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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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valeriacom April 11 2014 at 1:56 PM

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

Flag Reply +10 rate up
CHARLIE GENE April 11 2014 at 11:12 AM

he is the GREATESS yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Steve Ross April 11 2014 at 2:22 PM

Just a great regular guy, knows where he's come from and where he's going, thanks piano man.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
Ron April 11 2014 at 2:26 PM

Great guy, great talent. Also ... he has never gotten up on a soapbox and lectured his paying audiences about how they should vote or who they should support or what they should think. And he never will - he has said many times that he finds it insulting to be at a show and have an entertainer spout their political views. He recognizes that he is "just a damn piano player". You just gotta love him for that.

Flag Reply +16 rate up
2 replies
Tom Ron April 11 2014 at 3:01 PM


Flag Reply +4 rate up
ceecee Ron April 11 2014 at 3:50 PM

I agree...that is why I will NEVER go see Barbara Stiestnad, The Dixie Chicks, And especially I will NEVER go see Madona.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
BOB ceecee April 11 2014 at 4:26 PM

Did you mean "The Chixie Dicks?" LOL

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capttcwhittaker April 11 2014 at 10:10 AM

I think you are wrong about that - completely wrong. He didn't want to attract attention for himself because this was about the kids, so he didn't really tell anyone he was coming. And afterwards he wanted the children to get all the attention. I am sure he will or has met with them later to tell them how well they did. Billy Joel = Class Act. Thanks piano man!!

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1 reply
matilda524 capttcwhittaker April 11 2014 at 1:50 PM

They just have to find something negative about everything. Imagine spending your life being consumed by anger and hate?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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!!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
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.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
Sir. JJStryyker April 11 2014 at 10:30 AM

You reporters talk too much. Why couldn't you let us see some of the school concert??

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.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
rkfwallace April 11 2014 at 2:37 PM

I just wish people would not rampage him so he could have stayed and meet the kids, but crazy fans always have to mess things up.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
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