Photo courtesy of Niesha McGraw.
Last Tuesday, Dec. 4, the Richard Montgomery Madrigal Chorus had the unique opportunity to perform at the White House for their Christmas tree display. Each year, the White House organizes a Christmas open house, where the White House is decorated in dozens of elaborate trees and is opened to the public for tours. This year, the decorations follow the theme of “American Treasures,” and the displays include almost 70 trees, more than 14,000 ornaments, and a giant gingerbread house modeled after the National Mall.
The RM honor chorus, Madrigals, was one of several high school choruses who won a competition to sing during the holiday open house. “[Choral music director] Mrs. Eyler submitted a clip of Madrigals singing last year to the White House and we got selected to sing at their open house,” senior Chris Deriquito said.
The chorus’ 25 students took the D.C. Metro down to the White House for their performance. Once there, they sang many winter holiday pieces for visitors taking tours of the Christmas display. Members had the opportunity to perform as a whole group, in small groups, and as soloists.
Members of Madrigals were able to not only sing, but have other memorable experiences while there. “It took a while to get into the White House so we just had an impromptu busking session outside the White House that scored us $22,” Deriquito said. “They also let us take our own guided tour of the Christmas trees, which was really nice,” senior Elizabeth Sharp added.
Overall, the trip seemed to be very enjoyable for the singers. Both Deriquito and Sharp agreed that they definitely consider doing something similar in the future. “[It was] just too rare and too great of an opportunity to pass up,” Deriquito said.