Written by Gary Simeone Thursday, 26 December 2013 00:00
It was a great way to start off the holiday season for the Glen Cove High School Select Chorale as the 49-member group took a four day trip to Washington, D.C. for singing and caroling at various landmarks.
The chorale, which left on Dec. 11 and returned home on Dec. 14, sang Christmas carols for President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, at the White House.
“We all had sweat on our palms when they first entered the room and began our performance," said chorale member and senior student Matt Grabowski, "but meeting the president of the United States, arguably the most recognized person in the world today, was an awesome experience.”
The trip was arranged by Congressman Steve Israel and Glen Cove Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi. The High School Select Chorale was the only group from the area to be chosen to sing at the White House and was selected from hundreds of other groups throughout the country.
“The kids performed at the Capitol and caroled at the National Christmas Tree, White House, Lincoln Memorial and Union Station,” said Chorale Director Edward Norris. “I think their favorite memory is going to be singing at the White House in front of President Obama and the First Lady.”
They are only the second group from Long Island to be chosen for this distinction.
“I am very proud of this group for their accomplishments,” said Norris. “They performed wonderfully at each venue and every day in Washington D.C. was a pleasure.”
Grabowski said that meeting the President and First Lady “was an awesome experience.”
“We performed ‘Carol of the Bells’ for President Obama and the First Lady on Friday and took a picture with them afterwards,” he added.
Chorale member Chris Christopoulou echoed this sentiment, saying, “The whole trip was a crazy four days and an unreal experience. We were all pinching ourselves to make sure it wasn’t a dream.”
Christopoulou, who is a baritone in the chorale, added that, “the trip helped members of the choir to be closer to one another and was a great bonding experience.”
The Select Chorale is a highly recognized group, winning several awards over the years and performing at many prestigious venues. They’ve performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Queens College, the United Nations Building, Citi Field and Shea Stadium. Last year they were one of only 10 choirs in the region invited to participate in the Westminster Choir College Invitational Choral Festival.