Contact:  Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service

Centenary Choir to Sing at White House for Fourth Year on Friday, Dec. 8

SHREVEPORT, LA -- History is repeating itself times four for the Centenary College Choir.  The renowned Choir has been invited once again to sing at The White House.  

The Choir will appear Friday, Dec. 8 at two events at the nation's most-famous residence: at an afternoon open house for children with disabilities and an evening black-tie dinner for special guests of the first family.

"It is very unusual for a non-professional musical organization to provide music in The White House, let alone four years consecutively, and now two events in one day," said Choir director Will Andress.  "No one we have talked with knows of anyone who has received this many White House invitations to perform."

Andress said White House staffers noted that the Choir was highly rated for quality and also received high compliments for being polite and well mannered.

On Friday, the Choir will present a program of secular and sacred music, as they have done the past three years.  Included will be a winter medley of familiar holiday songs.

Last year, the Centenary Choir flew to Washington, D.C. for two Dec. 10 performances during The White House's holiday reception for presidential appointees. That invitation for two 45-minute concerts came along with a chance to choose from one of three dates. 

The initial invitation, in 1997, came about via Choir accompanist Jerry Don Killian of DeQueen, Ark., whose family members are active with the Democratic Party and who are friends of the first family. The Choir performed for a group of 600 diplomats.

In 1998, due to the Choir's popularity, First Lady Hillary Clinton asked the Office of the Social Secretary to issue the Centenary invitation again, this time for the reception for presidential appointees. 

Centenary's White House performers will be limited to 20 singers because there is no large waiting area for performers, Andress said. Those attending were selected from the Choir's membership of 60, "based on
seniority, rather than abilities, because they're all good," he said.  

In addition to the 20 singers, five more Choir members will attend, as will Centenary President and Mrs. Kenneth L. Schwab, Provost and Mrs. Earl Fleck, Mrs. Jean Killian and Mrs. Will Andress.

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