During one of the busiest weeks for school tours to visit Arlington National Cemetery, a group of talented school-aged children brought music to the Memorial Amphitheatre.
Kids in Koncert, a youth choir from Olympia, Wash., sang for hundreds of passers-by and tourists who were paying respects at the cemetery April 4.
Group founder and musical director Troy Fisher visited the District of Columbia area ten years ago with the singing group, but the session at ANC is a first for the Washington State group.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for us,” Fisher said about the ANC stop, which is part of the choir’s D.C. and New York City tour. “It is one thing to learn patriotic music and it’s another thing to perform it in a setting where history has happened. Suddenly being here means a whole new thing. Singing The ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ here is a whole new thing.”
The choir’s set was carefully selected to include music that encompassed all Americana. After the 50 singers started their concert with “The Star Spangled Banner”, selections then included “America the Beautiful,” “My Country Tis of Thee” and popular tunes “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” the Beatles’ “Yesterday” and the Crosby, Stills including Nash and young favorite “Teach Your Children Well”.
“We do a little bit more hip-hop and moving around at other stops,” said 13-year old member Domi Minor, who also sang with the group at various D.C. landmarks and on the Senate lawn during the half-week stay in the capital.
One Kids in Koncert young lady found performing in ANC a total personal, bonding experience. Her maternal grandparents are buried in Arlington.
“This is really special. My grandfather served in the Korean conflict, and he and my grandmom are buried here,” said 13-year old Jaclyn DeShaye whose father serves in the Air Force at Joint Base Lewis - McChord. “I was trying to sing to them today. It is nice to sing to all these fallen Soldiers because they mean so much to us.”
The New York City leg of the Kids in Koncert tour will find the choir singing at the Statue of Liberty and in Central Park.
For additional pictures of the Arlington National Cemetery choral concert, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/jbm-hh.