It’s back to school time — and time to take a look at what the kids at our favorite school, PS 22 in Staten Island, have been up to.

The inspiring children’s choir at this school have been featured on Oprah and won Best Documentary Film at the New Jersey International Film Festival for Once In A Lullaby: The PS 22 Choir.

The kids got to Gym Class Heroes when they did a touching, tongue twisting rendition of the band’s song “The Fighter.” Singer Travie McCoy and and drummer Matt McGinley told CBS Local how touching they found it.

“Honestly, it was one of the more emotional, jaw-dropping, tear-jerking moments I’ve had in a long time,” McCoy said. “Just to see these young kids singing our song with such conviction, with their fists in the air and really belting it out and dancing around — it was just like ‘Wow!’ It was so cool and the enthusiasm that they had singing it.”

To say thanks back, Gym Class asked PS 22 to perform with them at a concert in Staten Island.

“It was a cool moment for us but it was also a way for us to pay them back for doing something so awesome,” McCoy continued. “We have the video footage from that. I check it out every now and then to keep myself delighted and remind myself that our music transcends age and it relates to all walks of life.”

It wasn’t just the outstanding covers of their songs (the choir have also put their spin on Gym Class’s “Stereo Hearts”), but where they’re from that meant so much to the band.

“I think also as products of the New York public school system, it’s inspiring to see amazing talent from these young kids,” said McGinley. “Also the motivation that their director has to push them and challenge them and expose them to millions of people on YouTube, I think is pretty incredible.”

PS 22 will resume school with a new group of fifth graders who face the auditions to join choir. Their most recent upload, from the end of the last school year, pairs the choir with former Journey lead vocalist Steve Augeri for a performance of “Don’t Stop Believin’.” 

-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local


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