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At LAX, TSA Workers Sing Cheer Into Holiday Travel

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At LAX, TSA Workers Sing Cheer Into Holiday Travel

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At LAX, TSA Workers Sing Cheer Into Holiday Travel

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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 NPR.org.

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.

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