The San Antonio Children’s choir will be traveling to Normandy Beach, France this week to be apart of the 70th D-Day landings Commemoration, alongside President Obama and the first lady.
The 55 boys and girls in the choir all range in age from 8 years-old to 18 years-old, and will provide music for several ceremonies, including the White House Ceremonies at Omaha Beach on June 6.
“Many of them have never been out of San Antonio or never been on a plane before or even traveled outside of Texas,” said Dr. Thomas Hardaway, the founder and the director of the Texas’s Children’s Choir. “They are really very excited about the idea about this whole experience and I think they will be even more so when they actually get there.”
The choirs first found out they were invited to the commemoration nearly two years ago, and have spend that time fundraising and practicing for the concert, Hardaway said.
“It's taken about a year and half to raise the quarter of a million dollars that was required for them to travel,” he said. “We told the kids from the beginning, every child from the choir must go, we all travel together, as a whole. And we were able to accomplish that.”
In addition to the choir and chaperones, local WWII veterans who have also asked to come along with the choir to be apart of the commemoration.
“It’s an honor to be traveling with veterans, and the kids know that,” Hardaway said. “In total were going to have about 170 people traveling from San Antonio to France, Tuesday night.”
This is the second time the choir will make the trip to France. They were also invited during the 60th anniversary. Because of that, Hardaway says they’ll be well prepared.
“Musically they've been preparing for the past year and half they'll be using some of the repertoire that they've been used for other events,” Hardaway said. “They keep their patriotic repertoire in their hip-pocket so to speak because they do a lot of patriotic events over the year.”