The lovely kids at PS22 on Staten Island are getting pretty popular these days. As of this morning, the PS22 chorus has received over 15 million hits on their youtube videos – 3 million alone in January of 2010!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the chorus and their ambitious instructor, Gregg Breinberg (or Mr. B) I highly recommend a trip over to the PS22 Blog. You’ll find all sorts of great stories and videos of performances and rehearsals of some pretty unusual material for 5th graders. I’m talking Björk, Nick Drake, Jay-Z and Nina Simone!
The first video I saw of theirs last year got me kind of choked up because it’s one of my favorite songs ever, “Pictures of You” by The Cure. It was filmed on the last day of the school year and the lyrics had many of the kids holding back tears. Although Mr. B’s gesturing while leading the kids may be a little over the top, their performances are better for it.
The kids have been lucky enough to meet heroes like Beyoncé Knowles, Lady Gaga and Mr. B’s idol, Tori Amos. There’s even a video series where a very cocky Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit takes the reigns with Mr. B’s wishes and instructs the kids to sing arguably the catchiest part of any pop song released last year, “The Reeling”. Yes, that was PS22!
I encourage you to find out more about these kids! For now, grab a tissue and check out “Under The Milky Way” by The Church, “Pictures of You” by The Cure and “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac.