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NYC Public School's PS22 Chorus
May 3, 2009 10:55 AM   Subscribe

NYC Public School's PS22 Chorus belts out catchy tunes like Viva La Vida, Eye of The Tiger and Everybody's Changing. These Fifth Graders have also have worked with Tori Amos and Passion Pit among others. Make sure to check out their website.
posted by pwally (26 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is great. I love how the kids get into the singing, especially Viva La Vida.

Their musical director, Mr. B's YouTube page.
posted by ericb at 11:02 AM on May 3, 2009


i was wondering what i could get my friends' son for his birthday; it appears now that i can give him a training montage.
posted by the aloha at 11:13 AM on May 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Their versions of Strawberry Fields Forever and People Are Strange freak me out. I don't know why.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:38 AM on May 3, 2009


The YouTube description for "Eye of the Tiger" mentions that a kid suggested doing it because it is featured on Guitar Hero, which I'm going to use as an excuse to talk about one of my pet theories, namely that we are about five-ten years away from an incredible metal/power rock revival that will be fueled by kids who grew up playing Guitar Hero. It came to me while I was in a store in L.A. watching a group of kids playing the game, getting down to Motorhead and Metallica and Ozzy. Obviously, not every kid who plays Guitar Hero will get into actually playing music, but some will. Should be interesting to hear what they come up with.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:47 AM on May 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


Similarly, back in the 70s there was the The Langley Schools Music Project. Weird covers of songs like Space Oddity, Sweet Caroline, and Desperado. There was also a documentary on VH1 about it.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:48 AM on May 3, 2009


Don't Dream it's Over. Amazing because the kids are so fucking into it. Awesome.
posted by billysumday at 11:56 AM on May 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


They add a lot of fun to the new Passion Pit album. They add the layered harmonies of The Polyphonic Spree, but with even more enthusiasm.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 12:20 PM on May 3, 2009


catchy tunes like Viva La Vida

If by "catchy" you mean fucking inescapable. I certainly did like that song when it first came out but it's gotten more then a little old. Especially since they seem to have put out a new version with different lyrics.
posted by delmoi at 12:22 PM on May 3, 2009


I will bet any amount of money Wes Anderson is trying to secure music rights for his next movie.
posted by The Whelk at 12:22 PM on May 3, 2009


There's a great little clip of Passion Pit working with the chorus here. The song that they're recording is The Reeling - it's fun to compare the recording session to the end product.
posted by TheRoach at 12:27 PM on May 3, 2009


OK, that rendition of Don't Dream It's Over is literally giving me effing goosebumps. Thanks for this.
posted by waitingtoderail at 12:45 PM on May 3, 2009


This is so many kinds of awesome. (And forget that other kid in the piano thread, I think Allie is the one to watch.)
posted by mothershock at 1:18 PM on May 3, 2009


Cheers, burnmp3s, for bringing up he Langley Schools Music Project. When I learned about it, I'm pretty sure I listened to it every day for months. That, and this, make me wish I had cooler chorus directors in school. Lots of spirituals and showtunes, yes, but no good pop music when I was a kid.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 1:42 PM on May 3, 2009


There are many reasons why this is awesome. But the one thing that gets me so excited is what the experience of singing in a choir like this gives the kids.

I was in 8th grade when I switched to a school that had a choir program. I had sung in church, I had sung a bit at camp, but I was entirely innocent of voice parts, what a conductor did, polyphony, etc. I just really liked to sing, and I was good at it, so I often sang leads bits in church or at camp.

But this organized choir stuff? Ah, I loved it. I got solos, it was awesome. But I didn't get it until this one day. I was standing in my row at the back of the sopranos, watching while our choir teacher went over and over something with the tenors. Our first concert of the school year was in a few days, and they couldn't get a complicated passage right. And it hit me; our choir was only as good as the worst musician in the room. We all had to be good, we all had to know our stuff, we all had to be working together toward the shared goal of making the music. My talent didn't mean squat beyond the few bars I sang by myself; only together as a choir could we actually be good. We fell or rose together.

It sounds both hokey and obvious now, but it was a complete head-smacking epiphany then.

I became a pint-sized collectivist that day. I began believing that we had to get there together or not get there at all, whatever "we" and "there" meant in any given situation.

And in choir, when we did all get it right, when we were all striving together towards one thing, it was ecstasy. It was flow. It was transcendence. It still is.

And look at those kids' faces in those videos. They're experiencing that awesome feeling; they're creating something together, something bigger and better than any of then could create alone.
posted by minervous at 2:27 PM on May 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


The Passion Pit record is fucking brilliant- the children's vocals are like sugar sprinkled on top of cotton candy.
posted by ryaninoakland at 5:24 PM on May 3, 2009


My fave PS22 rendition is Innocence Mission's There.
posted by The Deej at 5:48 PM on May 3, 2009


The Whelk: "I will bet any amount of money Wes Anderson is trying to secure music rights for his next movie."

And I think I know just the one he's after...
posted by Rhaomi at 6:01 PM on May 3, 2009


Their versions of Strawberry Fields Forever and People Are Strange freak me out. I don't know why.

If I may place your freaked out-ness, it is because the kids really don't understand the implications of either song, and clearly they're trying to inject whatever feeling they can muster into it, but the overall effect is that they're serving the whims of a manipulative adult. Is that close?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:06 PM on May 3, 2009


Also: Wow.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:11 PM on May 3, 2009


Um, for anybody confused about that Wes Anderson quip, it's because I was confusing him with Wes Craven (Wes Craven = horror movies = children singing creepy music). Oops.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:15 PM on May 3, 2009


they're serving the whims of a manipulative adult.

...he's just their chorus teacher, get over yourself.
posted by pwally at 6:17 PM on May 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:22 PM on May 3, 2009


Um, for anybody confused about that Wes Anderson quip, it's because I was confusing him with Wes Craven (Wes Craven = horror movies = children singing creepy music). Oops.

You had me looking for a Rushmore connection for a good bit there. :)
posted by Xere at 11:46 PM on May 3, 2009


"it is because the kids really don't understand the implications of either song, and clearly they're trying to inject whatever feeling they can muster into it, but the overall effect is that they're serving the whims of a manipulative adult. Is that close?"

He must keep forgetting his hot, white foam at home.
posted by Corduroy at 5:15 AM on May 4, 2009


PS22 Choir is both haunting and t3h Aw3s. I first encountered them when someone sent me a mix disc with their version of Tori Amos's "Carbon" as a hidden track. The song is amazing, but tracking down where the heck it came from was, like, impossible. I'm glad I found it though (thanks to a quick search for overzealous Tori fans on the internet!) The choirleader seems like a cool dude, too. Check out the youtube video where Tori met the kids and they sang one of her songs to her. She actually starts crying.
posted by indiebass at 1:02 PM on May 4, 2009


I love watching how much they get into it...with feeling. They aren't screaming or singing just to get through it, they seem to be really enjoying it, taking their time with it, and just being comfortable with it.
posted by hazel at 11:00 PM on May 4, 2009


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