Newtown Children's Grammys Performance Canceled
Feb 10, 2013 (The Hartford Courant - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Newtown chorus that was expected to perform on the E! Network red carpet special before tonight's 55th Grammy Awards has had its performance canceled, music director Sabrina Post said Sunday.
Post would not elaborate on why the performance was canceled, but a spokeswoman for the E! Network, in an email to The Courant, cited the winter storm.
"Unfortunately the snowstorm prevented the Newtown Children's Choir from being able to perform during our pre-Grammy coverage," said Sarah Goldstein, a spokeswoman for the E! Network.
The children were going to sing in Newtown as part of the red carpet show, though the Grammys are held in Los Angeles. The video would have been "live to tape," meaning that a pre-recorded piece is aired exactly as taped, as if live, with no editing.
There are no plans yet for the children to perform in the future on the E! Network, Goldstein said.
The news comes just days after Newtown Superintendent Janet Robinson told CNN and other media Thursday that some parents had complained to her that the privately run chorus was being confused with the Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus.
Some 26 students at Sandy Hook Elementary School performed Feb. 3 with award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson at the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Separately, a chorus directed by Post, a private music director with a studio on South Main Street in Newtown, sang "Over the Rainbow" last month on "Good Morning America." That choir performed a recording of "Over the Rainbow" with Ingrid Michaelson and Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Talking Heads.
Copies of their "Over the Rainbow" are available for sale on Amazon and iTunes with proceeds going to the United Way of Western Connecticut and the Newtown Youth Academy. Post's group also performed at a recent New York Knicks game.
The Recording Academy, which oversees the Grammys, said the Newtown group's performance was never a part of the show, but rather the children were to sing as part of an E! Network red carpet special.
"This was not, and is not, and never was an official Grammy performance," The Recording Academy spokesman Jerry J. Sharell wrote to The Courant via e-mail. "The choir was booked to appear on the E! Network red carpet special via satellite and NOT in L.A. at the Grammys ever."
A controversy started Thursday when Robinson told CNN and other media that a handful of parents and community members called her office Wednesday to complain about Post's group for two reasons: that it was being confused with the Sandy Hook choir and because of Post's history with the school district.
Post is a former Newtown High School choral director who was charged with stealing from the school district, using bogus expense vouchers. She was placed on leave February 2005 and resigned in June 2005 after agreeing to pay back $11,000.
New York producer Tim Hayes, who produced the "Over the Rainbow" project, on Thursday defended Post and the choir's fundraising efforts.
On Saturday, Newtown's board of selectmen showed support for both choirs.
"We are a community that loves children -- all our children; and we are so proud that these young people raise their voices in song to represent us and those who lost their lives on December 14, 2012," Selectmen E. Patricia Llodra, Will Rodgers and James Gaston Sr. said in a joint statement released late Saturday, before learning the children's performance was canceled.
Llodra said Sunday she learned the performance had been canceled after receiving an email sent by Post to the parents involved.
"I am sad for them," Llodra said.
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