A choir of Newtown students will perform at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, singing their rendition of “Over the Rainbow.”
The group of students, ranging from kindergarten through 8th grade, will be singing live via satellite and introduced by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
The students have recorded their version of “Over The Rainbow” with the help of singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, as well as Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads, who live in Connecticut. Proceeds from the song, including its sale on iTunes, will raise money for the Newtown Youth Academy.
“We’re not doing it so we can sing on Grammys, though that’s nice,” said Sabrina Post, the former head of chorus for Newtown schools who has been directing the group. “We’re doing it because we know we’re doing something good for the town.”
The Newtown Youth Academy puts on programs to help the Sandy Hook community, Post said.
A portion of Carly Rae Jepsen’s performance of “Call Me Maybe” will also feature the children singing via satellite.
These are not the same students who performed at Sunday’s Super Bowl with Jennifer Hudson, but it is not their first televised gig. The student group also performed “Over the Rainbow” live on ABC’s “Good Morning America” three weeks ago, which led directly to Sunday night’s Grammy performance.
“It just snowballed from there,” Post said. “People saw us on ‘Good Morning America,’ Ryan Seacrest’s office saw that, and called [music producer] Tim Hayes.” Seacrest is host of “American Idol.”
Though there have been many high profile performances and attention coming to the group, Post said their purpose has nothing to do with attracting star power or attention unless it helps the town. “The focus is the sale of the single, the kids took it like a prayer for the kids that passed away,” said Post. “What they want to do is make sure anything we do is for the community.”
Post’s group also sang alongside Paul Simon for a Sandy Hook benefit at the Ridgefield Playhouse, and opened Saturday night’s New York Knicks game with the national anthem.
They also are scheduled to perform at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in April.
“I think it’s wonderful that the kids are being asked to give for kids, and using their music and talent to help other kids.” Post said.