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Billy Joel surprises elementary school tribute concert

Billy Joel Surprises Elementary School Tribute Concert

Long Island legend Billy Joel proves he's still a class act after making a surprise appearance at a local elementary school.

WNYW reports, "The Piano Man showed up to one elementary school spring concert. There he is in the lower left hand corner. The concert they were giving was called the River of Dreams: a Billy Joel Tribute."


The Glen Cove School District "spotted" Joel in the crowd in this photo provided to Newsday. He sat with awestruck parents and listened to students from Deasy Elementary School perform 15 of his hit songs.

Weeks before, the principal and parents made an effort to reach out to Joel via Facebook and wrote letters asking him to attend. No one guessed he would show up -- and right before showtime too. NBC has the details.

"There he is. Apparently the school is ten minutes from his home. He arrived on his motorcycle about five minutes before 9:30. The principal said the singer asked to sit in the back so he wouldn't make the kids nervous. That's so cute."

The kids might not have been nervous, but concert director and music teacher Rosita Mallo admitted to Newsday,

"I found out two minutes before the concert started that he was here and it totally freaked me out. My nerves went sky-high ... this was a very welcomed surprise. It gave the kids extra energy to perform."

Sources say after the kindergarten and first graders performed, fans rushed Joel for photos and autographs, so he decided to exit early.

There's no doubt the kids had the experience of a lifetime, and CBS This Morning says that the experience is also a lesson.

"He applauded them at the end and they were all thrilled to see him. A great example of how 'If you don't ask, you don't get.'"

That's true. In March of last year, a video of Long Island student Michael Pollack playing piano for Billy Joel went viral. WCBS says Pollack, who was in the crowd, simply asked Joel if he could play with him and the singer didn't hesitate to say "OK."

We're sure this won't be the last of Billy Joel's surprises.

Join the discussion

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buckfedrocktodd April 11 2014 at 5:52 AM

Thanks for this article I've been saying for years that no one wants to stand up and be a role model and give back even in the littlest ways. Here you've brightened my day and outlook. That someone famous wants to give to take some time out of their day and bring inspiration to someone else. Billy Joel is a class act for anyone to copy.

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ppearbrown April 11 2014 at 9:58 AM

How cool!! What an honor for Billy Joel to have the elementary school children do a tribute concert for him, and how cool that Billy Joel actually attended. Billy Joel is absolutely one of the great songwriters and performers, definitely one of my favorite as I know most of the lyrics to his songs. Reading that he also has a soft spot in his heart to recognize and honor children made my day!!

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ambonding April 11 2014 at 9:36 AM

Way to go Billy! He has never forgotten his roots like so many other famous people. Mr Joel is not only one of the best singers/songwriters of our time, but one heck of a guy s well. Too bad the adults had to get crazy and spoil the children's day. Would have been so much better if people settled down and tried to ignore him during the performance and I'm sure he would have and taken pictures after. After all it was about the kids that day.

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hello Louise April 11 2014 at 12:10 PM

How nice to show appreciation for your songs and a tribute to you as a wonderful entertainer and singer, piano guy!

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matilda524 April 11 2014 at 1:35 PM

Lovely story. Of course there will be the perpetually angry trolls who will somehow find somthing to to twist into a negative comment.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
tivela43 April 11 2014 at 9:21 AM

Billy Joel is the best! What a wonderful thing to do. He even helped this teen who plays Billy Joel music get a start on a career.

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unchaind00 April 11 2014 at 1:45 PM

Vey cool move... nice to hear about somebody being a class act

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valeriacom April 11 2014 at 1:56 PM

I've always liked his music, and he's a cool classy guy too! How refreshing!

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ltpar April 11 2014 at 2:01 PM

Billy Joel is not only a great musician but a super star with "Class." Can't say that for too many of them.

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billrastelli April 11 2014 at 1:30 PM

Howard Stern mentioned this week Billy Joel was donating his proceeds from his NY Madison Square Garden this month to a animal farm that he is creating. On behalf of all the needy animals out their, thank you Mr. Joel.

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1 reply
mrgrtannp billrastelli April 11 2014 at 1:52 PM

I'll be seeing him at MSG on April 18th. I can hardly wait. He's a class act indeed.

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