Longview Lobos Choir invited to perform in D-Day Parade in Normandy

Sometimes choirs get to perform in places the members never dream of. That is happening to the Longview Lobos Choir next year.
Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 6:02 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Sometimes choirs get to perform in places the members never dream of. That is happening to the Longview Lobos Choir next year. And to get to that venue, they’ll have to take a very long flight over the Atlantic Ocean.

Pretty much all the LHS choir members, and their families, felt just like seniors Andrew Pierce and Kieran Moon when they were told they could go to France next June.

“It was like a shock to me. I didn’t think we were actually going to do it because of the amount but with sponsors and everybody it seems like we’re going to get there. So, I guess the first initial feeling was shock that we were going to get to do it,” Pierce said.

“I’m pretty excited, you know. My grandfather, he was a veteran. He was in the Vietnam war, so it’s a big thing for him too,” Moon said.

But what does this have to do with veterans you may be asking? Well, Lobos Choir Teacher Melody McMullen said she found out about the opportunity about a month after they performed at Carnegie Hall last school year.

“I received an invitation in the mail. And from what I understand from the invitation, the people that are putting this D-Day celebration together are trying to get at least one performing arts organization from each state to come and participate in this whether it’s choir, orchestra, or band,” McMullen said.

Melody said that the Lobo Choir has been asked to perform for at the D-Day Memorial Parade and Ceremony in Normandy, France on the 80th anniversary next June. She decided it was the thing to do since it’s:

“With World War II Veterans, and because they are in their upper 90s and 100s and we probably won’t have them much longer,” McMullen said.

So, a plan was put together and approved at a recent School Board meeting. But each student has to come up with about $4,200 to go.

“We just started a fund-raiser on Monday, and you can go to our website to find it if you’re interested in doing that. And we also are doing things like trying to find corporate sponsors, individual sponsors to help us get there,” McMullen said.

So, for students who were practicing what is arguably the most patriotic song in America for a performance overseas:

“It will be their first time and maybe only time to leave the United States, but for others it will be the beginning of a love of travel and a love of exploring the world,” McMullen said.

And contributing to the freedom to do just that are those the choir will honor in June of 2024.

If you’d like to make a donation to the Lobos Choir trip to France fund, click here.

KLTV’s Jamey Boyum talks with Longview Lobos Choir Director Melody McMullen about the choir’s trip to France to perform in a D-Day Parade and Celebration.