Recent Trip to White House Marks Fourth Consecutive Appearance
It’s a holiday gift that all choirs dream about: an invitation to perform at the White House during the busy visitor season. This year, the UNC Asheville Chamber Singers found themselves on the receiving end of this exclusive offer for the fourth consecutive time.
The university’s premier student voice ensemble sang at the White House on December 13, entertaining VIP tours at the Holiday Open House. Though they didn’t get to see President Obama, students did meet another member of the First Family. Bo, the “First Dog,” walked through the room as students performed. Several were even lucky enough to give him a quick pet before he was ushered off by his handlers.
After two one-hour sets, White House staff asked the group to wrap-up its performance because President Obama was preparing to do some taping nearby and quiet was needed to proceed.
“That means the President heard us sing, even if we didn’t get to see him,” said senior Kylee Frye, a Psychology and Literature major from Holden Beach, N.C.
On December 15, the group performed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for soldiers injured on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Chamber Singers performed several numbers for a large gathering of soldiers and military personnel. Then, a smaller group of 10 students were invited onto the hospital ward to meet with wounded soldiers one-on-one.
“It was really cool to spread some holiday cheer and meet the wounded soldiers,” said freshman Liz Acker, a Music major from Chapel Hill. “But most of all, it was nice just talk to them. All the soldiers were very friendly and happy—they didn’t seem to pity themselves. In fact, most of them had a good sense of humor and were very personable.”
The 2010 choir members include students Liz Acker, Ashley Banks, Will Beasley, Rachel Carson, Jonathan Crepeau, Keith Fletcher, Kylee Frye, Benjamin Hinman, Jared Hooker, Lee Huff, Megan Kazmierski, Molly Olsen, Millie Palmer, Augusta Petrick, Andrew Proctor, Justin Radford, Joseph Ray, Larry Rogers, Aaron Rothemich, Sarah Sanders, Molly Sanford, Alyssa Scott, Joseph Tracey III, David Waters and Allison Weinstock.