A Staten Island public school chorus class had an A-list visitor last night: Actress Anne Hathaway showed up at PS 22's 11th Annual Winter Concert to inform the young singers that they've been invited to perform at the 2011 Academy Awards. Hathaway, who will co-host the Oscars with actor James Franco, announced to the stunned chorus and audience of parents that the 5th and 6th graders will get the chance to sing live in front of Hollywood's elite and a massive television audience on February 27th. (Skip to the two-minute mark to watch Hathaway deliver the news.)
Performing for an audience of millions might seem like a rare opportunity, but for the PS 22 chorus, it's actually standard practice. They're like a real life "Glee" -- their performance videos on YouTube routinely go viral thanks to their renditions of Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" and Coldplay's "Viva la Vida." The PS 22 group has attracted attention from everyone from Perez Hilton to "Good Morning America" to Oscar-winning producer Bruce Cohen, who was also on hand last night to alert PS 22 of their Academy Award invite. The chorus has also performed at Madison Square Garden with Stevie Nicks and even at last year's White House Christmas tree lighting ceremony in front of President Barack Obama. So, despite their eardrum-shattering screams to be in the presence of a celebrity, singing to Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, and Leonardo DiCaprio is probably no big deal to these kids.
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The chorus' diverse repertoire ranges from Top 40 hits (Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind," Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' ") to tracks by indie heroes (Beach House, MGMT) to Björk to "Mary Poppins." Check out some of PS 22 and their director Gregg Breinberg's greatest hits:
Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'"
PS22 Chorus: Don't Stop Believing @ Yahoo! Video
Lady Gaga's "Just Dance"
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- Anne Hathaway
- James Franco