On Staten Island, the chorus at P.S. 22 has gotten themselves into the spotlight with some help from YouTube and their 36-year-old director Gregg Breinberg. The NY Times reports that Breinberg's bunch has performed everything from Viva la Vida by Coldplay to Flying Dutchman by Tori Amos. One 10-year-old voice in the contemporary chorus says, “When I get depressed, I think about my songs and it makes me feel better. I also sing for Mr. B because he takes his own time to teach me, and so I always put in a 100 percent effort because that’s a really cool thing for him to do.”
Mr. B fought for the position of music teacher at the school, which didn't exist because of cutbacks. He's been posting the videos online since 2006 and things really took off when Perez Hilton, of all people, started linking to them. One of the big moments for the chorus came in May when Tori Amos herself came to meet the students in Midtown. They even moved the singer to tears—and the encounter was, of course, put online:
Mr. B blogged about the Times mention, saying "Kids, you should be so proud of all your accomplishments! And this is a big one."