I was hanging out in blogland several years ago and came across a wonderful story of a music teacher named Travis Garland. Travis teaches at PS 22 in Staten Island, NY. His students are from racially diverse backgrounds, mostly low-income, and just love to sing in the PS 22 Choir. The group does not sing the usual songs, however, instead they enthusiastically sing pop songs like Tori Amos' "1000 Oceans" They hooked me on Coldplay's "Viva La Vida." It just ripped my heart out! I called my closest brother to tell him all about it (I thought I had personally discovered Coldplay...what a nerd I can be!) What he and I both liked were the videos of these kids singing this terrific song with their entire bodies, hearts and souls.
Now they have been on Oprah and count Lady Gaga and Anne Hathaway as their fans. This year, they will be singing at the Academy Awards. Though I am sure they are more polished, I imagine they will still look like a group of joyfully singing "real kids" with their hyperactive teacher happily jumping around in front of them as he strums his guitar. I, for one, will be watching them and cheering them on.
I have played this YouTube song a million times, at least, only to find out that I am one of 28 million hits. This has been going on since 2006. I loved them then. I love them now. I am such a sucker for a good success story.
See for yourself!