Carson choir to perform for president, 10,000 veterans |

Carson choir to perform for president, 10,000 veterans

Andrew Pridgen
Appeal Staff Writer

Sure, many of them are performing in front of the President (or any president) for the first time.

Sure, several come from community singing backgrounds where most concerts are in front of 10, not 10,000.

But are they nervous?

“Surely not,” said Judy Monson, choir director for the Carson Chamber Singers. “We’re thrilled, honored, excited – and we’re sounding just glorious.”

Monson and 35 singers from Carson City and the Washoe Valley will greet more than 10,000 delegates at the American Legion’s 89th National Convention in Reno on Tuesday.

The day’s events, which kick off at 8:30 a.m. at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, will feature the arrival of President George W. Bush at 10 a.m.

The local singers will perform just steps away from the 43rd President.

“We’ve got a 10-foot clearance to give him,” Monson said. “For most of us, that’s the closest we’ll ever come to meeting the president. Who knows? Maybe he’ll like how we sound and ask us to the White House – talk about an invitation.”

A heady response from the choir director? Perhaps, but Monson, who founded the choir in 1985, said she’s as confident in this year’s choir as she’s ever been.

“There might be about five original members,” she said. “But we’re sounding really good. I think sometimes people are surprised when they hear us. We have a fabulous musical community here – we all get along, so when it comes time to work together for a special occasion, we’re up to it.”

Underscoring the importance of the day isn’t the appearance of Bush, Monson said.

“I think most of us have been around long enough to know what matters,” she said. “So this performance is really an opportunity to thank those who’ve served us. Every one of us is thrilled to sing for these veterans.

“I hope we represent the best of Carson City and Reno and Northern Nevada.”

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a veterans organization and now has 3 million members in 15,000 posts worldwide. American legion volunteers serve on both local and national levels.

Tuesday’s arrival of the president is one highlight of the convention events Aug. 28 to 30.

“I think all of us are inspired by the opportunity to do something to thank our veterans, but we may have a little competition,” Monson said. “I heard a little choir of veterans are singing all the way from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“Some have been singing for 50 years. They’re just dear.”

The choir is slated to perform “America the Beautiful”, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Armed Forces Salute.”

Those wanting more information about the American Legion National Convention can visit

• Staff writer Andrew Pridgen can be reached at