Not many kids who pick up a violin at 5 years old predict they might be playing at the White House someday.
But, for two Council Rock South music groups, that's exactly what will happen a couple days before Christmas this year.
The Council Rock South Orchestra and Vocal Ensemble have been chosen to perform at the White House on Dec. 22 as part of its holiday open house series.
A few weeks ago, Orchestra Director Chris Simon emailed the White House staff, encouraging them to listen to samples of the groups' work and asking for a chance to perform. He also noted and how they worked with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Simon said the groups are “exemplifying what is best in American education."
Then, a week ago, Simon received a call from a White House representative with an invitation for the groups to perform at a holiday open house.
From there, Simon had to whittle the orchestra's talented 85 members to 26, which he did through a series of auditions. All 27 members of the vocal group will attend the event.
The students will play for an assortment of lawmakers, dignitaries, staff, friends, media and others as they mingle about.
The orchestra has chosen some holiday music, as well as Saint Saen’s "Danse Macabre" and music from "Up!" to play at the event. The vocal ensemble also has some holiday favorites selected, but will mix it up with some patriotic tunes and even some popular songs from groups like Straight No Chaser and The Beatles.
“Performing at the White House will be one of the greatest honors that me or my students will ever have,” said Council Rock Music Teacher and Vocal Director Corey Axler. “I hope the music we will be making will persuade the Obama family to come downstairs and be brought into the holiday spirit."
The members of each group who will be attending the event are:
Orchestra: Monica Bailey, Jim Baldridge, Francis Bryson, Matthew Chen, Sophia Cheng, Claire Chu, Kelly Cohen, Noah Diggs, Mike Flynn, Jenn Gold, Lauren Holleran, Ian Inchausti, Elie Johnson, Kevin Kauermann, Conor McGrath, Josh Nissim, Jennifer Park, Nick Ramirez, Lauren Strenger, Jaime Swank, Jon Tomaro, Nick Trivelis, Briella van der Speck, Joy Wang, Adria Ye, and Quintin Zoto.
Vocal Ensemble: Molly Barson, Noah Barson, Coco Brewer, Scotlyn Brewer, Benjamin Butz-Weidner, Stephen Coles, Danielle Davidson, Madison Decker, Kamalini Ghosh, Ian Inchausti, Evan Kotzen, Joseph Maggio, Tresier Mihalik, Marisa Moyer, Nicole Radlow, Eric Roth, Jaclyn Sattler, Natalie Schaffer, Kristin Schrier, Brandon Sherman, Matt Smith, Kathryn Trave, Briella Van der Spek, Lauren Waksman, Allison Wehner, Evan Weisblatt, and Jonathan Zeidler.