A group of 15 Cab Calloway School of the Arts students have been selected to sing holiday music at the White House the afternoon of Dec. 22.
The Cab Calloway Gospel Choir took shape last year under the direction of Pyerce Oates, a junior piano major at the school.
Teacher sponsor Tracey Kackley says the independent group of students practice after school and have been performing at churches and school assemblies. Senee Oates, Pyerce’s mother, made the White House performance possible. She said the group was one of 1,000 who applied to supply holiday music for White House tours during the holiday season and one of only 12 groups selected. â€¨Her son, who has performed for Governor Jack Markell, at Beau Biden’s funeral and last week at the Vice President’s Christmas party, is taking it all in stride. “He says he’s excited,” says Senee. “But he just keeps on going.”
â€¨Pyerce formed the group during Black History Month last year because it was a project he always wanted to undertake. “He had a vision to do something like this,” says Senee. â€¨The group is multi-cultural and includes some of the students from the Cab Calloway Jazz Chords. “It’s an elite group of kids,” says Senee. “They practiced at my house last Saturday, and when I heard them sing, I actually had to sit down.”â€¨
After Senee opened a GoFundMe account to pay for transportation, Mara Raskin, another student’s mother, received a $1,500 transportation donation from Joe Sheridan of Sheridan Nissan Ford for the trip to Washington, D.C. â€¨
Students attending include Mychala Bodiford, Michael Elliott, Morgan Burnett, Madison Washington, Naima Dangerous, Gabrielle Barnes, Camille Blue, Celine Coverdale, Georgia Nester, Katherine August, Alethia Hicks, Kaylynn Pride, Aleena Wright, and Rachel Harrison.