Students to perform at christening

Published 9:57 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019

More than 20 students from the John F. Kennedy Middle School chorus will make history this weekend when they perform for a crowd of more than 20,000 dignitaries, shipbuilders and guests at the christening of the aircraft carrier that carries the same namesake as their school.

The christening will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, and the chorus students will perform three songs during the event directed by Jamilla Ford. The songs will include the event’s finale, “America the Beautiful.”

CVN 79 marks the second aircraft carrier to be named for John F. Kennedy. The first, a conventionally-powered carrier, served from 1968 to 2007, and was also built by Newport News Shipbuilding.

Email newsletter signup

During the ceremony, ship sponsor Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the late president, will break a bottle of American sparkling wine on the carrier’s hull, officially naming the ship as part of a time-honored christening tradition.

In addition to offering this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to students, Newport News Shipbuilding has made a $500 contribution to the school’s chorus program.

“Suffolk Public Schools is grateful for the generous contributions Newport News Shipbuilding makes to our region, the economy, the safety of our troops, and now to our school,” a press release from the school division stated.

Only ticketed guests are permitted to attend the event, but a livestream will be available online at This link is also available now with more information on the event.