JCS Pop Singers honor veterans with traditional USO show

JOHNSBURG - Dressed in traditional World War II attire, student members of the Johnsburg Central School Pop Singers chose to honor veterans and service men and women at their fall concert Nov. 10.

Hosted by Johnsburg student Ben Richards, the evening took the form of a traditional United Service Organization show and featured vintage performances including Abbott and Costello's rendition of "In Flanders Fields," an Abbott and Costello rendition and much more.

"I have been thinking about a theme for this year's fall concert for a while and it seemed appropriate to do a USO show with the world the way it is right now," said Johnsburg choral director Mary Leach.

The USO is a nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization that supports members of the armed services and their families. It relies solely on the generosity of individuals, organizations and corporations to support its activities.

Students immediately came on board the USO idea and also became members of the USO to give back.

"Once they became aware of the fact that there are teens just like them with deployed parents, the show became personal," said Leach. "I don't want Johnsburg kids to graduate without knowing these are important issues."

After weeks of rehearsal, she Johnsburg Pop Singers and Jazz Band joined to present and evening of patriotism and succeeded in honoring local veterans as well as presenting a solid show.

"The performance went better than any of our rehearsals," said Jazz Band member Emily Liebelt. "It was the best performance we have ever had."

The students honored veterans by inviting them to the performance and then asking each to stand and be acknowledged as they sang songs from each branch of the armed services. After speaking with the veterans after the concert, students learned what their efforts really meant.

"It is satisfying to know that we made people happy," said Mikayla Glode. "Many of them said that our songs and consumes brought back so many memories."

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