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Staten Island’s P.S. 22 Choir Reflects On Inauguration Performance

P.S. 22 Chorus On Steps Of U.S. Capitol Jan. 20, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

P.S. 22 Chorus On Steps Of U.S. Capitol Jan. 20, 2013 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The young members of the P.S. 22 choir have become Staten Island celebrities and a part of American history, and on Monday, they were sharing their memories of performing at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

As CBS 2’s Alex Denis reported, Monday was just another day of school for the members of the chorus from P.S. 22 Graniteville Elementary School. They made faces at friends, occasionally ignored instruction, and no doubt were easily excited.

But when their beloved teacher, Mr. B, tapped the piano keys, and the first notes of a familiar melody rang through the auditorium, the students snapped into place.

Two weeks ago, the world watched as the fresh-faced fifth-graders – fully composed – sang for the inauguration. Back home, they were remembering the unique experience.

“It was a really neat view,” one student said. “You could see people as far back as the national monument.”

“It’s a big huge thing for all of us. Really big,” added another student, Samuel Lettine. “So can I get your autograph before I leave? Um, yes!”

Relishing their time in the spotlight, videos of the choir have gone viral with more than 50 million views combined.

The chorus has performed all around the nation, but they still have some places left on their bucket list. One student wanted to go to Miami, another to the moon.

And while having a chorus perform on the moon may not be on the immediate list of goals for the Space Program, realistically, nothing seems impossible for the young dreamers.

“I never would have thought that an elementary school chorus could conquer the world like these guys have,” said Mr. B – full name Gregg Breinberg.

The next stop on the show list is Boston, where they will sing with a geriatric group and look for some youthful inspiration.

The inauguration was not the P.S. 22 chorus’ first honorary performance. Previous P.S. 22 chorus groups have performed at the Oscars and the White House tree lighting.

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