CHS Peace Pipers to sing on Friday at White House
Private performance slated in D.C.
It’s not every day you get to play dress up and sing Christmas songs at the White House.
Chopticon High School’s 20 member Peace Pipers group is scheduled on Friday to perform Christmas and Renaissance-style music for visiting dignitaries and those on White House tours.
Teacher Sarah Lorek, who is the current public school’s teacher of the year, said Tuesday that she sent in recordings and an application months ago for the chance to perform. She said she wasn’t sure who the specific sophomore, junior and senior students were that would be able to perform that day. She was told that the general public would not be able to attend the performance.
Lorek said she’s been teaching at the school for more than a dozen years, and this was the first opportunity in that time the group has been able to perform at the White House. She said “there have been many blessings
in the last year” for the group, including the community support for their annual madrigal performances, which were held last weekend. The group also recently recorded a YouTube video with the Air Force Singing Sergeants.
She said the group would be wearing the themed costumes the students designed themselves; the teacher allowed the students the chance to express their creativity through the costumes.
“We’ll look a little out of place,” Chopticon senior Mackenzie Windsor joked.
Junior Matthew Norris said the performance is “a once-ina-lifetime opportunity” to represent Chopticon and St. Mary’s County.
Among tunes like “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and other classics, the group will perform the high school’s alumni piece, “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.”
Windsor said she was “really excited” about the chance to perform in Washington and grateful for those who supported the group. The student said she was planning to study music education in college, and those who want to work in music should believe in themselves and “don’t give up.”
Norris said those who are interested but nervous about per- forming with a musical group should join a community choir to “work on your voice.” He said he appreciated the community support the Peace Pipers have received this year.
The Peace Pipers, a student-led group, originally formed in 1977, Lorek said. The students form an advanced choir, taking a more thorough look at how to perform a variety of musical styles, and they work together to improve other skills like leadership and time management. Lorek said “music is the conduit to where we are going.”
The students “really embrace and embody the music,” the teacher said, adding that she “relies on them to make the music.” About half of the students are in the high school’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts.
“They’re all good human beings,” she said, adding that the students live by the motto “kindness in community.”
Members of Chopticon High School’s Peace Pipers choir group rehearse Christmas and other music on Tuesday in preparation for a performance at the White House this Friday.