Sunday, August 30, 2009

In The Bleak Midsummer.....

Ridiculously out of season perhaps, but you have to love this beautifully sung traditional Christmas song, "In The Bleak Midwinter," as sung by our favorite fifths. Julian sounds sweet on the solo too. Check it out below!


Congrats to the PS22 Chorus kids on over 9,000,000 viewings of their videos online! Next stop, octuple digits!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Plain White COOL!!!

Cool to see that Mike Retondo, Plain White T's bass player, linked to the PS22 Chorus on his blog! (The Plain White T's are best known for the classic track, "Hey There, Delilah.") He posted our version of the Bjork song, "Joga," and labeled it, "AWESOME!" Thanks for spreading the word, Mike!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

PS22 Chorus 2009 MP3s!!

Okay, so it's been a long time coming, but they're finally here! We'll start with the 2 best quality recordings. (One was heard today on National Public Radio today!) These were recorded by a very cool guy named Steve who came to the school with a portable digital studio to record the chorus on a song for an upcoming iTunes release! (More on that another time!) We finished early enough that we were able to make time to get these tracks down, and the chorus knocked them both out in one take.

Steve was kind enough to master these mp3s on his own time, which successfully eliminated a lot of background noise. Here the kids are singing two songs that represent their success. The first is the most watched PS22 Chorus YouTube video, "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga. (It should be noted that we recorded Mariah separately and patched it on, as her part did not come across in the original recording.) The second is "Flavor" by Tori Amos, whose influence has been essential to the sound and repertoire of the PS22 Chorus.

And the mp3's sound GREAT!!! Have a listen!!

"JUST DANCE" by LADY GAGA feat. Tirzah & Mariah

"FLAVOR" by TORI AMOS feat. Maya & Samantha

Or put 'em on your iPod! Just right click and save!

There will be more mp3s to come, but the quality of these truly make our first installment something special! It is our pleasure to share them with you! Thanks again to Steve for all his hard work in recording these and getting them to us.

The Chorus On National Public Radio!

The kids will be featured on National Public Radio (93.9 FM in NY) at about 5:00 PM (EST) today!! No matter where you reside, you can listen to the live online stream here. There's also a very nice write-up by Margo Adler here.

UPDATE: Here is the NPR feature on the chorus. Enjoy!

UPDATE 2: The PS22 Chorus story is the second most viewed article on the NPR website! Check out screencaps below of NPR's homepage and the article that accompanied the broadcast.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back To School Bash in Central Park!

Yesterday the PS22 Chorus of 2009 regrouped for an eagerly anticipated appearance at The Bandstand in Central Park at the NYC Dept. Of Ed's Back To School Bash! The kids sang 4 songs, including one they just learned that morning! That song is "The World" by Empire Of The Sun, and Elijah, Allie, and April helped out big time! Here is some footage of the kids practicing it below.

In addition to the new song, the kids also performed two of their most celebrated renditions -- "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay and "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga! April sounded as lovely as ever, and Tirzah rocked the mike! Chorus member Mary even filled in for Mariah and did a great job on the rap!

We also snuck in an acoustic guitar version of "An Angel" by the Kelly Family as an encore, and Allie and the chorus did their usual exquisite job!

Of course no PS22 Chorus trip is complete without some behind the scenes moments with our local celebs. Here they take a moment to alternately thank AND threaten to sue their fans! Good stuff.

Below you can check out more pics from the event.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

aFriCaN LiOn!

Here is another PS22 Chorus 2009 debut, a song I wrote called African Lion, and the kids give a ferocious performance!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

SI Advance Announces Encore PS22 Chorus Performance in Central Park!

This article appeared in yesterday's edition of the Staten Island Advance. Click on the above scan, or read the article at

Monday, August 17, 2009

PS22 Chorus Nominated for an MTV VMA?!

Answer? Sort of! Passion Pit's "The Reeling" has been nominated for Breakthough Video! And yes, that's the PS22 Chorus on background vocals! Check out the video below and then head over to MTV's website to put in a vote for Passion Pit!!

On the Howard Stern Radio Show!

Thanks to the many people who brought to my attention the fact that the legendary Howard Stern mentioned the PS22 Chorus on his radio show this morning! Apparently he read the New York Magazine article about the chorus, which inspired him to do an internet search for more! Check out an excerpt below (slightly edited for kid-friendliness!):

Monday, August 10, 2009

No Limit!

This is a cheesy song I wrote back when I was 17. The chorus does it incredible justice! (Of course the kids can pretty much sing their alphabet soup and make it sound good...)

Friday, August 07, 2009

You Gotta Have FAITH!

While they were waiting to perform on MTV's It's On With Alexa Chung, the PS22 Chorus gathered together to record one more vid! This time it's "There's A Better Place" by Faith Hill, which was a request from and ultimately a dedication to our wonderful Ms. Lisa, friend and PS22 Chorus videographer! LOVE YOU LISA!!! (Even though you didn't tell me about the crumb...)

Ms. Lisa with MTV's Sway!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Alexa Chung Joins The PS22 Chorus!?

Well, not quite! But the PS22 Chorus of 2009 did have a very special reunion on Monday, making their second appearance on MTV on It's On With Alexa Chung! (They were featured on MTV News just 2 weeks before!) The kids did a brilliant job on "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga, and you can check out their spectacular performance below! The video is even featured on the MTV Buzzworthy Blog!

UPDATE: The above video doesn't seem to be working for everyone on the blog. If you can't see it here, you should be able to see it by clicking on the MTV Buzzworthy Blog link.

In addition to what you see here, they also aired footage from our friends, Passion Pit! Apparently when the band was on Alexa's show last Thursday, they taped a special message for the chorus, which was shown live on Monday's broadcast! The message began with the entire group shouting out, "Congratulations!" Drummer Nate Donmoyer then continued, "You're in the best children's choir in the world. And if you ever get stuffed into a locker [in middle school], just call us and we'll take care of it." Good to know the chorus has such an awesome support system! Safe to say that after the performance the kids gave that afternoon, the group earned the support of the entire studio audience as well!

Throughout all these amazing successes the chorus has had, the kids have remained grounded and humble. I've always felt the force behind their music and success is an incredible depth of spirit and personality. They are truly an incredible bunch, as evident in this behind-the-scenes video! And hey, check out Alexa Chung on those keys!

UPDATE (8-6-09)Today our behind-the-scenes at the Alexa Chung show vid has earned 11 YouTube honors, including the #15 most watched music video today!! Check 'em out below!

Aside from showing the versatility of talents behind Alexa Chung, the video relays perfectly the personality behind the PS22 Chorus. (I've watched it more than the actual performance!) Watching it, I feel so lucky to work with these fantastic little people. And boy did they do PS22 proud on Monday! Pepsi showed the MTV audience how to seriously get down!

Tirzah did an absolutely brilliant job on the lead vocals of "Just Dance," and looked and sounded like the bonafide celeb she and the group are fast becoming! Mariah spoke beautifully and lit up the stage with her presence and sweetness!

The one tragic mishap of the day was that I completely forgot to play the bridge of the song that leads into Mariah's rap. I didn't even realize it until the kids told me backstage. Mariah handled it like a pro, and she was consoling me, as it seems I was the one who was devastated about her not doing her part. How about these kids, eh? They really have it together. The only one who doesn't apparently is their director....

On a happier note, the chorus got to see Marlon Wayans in transit from the stage back to the green room after the performance. He waved and gave a big thumbs up for a job well done! So cool!! And the icing on the cake for the kids was when they got to meet the very sweet Disney Channel darling, Selena Gomez, star of Another Cinderella Story! She gave lots of hugs and took the time to pose for some pics with the kids!

All in all, it was an amazing day! Thanks to Alexa Chung and the producers at MTV for having us on the show, and for giving the PS22 Chorus the opportunity to have a one-of-a-kind family reunion! Lots of gratitude as well go to Ms. Lisa for filming, and Mrs. Johnson & my pops for the amazing pics you see here!

Oh yeah, and we all agreed Alexa Chung has a cool accent and is mighty pretty!!