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AHS choir invited to perform in France for WWII anniversary

AHS choir invited to perform in France for WWII anniversary
Posted on 01/10/2019
The Arlington High School Choir, led by Director Jeffrey Chipman, recently received a historical invitation to perform in Normandy, France for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The performance, which will take place in June 2020, will also help commemorate the 76th anniversary of D-Day, which marked the Allied invasion of German occupied France and the beginning of the liberation of Europe from Nazi tyranny.

“It’s really exciting and a great honor for the students,” Chipman said. “I was fortunate to have a similar experience with my college alumni choir. We toured Normandy and the American cemeteries. I never realized what an interesting, moving and educational experience it would be for me, so I’m very excited they’ll experience it too.”

Arlington High Choir students will be showcased in several performances during the week-long event, including the D-Day Anniversary Parade in the French village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first village to be liberated by American troops.

The choir will also perform at ceremonies at the St. James American Cemetery, the resting place for more than 4,400 American soldiers, and the Normandy American Cemetery. Finally, the choir will be featured during a performance at the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris.

“It’s going to immerse them into historical moments they’ve learned about their whole lives,” Chipman said. “It gives them a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents, while putting history in perspective for them.”

Chipman said the largest hurdle will be fundraising. He expects the price tag to be around $3,200 per students, so the group will rely on community fundraisers to help supplement the trip.

“We’ll push hard over the next year to make sure as many students can go and dedicate themselves to this opportunity,” Chipman said. “I really think it will be a life-changing experience for them.”

Chipman said they’ll begin fundraising later this semester.