Search form

THE WHITE HOUSE TO WELCOME 127 STUDENTS FOR GOSPEL MUSIC EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

— “History of Gospel Music” Workshop Features Recording Artists Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Darlene Love, Lyle Lovett and Michelle Williams Part of Educational Component Created by The GRAMMY Museum® for PBS Music Special to Air on June 26

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 120 middle school, high school and college-level students from across the country will participate in the educational workshop “The History of Gospel Music” at the White House on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. In conjunction with the PBS music special “The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House,” First Lady Michelle Obama will host the workshop that will take place in the State Dining Room.

The event will be produced by The GRAMMY Museum® and led by Robert Santelli, the museum’s executive director. A leading musicologist and music educator, Santelli will give participating students an overview of the origins of gospel music, inform them of important artists and explore the unique  aspects of gospel that have contributed to other American musical genres. Santelli will be joined by special musical guests Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Darlene Love, Lyle Lovett and Michelle Williams, who will also appear in the concert later that evening under the executive musical direction of T Bone Burnett. During the workshop, these artists will share their experiences and answer student questions about the entertainment world. The White House “The History of Gospel Music” workshop will be streamed live Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at 11 a.m. ET at whitehouse.gov/live.

Students will participate from 23 schools across the country:

California
Los Angeles
Alliance Media Arts and Entertainment Design High School
Crenshaw High School
Dorsey High School
Duke Ellington Continuation High School
Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School
Fremont High School
Harvard-Westlake School
Loyola High School
Manual Arts High School
Oscar de la Hoya Animo Charter High School
Romona Convent
Theodore Roosevelt High School
San Gabriel Mission High School
View Park High School

Oakland
Youth Uprising

Hawaii
Waipahu
Waipahu High School

Maryland
Sandy Spring
Sherwood High School

Mississippi
Cleveland
Delta State University

New Jersey
Asbury Park
Asbury Park High School

West Long Branch
Monmouth University

New York
Somers
Somers High School

Tennessee
Memphis
Youth Village Scholars

Virginia
Falls Church
Congressional Schools of Virginia

This is the ninth educational workshop at the White House that The GRAMMY Museum® has organized in cooperation with the “In Performance at the White House” concert series. Previous workshops include “The Sound of Young America: The History of Motown” (2011); “At the Crossroads: A History of the Blues in America” (2012); “Soulsville, USA: The History of Memphis Soul” (2013); and “The Stars and Stripes Forever: A History of Music and the Military” (2014). The White House “The History of Gospel Music” workshop will be accompanied by a broader educational program, also developed by The GRAMMY Museum®, consisting of visits to Greater Washington-area institutions and a special student press conference where student journalists will be able to question production staff for articles in their school or local newspaper. The workshop will also be supplemented with a curriculum and additional educational materials from The GRAMMY Museum’s education department, and the White House’s live stream will be available for students around the country to watch in their classrooms. A downloadable curriculum and educational materials for middle and high school teachers will be available at grammymuseum.org.

“The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House,” a PBS music special featuring a concert in the East Room of the White House, will be taped the same day the workshop takes place. The program will celebrate gospel music, which had a profound impact on America’s national musical culture, across blues, jazz, soul, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll genres.

President and Mrs. Obama will host the concert on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.  The all-star event will include performances by Bishop Rance Allen, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Rodney Crowell, Aretha Franklin, Rhiannon Giddens, Emmylou Harris, Darlene Love, Lyle Lovett, Tamela Mann, the Morgan State University Choir and Michelle Williams — with T Bone Burnett as executive music director, Bill Maxwell as music director and Robin Roberts as program host. (Program subject to change.)  The program will premiere Friday, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide.  (Check local listings.)  It will also be simulcast on cable channel TV One.

The television program “The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House” is a production of WETA Washington, D.C.; TV One; CoMedia; Mark Krantz Productions; Cappy Productions; and Black and White TV Inc. Executive producers are Dalton Delan, David S. Thompson, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, Mark Krantz and Cappy McGarr. The producer is Eileen Bernstein. Robert Santelli is executive director of the GRAMMY Museum®. Geovanni Brewer is consulting producer. The director is Leon Knoles. The executive music director is T Bone Burnett and the music director is Bill Maxwell. The “In Performance at the White House” series was created by WETA Washington, D.C. The series producer is Jackson Frost. Corporate funding for the program is provided by PepsiCo. Foundation support is provided by The Annenberg Foundation. Major funding is also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Air travel is generously provided by American Airlines.

For more information about “The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House,” visit pbs.org/whitehouse. An electronic press kit, including downloadable talent photos for promotional use, is available at pressroom.pbs.org. To follow “In Performance at the White House” on Twitter, use hashtag #PBSipwh.

WETA Washington, D.C., is one of the largest-producing stations of new content for public television and serves Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on four digital television channels. Other WETA productions and co-productions include “PBS NewsHour,” “The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize” and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” and more recently, “Ken Burns Presents Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies A Film by Barak Goodman.”  More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at weta.org.

Mark Krantz, Bob Kaminsky, Peter Kaminsky, and Cappy McGarr created “The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor,” which has honored a litany of comedy legends including Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, George Carlin, Tina Fey and Carol Burnett and is now in its eighteenth year. Krantz, the Kaminskys and McGarr, with Dalton Delan of WETA, also created “The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” in which similarly all-star casts have honored Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Carole King and the team of Bacharach/David. Among this team’s production credits for awards ceremonies and television shows (many of them head writing credits as well) are: The Grammy’s; “Farm Aid” (with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead); the “MTV Video Music Awards” (the VMA’s); “VH-1 Hard Rock Live”; the “Montreal Comedy Festival” (HBO and Showtime); People magazine’s “20th Birthday” (ABC); Spy magazine’s “How To Be Famous” starring Jerry Seinfeld; Spy magazine’s “Hit List” with Julia-Louis Dreyfus (NBC); the Carnegie Hall Tributes to Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Carol Burnett; the Museum of the Moving Image tributes to Steven Spielberg and Robin Williams; “The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame” (with James Brown, Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Carole King and James Taylor); “The Toyota New York Comedy Festival”; “The New Yorker Magazine Festival”; and The President’s Summit For America’s Future (with Presidents Clinton, Ford, George H.W. Bush, Carter, Nancy Reagan and Colin Powell).

The GRAMMY Museum® pays tribute to music’s rich cultural history.  This one-of-a-kind, 21st-century museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the GRAMMY Award. The GRAMMY Museum® features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum® can deliver.  More information is available at grammymuseum.org.

Launched in January 2004, TV One (tvone.tv) serves 57 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers. The network is the exclusive home of “News One Now,” the only live daily news program targeting black viewers.  In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is owned by Radio One (radio-one.com), the largest radio company that primarily serves black and urban listeners, and Comcast Corporation, one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services.

PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 103 million people through television and over 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS PressRoom on Twitter.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and CPB is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. More information about CPB is available at cpb.org.

# # #

 

Welcome back!

Connect with WETA

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Press Contacts

Cecily Van Praagh
cvanpraagh@weta.org