GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The principal of a Glen Cove school said she invited Billy Joel to a spring concert on a lark, never expecting the Piano Man to come.

But he did.

Joel showed up Wednesday at the Deasy Elementary School for a concert called, “The River of Dreams: A Billy Joel Tribute.”

As CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the native Long Islander walked into the concert five minutes before showtime Wednesday morning.

“In strolled a guy with a motorcycle helmet under his arm” Principal Nomi Rosen said. “Word spread around the room in about 15 seconds and there was this roar that came up in the crowd as we realized who it was.”

The principal said since Joel lives nearby, they tried getting word to the superstar about the tribute concert through friends of friends and social media.

“We hoped but didn’t know,” Rosen said.

More than 350 students from kindergarten through second grade performed 15 songs from various phases of Joel’s career.

The students did a Beatles tribute last year, but Paul McCartney didn’t show up for that one. The principal admits after this year’s big invitation and superstar appearance, they’ve set the bar really high for future concerts.

The principal said Joel’s appearance was “totally thrilling.” Rosen said she didn’t get a chance to speak to Joel before he left but said they plan on writing him a thank you note.


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