Trump inauguration: King’s Academy choir, dancers will perform

When part-time Palm Beach resident and President-Elect Donald Trump takes his oath of office in Washington D.C. next Friday, he will have a taste of Palm Beach County at the ceremony.

The King’s Academy is sending 80 students to perform at the Jan. 20 inauguration , including a choir of 69 singers and 11 dancers. The group was one of 12 total chosen to perform, many of which were collegiate or professional acts.

Students at the Christian school in suburban West Palm Beach have performed for Trump and his wife Melania several times over the past two decades, Artistic Director David Snyder said.

Related: Countdown to Inauguration Day: What you need to know today

But being chosen for this show is a testament to the hard work put in by the teenagers, who practice for more than three hours each day during and after school.

He said this is one of the most talented groups he has had in his nearly 20 years at the school.

“This event is life-changing for them and for their families,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing.”

They’ll be performing a medley of American classics with a nod to the troops and closing with “Peace on Earth.”

The students perform dozens of shows every year, but this one is going to be special.

Graham Popadic, a 16-year-old junior, can already visualize it. He’s picturing a huge crowd and a great performance.

“We’ve done a lot of shows over the years, but I think this will be at the top of the list,” he said. “It’s going to be crazy.”

It will be a quick turnaround for senior Summer McCarty, who wants to pursue musical theater as a career. After the performance, McCarty plans to fly to New York for an audition Point Park University, a liberal arts school based in Pittsburgh.

For McCarty, performing at an inauguration isn’t just another show.

“It’s just going to be really an honor more than anything,” she said.

The choir also has an international flavor with students from Brazil, Germany and China among the group traveling to the nation’s capital.

Luis Henrique do Nascimento Pollon became interested in music from his father, who played in a band in Brazil. He started with learning guitar and “singing in the shower” before eventually deciding to pursue college in Portugal.

After some thinking and speaking with an advisor, he decided to come to Florida instead for a year of high school before hopefully attending an American college.

The jump from the shower to the inauguration may seem like a big leap, but he feels ready thanks to work with his peers.

“Everybody is so talented,” he said. “That kind of makes me feel really good about it because I can learn a lot from them.”

One challenge for the many native Floridians might be the cold weather of the northeast. Junior Dorie Saillant said she’s never experienced weather colder than about 40 degrees.

Snyder said the group will have matching gloves, scarves and coats to keep the students warm.

Headmaster Doug Raines, a 15-year history teacher, will be attending his first inauguration and he expects to think back to the forefathers like George Washington. He’s excited for the King’s Academy students to get a taste of that history.

“I think our students will come away saying ‘that was a lot of fun,’ ” he said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

BREAKING: Three displaced by Loxahatchee house fire
BREAKING: Three displaced by Loxahatchee house fire

Local American Red Cross volunteers responded to a house fire that displaced three people on East Grand National Drive in Loxahatchee Sunday evening, according to a statement from the group. Two volunteers helped those affected, which included a child and a dog. This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
Mom named in missing teens lawsuit: Suit to make all ‘relive nightmare’
Mom named in missing teens lawsuit: Suit to make all ‘relive nightmare’

One day before the two-year anniversary of her son and another Tequesta teenager being lost at sea, Carly Black released a statement, saying a lawsuit brought by the other teen’s mom will force the families to “relive this horrible nightmare.” Black released the statement through her attorney, George Harris, regarding a lawsuit that...
RIP: Snooty, world’s oldest-known manatee, dies in Florida 
RIP: Snooty, world’s oldest-known manatee, dies in Florida 

Snooty, the world’s oldest-known living manatee, died Sunday at the South Florida Museum. The 69-year-old manatee died as the result of a tragic accident, according to the Bradenton museum’s website.  Snooty got into an underwater area only used to access plumbing for the exhibit’s life support system. An access panel somehow...
UPDATE: Man dies from shooting, police investigate homicide
UPDATE: Man dies from shooting, police investigate homicide

A spray-painted count of gunshots, one through nine, decorated the corner of Division Avenue and 19th Street after a homicide Sunday afternoon. The shots, one of which broke through a nearby Cadillac windshield, resulted in the death of Torrance Smith, 37, according to city police. Smith was shot at around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, police said, adding that...
JUST IN: Baptist pastor charged with prostitution 
JUST IN: Baptist pastor charged with prostitution 

A First Baptist Church pastor was arrested after deputies said he paid $80 to an undercover sheriff’s deputy for sexual activities.  Eddie Hilburn, of the Woodland First Baptist Church in Montgomery County, Texas, was arrested Wednesday and charged with prostitution, according to KTRK.  “I can tell you now that Eddie has...
More Stories