While most college students are enjoying winter
break and unwinding from final exams, some 20 UNC Asheville student
singers are busy rehearsing holiday music for the performance of a
lifetime. UNC Asheville's Chamber Singers, the university's premiere
student voice ensemble, has been invited to perform at the White
House on December 19. The group, which will sing for VIP tours at
the Holiday Open House, is the only North Carolina college choir
invited to perform at the White House this holiday season.
The choir will perform under the direction of Melodie Galloway, UNC
Asheville assistant professor of music. Galloway has performed at
the White House three times and was anxious to make the opportunity
available to her students.
"My former choir director encouraged me to send in the application,"
said Galloway. "Because the Chamber Singers was formed just over a
year ago, I knew it was a long shot. But I wanted to pursue the
opportunity because I knew how valuable the experience was to me."
Galloway received a call from the White House Visitors Office on
November 2, extending an invitation to the group to perform. She was
"It's quite an honor and it will be a great experience for our
students – all of whom are outstanding vocalists," she said.
In addition to the performance at the White House, the Chamber
Singers will also sing for wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Memorial
Hospital and will perform at the Koshland Science Museum and the
Annondale United Methodist Church. These performances will include
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," Vivaldi's "Gloria" and
Senior Caroline Fry, of Brevard, has been with the group since its
inception and is looking forward to singing at the White House.
"The choir has never left the state to sing so we're all really
excited about performing in Washington," Fry said. "We've added
extra rehearsals to prepare and are working really hard, even though
we were squeezing in long hours in the middle of studying for exams
and writing papers. But I know we are ready for a great show."
Student choir members are Ingrid Allstaedt of Brevard; Jonathon
Barnes of Winston-Salem; Steven Brooks of Chapel Hill; Rachael Cole
of Weaverville; Kathren Combs of Asheville; Carly Crawford of
Memphis, Tenn.; Caroline Fry of Brevard; Stephen Greenslade of
Chapel Hill; Lauren Habenicht of Enka; Kevin Koyasu of Tokyo, Japan;
Robyn Lear of Asheville; Stephanie Marterre of Winston-Salem; Joshua
McDaniel of Shippensburg, Pa.; Christina Papandrea of Statesville;
Gregory Sain of Matthews; and Trevor Worden of Southport.
To hear an audio file of the University Chamber Singers performing
Billy Joel's "And So It Goes,"