In fact, 30 little roosters from PS 149 went to Brooklyn Borough Hall on Jan. 17 to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a clutch of dignitaries, dancers and journalists. The year 2017 belongs to the rooster, and the school’s chorus and Little Kid’s Rock Band gave the bird its due.
Wearing handmade masks (a grateful cock-a-doodle-do to the art teacher and her committee), the kids performed an authentic Chinese song and dance. Fifth-grader Kamaya declared the entire event “a blast!” and 3rd-grader Jonas reveled in all the full-throated clucking and crowing it took to ring in the rooster.
“I loved singing the rooster song and wearing the rooster mask,” Jonas said. “I would like to visit China one day.”
Before preparing for the event, many of the students at this school in the East New York section of Brooklyn knew little about China.
“They loved getting a feel for a country and its culture, music and language,” said band and chorus teacher Will Mosley.The students also enjoyed mingling with Chinese dignitaries and members of the Beijing Bureau of Culture. In a gift exchange, the students made decorative Chinese New Year cards for the visitors and, in return, they received Chinese musical instruments.
Reporters from international foreign-language television stations taped the student performance.
“Our children will be seen on TV in China by Chinese children,” said Mosley. “Now that is something.”
Their fame may have been fleeting, but their curiosity about China keeps growing.
“They came back engaged and enthusiastic, wanting to know all sorts of things, including where China was on the globe,” said 1st-grade teacher Sharmela Chandrashekhar. “They are getting that music is universal and that they are part of a bigger world of people and cultures.”