Evan at the White House
By Jean Withers, Past President
While most of our Chorale members were singing in church choirs or at family celebrations over the holidays, one of our Directors was invited to sing at one of the most prestigious locations in the country: The White House.
Yes, THAT White House. In Washington D.C. Our Assistant Conductor, Evan Norberg, sang with Choral Arts at the White House, closing out weeks of Christmas season festivities there. Choral Arts, a 35-member semi-professional choir of music educators and professional musicians from around the Puget Sound area, was invited to perform as a result of a White House search---and they didn't even have to apply! Their many professional recordings and superior talent obviously convinced the selectors that they would be perfect. And they were one of only 15 groups chosen in a nationwide search!
Further, their performance, on December 18, was a GALA for donors, patrons, and friends of the administration. The luminaries toured the grounds, listened to speeches, presented awards, and met each other. The White House was decorated to the nines. Each beautiful room had its own theme.
As you might guess, Evan's favorite moment was singing for the President and First Lady. One of his favorite Shaker hymns, Not One Sparrow Is Forgotten, was sung in the historic Diplomatic Room. (It was from this room that President Franklin Roosevelt delivered his famous Fireside Chats radio addresses to the American people.) During the hymn, Ms. Obama teared up, and both were highly complimentary of the group members' skill, dedication, and talent.
This amazing moment culminated the group's trip, and the First Couple graciously agreed to a photograph with Choral Arts. It captured the moment, sealing what was for them a once-in-a-lifetime memory.
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