FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (11/97)
Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service
318-869-5120 or 869-5709
SHREVEPORT, LA -- Centenary College's Choir is internationally known and has performed the world over, but never at a private White House reception. That will change on Dec. 5 when the Choir will sing at a reception hosted by President and Mrs. Bill Clinton.
Choir director Dr. Will Andress said the invitation came about via Choir member Jerry Killian of DeQueen, Ark., whose family members are active with the Democratic Party and who are friends of President and Mrs. Clinton.
The choir will depart Shreveport on Dec. 4 after singing at a noon meeting of the Centenary Board of Trustees. On Friday, they will tour Washington and visit with members of the Louisiana congressional delegation before performing at 8 p.m. during the White House Christmas reception for 600 diplomats and other special guests. They will sing from the Grand Staircase of the White House and President and Mrs. Clinton will receive guests from the Blue Room, which is adjacent to the Grand Staircase.
The choir will perform a variety of Christmas music, including a medley of Irving Berlin Christmas songs, the Austrian carol Still, Still, Still, a medley of English Christmas carols, What Sweeter Music (also known as The Volvo Song) by John Rutter, African Noel and other songs.
The performance will mean a return visit to the White House for one Centenary Choir member, James Van Doren of Jonesboro, Ark., who completed an internship at the White House this past summer.
Centenary President Kenneth L. Schwab and Trustee Fletcher Thorne-Thomsen will attend along with the choir. Andress noted that the group was limited to 25 performers, who were chosen based on seniority. The other 24 choir members will remain in Shreveport and will perform during Centenary's annual Candlelight Christmas Service and campus lighting event at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 in Brown Chapel.
The Centenary Choir can be seen on local television twice during December. KTBS-TV Channel 3 and Southwestern Electric Power Co. will present the Choir's 30-minute Christmas program at noon on Sunday, Dec. 21 and at 10:35 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 24.
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