Tuesday, June 08, 2010

PS22 in der Spiegel!


Today the PS22 Chorus appeared in Spiegel, one of the biggest media publications in Europe, with (according to Wikipedia) over 1,000,000 readers in Europe. The article is now online, and can be viewed on their website, Spiegel.de. Love all the world-wide recognition for our kids!! Translation anyone??

UPDATE: Huge thanks to Florian for the thorough translation! You can check it out in the comments.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I've just read the article about PS22 Chorus in "Spiegel online" and googled a bit around ;) I really love your music and like the project and work you are doing with the kids.
Since it is a very long article, I'm not going to translate it word by word, but they are basically writing about the great project, how passionate the teacher and the students are and that they have a lot of fans around the world. They write about how many singers have been to your school (or on stage with PS22) and that everyone is keen on singing in the choir ;)
Furthermore they are telling us something about the background of these kids and that for some of them sining is just like a "therapy".

Hope that will do for the time being?

Kind regards,

Britta

Suz said...

another reason for a worldwide tour-- ;) all the recognition of more than well deserved--

AWESOME!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I thought you were working with the Kids, not surfing the web in strange languages. ;-))
My favourite part of the article is where it points out the difference to local (German) kid choirs which usually sing old-fashioned songs, are dressed the same way and come across rather stiffly. So it says that it you've got about as much to do with that as traditional country music has with Nirvana or alike. And that the emotional depth of the kids' singing is almost frightening for 10-year olds. But they seem to be lost in thought during rehearsals as if each one had a headset put and was alone with his favourite song.
It also says that the kids apparently do not take anyone (famous) more seriously than themselves and that this might just do the trick and be part of the magic they are creating.
And there is an emphasis on the difficult social backgrounds the kids are coming from and how they are creating themselves a lifetime experience during that one year they are participating in the choir.
So basically it is a very nice and warm review of the work your doing.

Cheers and keep it up,

Alexandra

Florian said...

"You are going to sing for Beyoncé!"

Usually, 10 years old kids ar fans of Lady Gaga, Beyoncé or Alicia Keys. A chorus at a New York elementary school is doing it the other way around: Stars are coming for singing with the kids. It seems to be magic what a dedicated music teacher can get out of these young artists - and it touches millions.

Every year at a elementary school of Staten Island, New York, a small miracle is repeated. 60 to 70 fifth graders are becoming stars.

It is quite a mixed group that is forming itself into a chorus at PS 22 Granetville School every year. The kids have parents from many different countries and their familys are also coming from different environments. Good chances at the yearly chorus casting has every pupil of grade 5 who likes singing. The only member of the judging panel is a long-haired elementary school music teacher: Gregg Breinberg. The kids are respectfully calling him „Mr. B“.

He has founded the PS22 school chorus 10 years ago – the beginning of an inimitable success story.

The PS22 choir dffers a lot from a neatly dressed childrens choir standing disciplined in rows, as much as a rock band differs from a opera singer. They are boys and girls in hoodies and t-shirts, casualy luffing on their chairs during the rehearsals. And singing with an intensity that is almost frightening for 10 year old kids. They are interpreting songs of Tori Amos, Coldplay or Björk. And they are doing that in a easygoing way as if they would all wear headphones and feel totally alone with their favourite songs.

Florian said...

A serenade for Mr. President

But actually these kids are more and more rarely rehearsing without an audience. Until today the YouTube-clips of their rehearsals and concerts have been watched more than 16 million times, they've been on TV and all around America newspapers adore the singing kids from Staten Island.

Breinberg loves keeping his choir on tenterhooks. „Are you ready for some news?“ he shouts one morning. „Okay, on monday nothing is going to happen. Tuesday we are going to go to school as usually. Wednesday we will hopefully have some time to rehears. But thursday we will definitely have to rehears at least a bit, because on friday you are going to sing – for Beyoncé!“

In the last six months the choir has been on stage with the reggae artist Matisyahu and the singer Celtic Woman. Before that the kids had already been singing at President Obama's christmas party and for Beyoncé and Lady Gaga at an awards ceremony.

They young choir leader needs to rub the dazzle from his eyes again and again, because this success story had never been planed like that. Four years ago he put a video of a choir rehearsal online for the first time, for showing it to the parents. But when he also posted it to a Tori-Amos-fanpage he got something big starting to move.

First Tori Amos herself was so thrilled that she invited the kids to sing with her. Thereupon the american gossip blogger Perez Hilton spotted them. He is normaly more famous for juicy details out of the world of stars, but this time he catapulted the childrens choir with his recommendation high up in the hitlist of youtube.

Florian said...

"I think this is somehow magic"

For many of the kids the wondrous year in the choir is some kind of therapy. „Sure, the text and the tunes are not really easy“ says Breinberg. But also the life of many of his kids is not that easy: „One should not underestimate the emotional life of those kids. Many of them have gone through things one should not have experienced in their age.“ Because of that he wants to show them the power of music. „ I want to show them that even negative feelings are okay as long as one has a place for them and can give them a positive turn.

Also stars like Alicia Keys, David Hasselhoff or Tom Kaulitz did already vividly leave messages at their video-blog. For the kids, who are often coming from difficult backgrounds this is a big push for their self-confidence.

But there is not much time to become pompous for the idolized fifth graders. The famousness is limited to one year. Then it is the next generations turn.

„I think especially in there lies the magic“, says Breibberg. „Normal kids are doing something special. And this magic is unfolding independently from singing for Tori Amos or at a school event. This is what is so cool about them. They are taking no one more important than he is and judging stars from how they are dealing with them – or from how nice they are smelling.

Florian said...

Of course my translation will not express every word and phrase in exactly the same way it is meant in German but I tried my best with the little school vocabulary I have, hope you'll enjoy it :-)

All the best to your lovely choir, never lose your enthusiasm and keep on doing that kind of incredibly important work!

Mr. B said...

wow! thanks so much for taking the time to do that florian! :)

Zen said...

Yea, thanks Florian! That'll save me a lot of time which I will now spend watching PS22 videos of course. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow!I'm from Germany an i know Der Spiegel, of course.
Perhaps one day you will come to Germany and sing for us? That would be great!!
Keep on singing! (and sorry for my "English")
Best wishes, Julia