Tidewater Pipes and Drums pays tribute to bandmate, victims of Virginia Beach mass shooting

Virginia Beach Strong: Remembering Chris Rapp
Posted at 12:45 PM, May 29, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - It’s an emotional time for many in our community as we reflect one year after the mass shooting that stunned the country.

Chris Rapp worked for the city and was tragically killed the day of the shooting.

He was also a member of the Tidewater Pipes and Drums band.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the group played at various events to honor Rapp and the other victims.

Due to COVID-19, they have been forced to practice over Zoom. They say it has been challenging but they are making the best of the situation by staying in touch with each other.

News 3 spoke to Chaz Stuart, the vice president of the Tidewater Pipes and Drums, about what it has been like for the group.

“It’s not easy to lose someone and just move on. There will always be a place in our circle where we miss having him,” said Stuart.

He said Rapp was generous and sincere, quiet but outgoing at the same time.

To pay tribute to Rapp and the others, the band decided to have its members record themselves playing "Amazing Grace" from home or around the community. The group collected all the videos and then edited them together to create a video montage.

“It’s just as much for our community as it is for ourselves,” said Stuart.

Last year, News 3 was at the memorial site as the band played an emotional tribute to those who were lost in the shooting.

“It was quite raw - lots of flowers, crosses, people gathered and we played 'Amazing Grace' 12 times for each of the victims,” said Stuart.

A year later, they have found a new way to pay respect.

“I hope this video can be our band's contribution to memorializing all the victims. It will focus on our friend Chris, but it is also about memorializing everyone, doing it the way we know best, which is playing music,” said Stuart.

Click here for full coverage of the Virginia Beach mass shooting