The P.S. 22 Chorus Debuts First Original Song

Posted by Liz Dwyer

Over the years Staten Island's world famous P.S. 22 chorus has covered tracks by everybody from Gotye and Katy Perry to Tracy Chapman and Whitney Houston—and who can forget how their rendition of "Over the Rainbow" stole the show at the 2011 Academy Awards? Now they're delving into new territory with their very first original song, "Brother & Sister!", an ode to finding common ground in overcoming obstacles.

What's especially impressive is that song is written by one of the chorus' participants, a student named Kiarah, who also happens to sing the solo part. Starting at the 2:37 mark, the video also gives us some great behind-the-scenes footage of the process Kiarah and chorus director Gregg Breinberg used to compose the song. Breinberg's skill as a teacher and love for his students really shines when he makes a suggestion to Kiarah about changing the song's pacing but tells her, "If you don't like something that I'm suggesting, say 'Mr. B, this is my song. Leave it alone.'" Anyone who doubts that the arts helps students learn only has to watch Kiarah making decisions.