A quartet of current Project STEP students and alumni recently performed during a State Dinner with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, which honored Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The students performed pieces by Bach, Mozart, and Handel as guests arrived for the dinner, and they played several pieces after dinner with the United States Marine Band. At the end of the one-and-a-half hour event, President Obama publicly thanked Project STEP for performing.
“With only six days to put together their performance, the students really rose to the occasion and played their hearts out for President Obama and the First Lady,” says Project STEP Executive Director Gabriella Sanna. “They perform a lot, and at many different events, but this one was truly special and inspiring. Performing at the White House was a life changing experience for them.”
This is Project STEP’s second trip to the White House within the past two years. In 2014, the music organization was honored with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. The award is the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and is the highest honor for such programs in the United States.
Also in the audience for the performance were Vice President Joe Biden, Mrs. Lee Hsien Loong, and 200 guests, including Massachusetts State Senator Ed Markey, Secretary of State John F. Kerry, author Amy Tan, actors Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, and singer Chrisette Michele, who also performed at the end of the evening. The event honored the United States 50-year relationship with Singapore.