Copyright ©2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


We know that holiday travel can be trying, especially security lines. But the Transportation Security Administration officers at the airport in Los Angeles try and ease the pain with music. The LAX TSA Choir is the brainchild of director Raul Matute.

RAUL MATUTE: I told our directors at the time, hey, the Navy has a band; the U.S. Army has a band; the Marine Corps got a great band; and I know the Air Force has a great jazz band. Doesn't it make sense for the TSA to have a chorus or some type of an ensemble to motivate the troops?

LAX TSA CHOIR: (Singing) You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen...

MATUTE: And they kind of looked at me and said maybe you have a point there.

CHOIR: (Singing) The most famous reindeer of all. Rudolph the red nose reindeer...

MATUTE: I hold auditions and try to maintain four altos, sopranos, tenor and bass and I play keyboards and arrange and write all the music.

CHOIR: (Singing) Silver bells, silver bells, it's Christmastime in the city...

MATUTE: At a lot of our performances, especially during the holiday season, we kind of get a quizzical look of aren't you the guys who make us take off our shoes?

CHOIR: (Singing) Oh, walking in a winter wonderland, wonderland...

MATUTE: Yes, we're asking you to remove your shoes, but we are humans, we all have our own careers and lives. And this shows who we are really.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Good afternoon, everyone. We are the TSA Chorus. We're here today to sing a few songs for y'all and put a smile on your face, everyone. Happy Holidays from TSA.

CORNISH: Members of the LAX TSA Chorus and their director, Raul Matute. You can see a video of one of their performances at the Los Angeles International Airport - complete with Santa hats - on

CHOIR: (Singing) I see them blooming for me and you. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world...

CORNISH: You're listening to NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.