Today was an incredible experience. We all met in Penn Station at 9:30am, and got on the train at around 10:35am. As soon as we got on the train the rehearsing began. When we arrived in DC, we were able to get food in small groups which gave us an opportunity to get to know people in the chorus we wouldn’t normally spend much time with, besides rehearsals and concerts. After eating, we were picked up by two U.S. government vehicles right outside of the Union train station.
Driving through Washington DC was scenic; we were able to see the Washington Monument and the Capital Building, and of course, the White House. The process of getting through the gates to the White House was tedious. They had to check everyone’s passports and make sure we were in the government’s system, then individually get our bags scanned and go through metal detectors. Due to the amount of time it took to go through security, we had 5 minutes to do makeup, hair, put on our uniforms, and warm up. However, we still managed to have two incredible concerts.
During our break we had the privilege to not only meet the President and the First Lady, but to shake hands with them individually and take a picture with them to capture the moment. We went on stage one more time and sang for about an hour in the East Room of the White House. After we finished, we had about five minutes to change. On our way out of the White House, we were taking as many group pictures as possible! Once again we were picked up by the big black vans outside of the White House, and taken to the train station where we took our last group picture and departed.
-Chloe and Sofia, Concert Chorus