Kids' Chorus Takes on Lady GaGa
By Brooke Tarnoff Posted Jun 19th 2009 01:01PM
Kids' Chorus Takes on Lady GaGa
The kids of the PS22 chorus have taken on Lady GaGa (and we don't mean that in a dance-off kind of way, though we desperately wish we did). PS22, a New York City school with a jaw-dropping amount of talent in their fifth grade chorus, has become an Internet sensation. Videos of these mini-singers have received a whopping 6,000,000 million views on the web, thanks in part to the enthusiastic interest of celeb blogger Perez Hilton, a handful of the songwriters the kids have covered, and stars like Ashton Kutcher and David Hasselhoff.
Just before graduating to the wilds of middle school, the kids and their teacher/montor Gregg Breinberg have one last treat: a cover of 'Just Dance' by Lady GaGa.
If the sound of a bunch of youngsters singing pop hits isn't moving enough for you, the back story of Gregg Breinberg and his chorus should be. Breinberg came to PS22 as a second grade teacher when his previous position as a music teacher was cut, according to a New York Times profile on the Internet phenomenon.
"It was never my intention to be a classroom teacher," Mr. Breinberg said. "In the absence of a music job, I used music to teach second grade. Everything I taught, from math to English, I taught with music."
Breinberg convinced the school to let him teach music full-time the following year despite budget cutbacks in the arts department, and used his new position to give the kids the chorus experience he never enjoyed as a student. "I remember being in a chorus when I was a student and singing songs that I hated," he said, explaining PS22's repertoire of tunes by artists like Journey and Coldplay.
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Add Breinberg and the kids' passion for outside-the-box music choices to a little media attention from Perez Hilton, and you have an explosive popularity that led to visits from celebrities (musician Tori Amos dropped in for jam session) and an invitation to perform for Congress members in Washington.
More important than their 15 minutes is the way the music inspires the kids. Breinberg told the NY Times, "There's a great feeling in seeing these kids - some of whom have been abused, neglected, who have nothing to look forward to when they get home - and knowing that when they come in to my class to sing, you can just see the depth of their emotional experience come through."Skip over this content
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