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Academy Awards: Prepare for cute overload

February 15, 2011 |  7:00 am

If you're an aspiring singer in the fifth grade in Staten Island, N.Y., a school field trip to California in February would be cool. But what about a field trip that includes singing at Disneyland and the Oscars? That's super cool.

That's what the kids in the choir at Public School 22 are preparing for. Oscar telecast producer Bruce Cohen said Elizabeth Banks introduced him to the P.S. 22 choir online, and when he got the job to work on the show, he immediately thought of inviting them. The students learned in mid-December that they would be going to the Academy Awards. Co-host Anne Hathaway, a fan of the chorus, delivered the news in person at the school.

"All of a sudden, the lights shined and there was Anne Hathaway and her hair was glowing!" remembered one student named Jonathan, 10. "Everybody was crying so hard, especially the girls." (School officials asked that the children's last names not be published.)

At the Feb. 27 Academy Awards, the students will sing "Over the Rainbow," which was written for "The Wizard of Oz" and won an Oscar in 1939. Read more about the kids here, and check out some super-cute photos here.

-- Melissa Maerz and Nicole Sperling

Photo: Children from the fifth grade at P.S. 22, led by Chorus Director Gregg Breinberg, rehearse Friday in their school auditorium in Staten Island, N.Y. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman/For The Times