's it like to have a 9/11 birthday in the aftermath of the tragedy?"

Ossama talks about how tough it was to come to a new school, just a few days before the September 11th tragedy occurred. Then the chorus sings an original song of mine called, "Sometimes I," to help him feel better.

Ossama learns he is a hero, in his own quiet way.

This segment shows the protagonist Steven, whose birthday is on Sept. 11th, learning that some wonderful things happened on his birthday too. This is one of the lightest(and funniest!!) scenes from the movie. In a Scrooge-like fashion, the spirit of Yesterday takes Steven back to the year that world famous soprano Jenny Lind came to New York to give her first American appearance....on Sept. 11th. In the scene she is rehearsing with her music coach, who is having trouble with his pupil AND his moustache (unintentional humor is always the funniest!!).....

Documentary footage. "What can we do to make the city & the world a better place?"

A documentary segment -- how & when the kids first found out about the attack....

A song from the film called "Comet Chameleon" (based on the Culture Club song "Karma Chameleon"), which was used for a scene that re-enacts a Halley's Comet appearance that occurred on September 11.

This scene is the end of the documentary portion of the film, in which the kids with Sept. 11 b-days make their birthday wishes for the upcoming year. They give us hope for a happy ending....

We used Bob Dylan's "Blowing In The Wind" as a closer.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

PS22's Martian Musical "True Colors -- My First Trip To Mars"

Back in 2004, when talk of water on Mars and the Rovers were all over the news, the kids put on a Martian musical production entitled "True Colors -- My First Trip To Mars". It was co-directed by our FANTASTIC conflict resolution teacher, Mrs. Verano! It's about a group of astronauts who crash land on Mars. On their quest for water and supplies to help in their return home, they encounter the purple people, green people, the orange people, and the Blue Gray and the Gray Blue Girls (a real Crayola nightmare...) One scene with the Blue-Gray Girls used Tori Amos' song "Cornflake Girl", which of course became, "Never was a Blue-Gray Girl..." The earthlings must teach them to overcome their prejudice and become reunited as one Martian race in order to return home AND save Mars from total destruction! Below are some highlights!

"Purple People Eater" from Martian Michael and the PS22 Chorus!

The Green People (Lacoy & Shiva) encounter the earthlings... HILARIOUS!!

Ben sings the spiritual, "Step By Step"

A rewritten "Cornflake Girl" by Tori Amos

"River Man" by Nick Drake

We leave you with a pic of Clive as The River Man!

PS22 sings Tori Amos' Twinkle

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dance music sensation/WKTU DJ Judy Torres sings with the PS22 Chorus!!!

After the stunning reception that 2001's graduating class singing Tori Amos' "Twinkle" received on YouTube (notice almost 3000 visits to the video!!!) we felt compelled to share this!! In 2003, singer/DJ Judy Torres visited our school to listen to, talk to, sing to, and sing with our fifth grade chorus. Judy, if you see this, thanks for an unforgettable day!!! Please come back anytime!

Here is the chorus singing for Judy a great version of Tori Amos' Carbon! Judy has some very lovely things to say about the chorus after the song ends. Check it out!!

Here the kids accompany Judy Torres on a ballad version of her classic dance hit, "There's No Reason For You To Cry"! This is just phenomenal! And boy, does that Judy have pipes!!! The best is to see the kids' reactions to her power-house moments!!!

And here is the autographed pic she gave to us! In addition to this, she signed personalized messages on individual pics for ALL of the kids in the chorus! What a class act!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tori Amos & Mr. B

Mr. B with Tori Amos (and his good friend Chris with his ex), whom all the kids in the chorus know is his favorite singer/pianist/composer (as every other song he teaches them is Tori or Tori-inspired cover songs). I had the good fortune of meeting Tori at a radio interview promotion for Boys For Pele, and at the filming of her MTV Unplugged episode. I also had the opportunity to talk to her and share with her just how much the kids adored her music at The New York Timestalk with Anne Powers during the Q&A segment of the interview. In response to my giving her a video of my kids' singing Twinkle, she sang her daughter Tash's lullaby for me (I guess an audience was there too.... ) We'll be hearing a lot of her music here as performed by the chorus. Tori, if you ever stumble upon this site, we hope one day you'll come over and play with us................Fantasy alert! :)

Deon sings Flying Dutchman by Tori Amos

Deon sings Flying Dutchman by Tori Amos

I taught Deon this, one of my all time favorite Tori Amos songs, the very last day of school! I think he does a brilliant job handling the song's tricky melody, considering he learned it the day we recorded it!

Freedom Circle Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 2005

The kids singing at at a Freedom Circle Ribbon Cutting ceremony with NYC's Mayor Bloomberg in attendance.