Caroling in the National Gallery of Art Rotunda — and a Surprise Marriage Proposal (photos)

Caroling in the rotunda, surrounded by seasonal blossoms, has become a favorite family activity at the National Gallery of Art during the holidays. On Dec. 23, it was also the scene of a memorable moment for a young couple.

Each year, on each of the two weekends leading up to Christmas, visitors are invited to sing along with many outstanding guest choirs. This year featured the Xaverian High School Chorus (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Central Bucks High School West Choir (Bucks County, Penn.), the Choir of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church (Washington, D.C.) and Marriott’s Ridge High School Madrigal Singers (Marriott’s Ridge, Md.). During the last concert of this season, visitors were treated to a pleasant surprise when Iraq War veteran U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Capt. Matthew James Schmitz got down on his knees, while Marriott’s Ridge was performing Ben Folds’s “The Luckiest,” to propose marriage to Megan Elizabeth Taylor of Washington, D.C. It was a complete surprise to Taylor who accepted in front of an appreciative audience of several hundred visitors.

View our photos of each of the choir performances at the National Gallery of Art by clicking on the photo icons below.

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