By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Grammy-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, which has performed with Lou Reed, Elton John, The New York Philharmonic, Grizzly Bear, Ray Davies and other music luminaries, will soon perform with Barbra Streisand – thanks, in part, to Borough President Marty Markowitz.
The chorus will be performing with Streisand on Oct. 8 at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center and, in her first-ever public performances in Brooklyn, on Oct. 11 and 13 at the new Barclays Center.
A spokesperson for the chorus said that it remains to be seen what songs the chorus will perform with Streisand. “That’s part of the surprise,” he said. He also said that it was initially Markowitz who arrange for them to perform with Streisand, who grew up in the Vanderveer housing complex in Flatbush and went to Erasmus Hall High School.
“I was so thrilled to recommend Brooklyn’s very own Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus to Barbra Streisand’s management and make this shidduch [a Yiddish term meaning `match’] between two gifts from Brooklyn to the world of music,” said Markowitz.
“The Brooklyn Youth Chorus symbolizes the diversity of our great borough and they have proudly represented Brooklyn during their numerous tours around the globe. When the Brooklyn Youth Chorus teams up with Ms. Streisand for her triumphant Brooklyn return at Barclays Center, it will truly be a spectacular event with memories that will last a lifetime.”
Although the Barclays appearance will be Streisand’s first professional appearance in the borough, she has visited Brooklyn from time to time. Her most-publicized visit was probably an appearance at BAM in 1992 to boost the candidacy of Bill Clinton for president.
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus was founded by Dianne Berkun in 1992. Its headquarters is located in Cobble Hill, with an annex in Bedford-Stuyvesant. It also sponsors many programs in public schools.
In addition to its live performances and recordings, the chorus can be heard on the soundtracks to several films, such as “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” Today, it includes more than 375 students and has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. The chorus also won the Best Classical Album Grammy in 2005 for “On the Transmigration of Souls” by John Adams.