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TSA Workers Sing Cheer Into Holiday Travel

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
December 24, 2011

Turns out those dour security officers who make you take your shoes off at the airport have plenty of Christmas spirit. Travel isn’t usually a highlight of the holidays, but at LAX the TSA workers enjoy the season so much they sing.

True to its duties, the LAX TSA Chorus isn’t joking. Its singers are actually TSA employees who don Santa hats during the holiday season and perform in the middle of the airport.

Ray Matute, the director of the chorus, tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish that the quizzical looks the singers get from hassled travelers soon turn to smiles.

“It really puts the good face — and the human face — of TSA on the map,” he says. Matute’s passion for music led him to found the chorus a few years back. “It gives all of us creative people here within the organization an outlet.”

During its 45-minute show, the chorus sings the usual Christmas carols — “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Silver Bells” — but also slips in some of the singers’ own favorites, like “What a Wonderful World” and “You Are So Beautiful.”

Its signature song? “America the Beautiful,” of course.

Some might worry about who’s patting down passengers, but Matute reassures. “There’s 2,000 officers here at LAX, so having 16 of us out for one hour to do some performances does not impact the operation.” [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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