Monday, February 22, 2010

PS22 & Mark Twain

Have you seen these kids? New York City's PS22 Chorus just blows me away every time I see/hear their wonderful music.

Directed by Mr. B (Gregg Breinberg) since 2000, the 5th graders sing an amazing variety of music, from Tori Amos to Bob Dylan to Lady Gaga, and they've quickly become international celebrities. Their Youtube channel has had more than 14 million hits. They've performed all over New York (even Radio City Music Hall!) and for special events. They've gotten attention from some notable Twitter users (Perez Hilton, Ashton Kutcher and Roger Ebert, to name a few). There has been tons written about them. (Check out a great New York Times profile here.) They've been on MTV, The Today Show, MSNBC, FOX and Good Morning America, just to name a few television appearances.

Not bad for the largest grade school on Staten Island, where three-quarters of the students qualify for free lunch and the English as a second language program is extensive.

Our church has been partnering with Mark Twain Elementary School, a school in a low-income part of Tulsa where most students are dramatically impacted by generational poverty and almost 80% have a close relative incarcerated. I dream of starting a chorus of our own. Is this a God-dream? I think so, I pray so... What an amazing way to use music and art to bless the world and impact kids' lives. I would love to be a part of something like this.

You can follow PS22 on Twitter here and follow Gregg Breinberg here. Their blog has a l;ot of great information, including an index of all the songs they've performed, celebrity encounters and correspondence, special events and concerts, and lots of video footage. Here are my favorites:

Viva La Vida by Coldplay

Language by Suzanne Vega

Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z & Alicia Keys

Fireflies by Owl City [featuring Ithapella]

There by the innocence mission

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