Billy Joel Quietly (and Awesomely) Attends Concert of Kids Singing His Own Music
byKaitlin StanfordApr 14, 2014
Last Wednesday night in Glen Cove, N.Y., hundreds of kids from Deasy Elementary School readied themselves for a truly big night. Their chorus concert, titled, "River of Dreams: A Billy Joel Tribute," was about to start, and they were happily preparing to croon their little hearts out to Joel's greatest hits from the last 30 years.
That's when something amazing happened.
Five minutes to showtime, the man himself rode up on his motorcycle, walked right into the Art Center, and had himself a seat in one of the last rows.
"We invited Billy Joel on a lark, but we didn't expect him to come," the school's principal, Nomi Rosen, said to Newsday.
But as it happens, Joel did show. And it made everyone's night.
"I asked him if he wanted to sit in front, but he said he would rather stay in the back so he wouldn't make the kids nervous," Rosen said of Joel, who lives just 10 minutes down the road.
But his mere presence soon swept the auditorium, filling everyone with excitement and even "freaking out" the school's musical director.
"I found out two minutes before the concert started that he was here and it totally freaked me out," musical director Rosita Mallo later said. "My nerves went sky-high."
Unfortunately, Joel had to duck out early, since he was already getting hit up with requests for photos and autographs just a few songs into the show.
But no matter. Even his brief appearance was enough to fill the kids at Deasy Elementary with happiness. "These kids will have a story to tell how they got to sing for Billy Joel," concert-goer Kim Velentzas said. "For a Long Islander, that's a big deal."