Just over seven miles away from my lovely abode, in the small community of Graniteville, New York (actually located in Staten Island) is where you will find the Public School 22 chorus. Behind the auditorium doors of PS22 are a group of 5th grade elementary school students that are belting some of my favorite songs by my favorite artists, such as Beach House, Phoenix, and Jay-Z. And while this is going on, all I can think about is how awful the songs were in my music class, headed by a music teacher who was likely older than my grandmother. We would sing the “Finger Song” and a tune that named all of the states in alphabetical order with their accompanying capitals. Ugh.
At any rate, the PS22 choir have been endorsed by a slew of celebrities ranging from Oprah to Matisyahu to B.J. Novak of The Office fame. In fact, their stardom has led this yearly changing choir to record and sing on Passion Pit’s Manners and have had performances recorded where the actual artist, like Matisyahu and Fleetwood Mac, either asks to join the choir, or asks the choir to join onstage during the songs that were covered. The passion and enthusiasm coming from each fifth grade class that have passed through Gregg Breinberg’s auditorium (more commonly known as Mr. B, of course) is unmatched. It’s inspiring, uplifting, and certainly worth the accolades that this choir has received, and hardly need celebrity endorsements to enjoy.
Lady Gaga – Just Dance
Phoenix – Litszomania
Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
Matisyahu – One Day
Passion Pit – Little Secrets (in the studio)
Beach House – Zebra