Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The PS22 Chorus has had an awe-inspiring year! So to bring it to a close, we're now proud to present.....

(in no particular order....)

1) The PS22 Chorus achieves well over 1,000,000 viewings of its videos in 2008, bringing the total number of PS22 Chorus video viewings up to over 2,150,000 as of December 31st!

2) The PS22 Chorus puts out 3 viral videos featured on Perez Hilton's blog (see them all below!)

3) The PS22 Chorus opens for and plays with Crowded House at The Fillmore Irving Plaza in NYC!!

4) The PS22 Chorus performs at the famous Revlon Runwalk in Central Park to help raise money and awareness for women's cancers.

5) The PS22 Chorus kids attend two separate video shoots for the upcoming 2009 PBS revived version of the classic series, ELECTRIC COMPANY (premiering in January of '09 nationwide! The PS22 Chorus will be seen in the very first episode in a video about "Silent E"!)

6) The PS22 Chorus sings at the world famous Lincoln Center

7) The PS22 Chorus appears prominently in the NEW YORK TIMES

8) The PS22 Chorus is invited to perform at Congressman Michael McMahon and wife Judge Judy's inauguration

9) THe PS22 Chorus sing at a private party for the internationally acclaimed photographer/filmmaker Bruce Weber and other very special guests

10) The PS22 Chorus receives messages of praise and thanks from 4 of the musicians whose songs we've covered -- Neil Finn of Crowded House, Karen Peris of The Innocence Mission, Corin Dingley of Alpha, and former student Andrew Canlon!

These are accomplishments of a lifetime, and yet this was only a mere 12 months in the life of the chorus! Congrats on a stellar year! One can only imagine what 2009 will bring!!

At this time, the chorus and I really want to give a special thank you to Ms. Lisa for being with us every step of the way, giving up her lunch periods on chorus days, just to be on hand to help out during rehearsals and performances. She's responsible for almost all of the video footage for the last few years, and many of the best pics on the blog! But most importantly, she just loves the kids and is happy to be around and take pride in their accomplishments. The chorus is lucky to have a friend like you, Lisa, and we adore you to pieces!!!

Below, enjoy some of our most unforgettable videos from 2008. To get more info on each performance, click on the titles above the video to visit the original postings."

Monday, December 29, 2008

They Call Me Bruce....WEBER!!

On December 18th, the chorus had the honor to sing at a party thrown by world famous photographer, Bruce Weber, honoring contributors to his new anthology, "All-American VIII: Nature's Way" (Little Bear Press.) Bruce and friends were definitely dazzled by the sounds of the PS22 Chorus of 2009, and you couldn't miss the alternating smiles, tears, gasps, and joyous laughter from the audience once the group took the stage. Here is a video featuring a highlight performance from the event. The song is, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," made popular by Nina Simone, one of the book's contributors.

The kids were in top form, and showed Bruce's guests exactly how they've earned themselves their international reputation! Thanks go, as always, to Ms. Lisa & Mrs. Johnson for the amazing pics and video footage that go along with this post! Below are some more photos from our fun night out in the city with Bruce Weber!

The PS22 Chorus of 2009 Arrives!

Baaba almost ditches Bruce Weber & the chorus to go shopping!

At the pizzeria, Mr. B finds a new calling in life....

The kids take the stage and give it all they've got!

Joey's feeling it too

Putting on a great show!!

Mariah smiles at the appreciative audience!

The kids performing at full throttle!

Bruce Weber all smiles after a great show!

Mr. Weber congratulates the kids!

Group shot outside the restaurant with Miss Lisa and Mrs. Johnson!

Friday, December 26, 2008

PS22 Chorus In The NY TIMES!!!!!

Congrats to the chorus who is in today's edition (Friday, December 26th) of the New York Times, on page A28 of the New York edition!! Haven't grabbed a hard copy yet, but I'm excited to! Meanwhile you can read the article online here. It features a great picture of the kids performing at the Bruce Weber dinner (which I will be posting about in full shortly). Current and former members were quoted and it makes for a great read! Many thanks to Azadeh Ensha, the writer of the wonderful article, for the heart she put into it, and for taking great pains to get the story right. We think she did a phenomenal job, and we're really proud of the write up. Tori Amos herself had some incredible things to say, and Perez Hilton as well expressed his die-hard PS22 Chorus fandom.

New York Times equals crediblity, and the chorus has earned that. Kids, you should be so proud of all your accomplishments! And this is a big one.

Now, enjoy some of my personal favorite, and some of the most popular PS22 Chorus videos that helped make the kids an online sensation!

"Viva La Vida" by Coldplay (over 26,000 views of both posted versions)

"1000 Oceans" by Tori Amos (over 159,000 views)

Singing for Tori Amos as she weeps! (over 144,000 views)

Singing with Crowded House at the Irving Fillmore Plaza (over 10,000 views)

Justin learns a lesson from Academy Award Winner Marcia Gay Harden (over 31,000 views)

HILARIOUS Oscar Mayer Wiener Commercial! (over 15,000 views)

A Standing Ovation for the PS22 Chorus at the McMahon Inauguration!

The PS22 Chorus was on hand Sunday, December 21st, to perform at the inauguration of friend-to-the-chorus, newly elected Congressman Michael McMahon, as well as that of his wife, NY State Supreme Court Judge Judy McMahon. They were even kind enough to take time out of their big day, to stop in to spend some time with the chorus.

Allie kicked off the event with a brilliant rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner", and belted out those high notes to perfection! Watch it below.

Then Judge Judy McMahon was sworn in to office. It was an emotional moment as she stood with her entire family accepting the responsibilities of NY State Supreme Court Justice.

Then the PS22 Chorus took the stage to perform. We started with "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay, which seemed strangely appropriate for the occasion! The kids and April on the solo, rocked it! Then Samantha gave an adorable speech, after which the chorus let into a stunning version of "Let There Be Peace On Earth". And it's safe to say the audience was blown away by the kids!



Then the Congressman was sworn in, and a reception followed. US Senator Chuck Schumer was an honored guest, and was definitely thrilled by the chorus as you can clearly see in the above video. (He's the one behind Maya.)

The event was definitely a success, and it was an honor to be able to sing for our friends the McMahons. We thank them for including us in the festivities, and congratulate them on all their success! Below are more pics from the event.

Congressman McMahon shakes the hand of 'Lorpm'. (Sorry Kieron!)

The MacMahon family with the PS22 Chorus

Sen. Chuck Schumer, top right, looks pretty impressed with the kids, eh?

Mr. B concentrating hard, trying not to mess up on the keys!

The kids get a high five from the Congressman as they leave the stage

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

PS22 Chorus brings some Christmas cheer to Nana

On Monday, Dec. 22nd, the kids sang for the elderly at my grandmother's senior home. I was never so proud of my chorus than I was seeing them interact so sweetly with my nana and her friends. My grandmother doesn't make much sense these days, and I prepared the kids for that, and watching them with her and the others is just the most heart-warming thing for me.

The song isn't really important -- it's actually one that the fourth graders sang at the holiday show, that I never rehearsed with these guys. But we were just looking for anything to keep the show going. Fortunately the kids pick stuff up pretty quickly these days.

Along with the Tori meeting video, this is probably my all-time favorite PS22 Chorus video. The kids are hardly singing at their best, but who really cares.... It shows what's BEHIND their best, and that's tremendous heart. The singing, in this case, is only incidental. And that's what makes this a posting that I'm very proud to share.... More pics below!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The PS22 Chorus Ushers In The Holiday Season With Its Ninth Annual Holiday Choral Concert!

On Wednesday, December 17th, the kids at PS22 gave an incredible holiday performance at the school for family and friends! The Holiday Choral Concert of 2008 had an abundance of memorable moments. The fourth grade chorus were a revelation, and showed that the future of the PS22 Chorus is definitely in good hands....

The chorus began with "VIVA LA VIDA" by Coldplay, with April leading the chorus in another brilliant version. Following that, Julian did an incredible job singing solo as the chorus presented the Christmas traditional, "In The Bleak Midwinter".

Then Samantha took the stage for "Maoz Tsur", the traditional Chanukah song. Here is a beautiful version taken from rehearsal.

"Maoz Tsur"
ps22 chorus p.s.22 choir ps p.s. 22 2009 2008 chanukah maoz tsur mao tsor tzur tzor rock of ages let our song praise thy saving power

Next, Allie did an absolutely gorgeous version of "My Favorite Things" from THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Is it me, or are these kids growing as singers and performers right before our eyes?! They just seem to get better and better, and Allie's performance here is just astounding.

After that, Maya took the stage for a fantastic version of "One Day" by Bjork. Maya did such a beautiful job on this one!

The chorus kept things going with two amazing full chorus songs -- "Sky Fits Heaven" by Madonna, and "The Seven Principles", a little melody I cooked up to put the actual principles of Kwanzaa into song.

Monet was up next, leading the chorus in a spectacular version of The Beatles classic, "Across The Universe". Then Melina did some fantastic soloing on an awesome version of the Michael Jackson Christmas classic, "Little Christmas Tree". Then we finished off with one of the chorus's huge hits this year, "White Christmas", which gained an astonishing number of viewers thanks to Perez Hilton posting it on his blog. The rendition of "Little Christmas Tree" below was taken during rehearsal and performed by the chorus coaches.

No show is complete without a good encore, and the PS22 Chorus gave a 3 song encore consisting of our biggest internet hit to date, "1000 Oceans" by Tori Amos. Allie really served it, and the chorus sounded magnificent. This song has over 158,000 views and counting as of December 2008, again, thanks to another Perez Hilton plug. Then the amazing Samantha returned for a "Let There Be Peace On Earth". Then the unbelievable Tirzah finished off the festivities with a high energy version of "My Drive Thru", the Converse Commercial song performed by Santogold, Julian Casablancas, N.E.R.D., and produced by Pharrell! I'm including this a capella rendition of "Let There Be Peace On Earth" taken from rehearsal, because in my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful recordings the kids have ever done.

At the show's conclusion, former PS22 Chorus member Isaiah gave a rockin' encore of his own with "Run Run Rudolph"!

To finish the night, the kids sang a rather frightening version of "Happy Birthday" to Mr. B, but actually made a very beautiful presentation afterwards, which meant a great deal! (Thanks kids!) It's safe to say it was a special evening for everyone present. Here are some more pics from this unforgettable night!


Jonathan and Leah

Josh & Joey


Gabriel (Our sound-man!)

Pepsi (Giuseppe) reads his birthday message to Mr. B


Mr. B's bro and nana after the show!

The PS22 Chorus of 2009!