Chorus of 10-year-olds at New York City public school cover Roxette

NEW YORK – Their performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at the Academy Awards this past February was seen by some 40 million-plus U.S. TV views, but it’s the power of YouTube, where their videos have been seen over a million times, that got these elementary school kids there in the first place.

Over the past 11 years since their director, Gregg Breinberg, started the chorus at Public School 22 here on Staten Island, their fame has grown. Their most recent video – a cover of Roxette’s “Listen to Your Heart” – has in just over a day, already had over 25,800 views. 

“Don’t fake it, you should feel it,” Mr. B (as he is known) tells his kids. The result, as you can see in all the videos posted to the blog he maintains, are performances remarkable for how uninhibited the children are. Far from being stiff or self-concious, these kids move to their own individual, as-the-spirit-moves choreography. 

Each year, Mr. B auditions another set of 10-year-olds for the chorus. The kids have sung with Tori Amos, Passion Pit, Crowded House, Queen Latifah, The Bangles, Little Dragon, Judy Torres and Kylie Minogue, just to name a few. They have also performed for President Obama and the first family, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Stevie Nicks, Rihanna, Kanye West and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey television show.

This article was written for an earlier version of The Daily Roxette.
Technical errors may occur.

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May 15th, 2011

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