The students of the P.S. 22 Chorus usually make an appearance around the Internet whenever they record a pop hit or the latest indie earworm. But this week, with many still grieving after last week’s tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut, the kids reached out and paid tribute to other kids like them in the way they do best, in song. The chorus recorded a special performance of the Sandy Hook Elementary School song, posted this week. The results, unsurprisingly, are pretty moving.
As choir director Gregg Breinberg writes:
"I am extremely proud of the maturity, empathy, and love displayed yesterday by the PS22 Chorus when the kids recorded this tribute to the children, teachers, and families affected by the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton [sic], CT. It was without a doubt the most difficult song for me and the kids to have to teach and learn respectively (for reasons that need not be explained), but in the end, I believe it was important and cathartic for all of us to do this."
In the wake of the initial horror, there has been a lot of national and international discourse en masse about big, important things that need to be addressed—some of it constructive, some of it not so much. And discourse and action do need to happen. But it’s also healing for everyone to occasionally take the advice of that great teacher for students of any age, Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’" To see the kids of P.S. 22 doing what they knew how and helping their peers in Connecticut and beyond, helping other kids and offering that kind of empathy and love—that’s something worth blogging home about. I hope you’ll reach out and show some love, not just to the people of Newtown but wherever you think it’s needed, too.
After the performance, some of the students offered messages of comfort to the students at Sandy Hook. One says, "They stay right there, right there," while pointing to his chest. And then, the tears start all over again. Watch, listen and be good to each other, today and all the days.