Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Greatest Joy

The Greatest Joy
Posted by Desirée Rogers on November 04, 2009 at 03:46 PM EST
Ed Note: Watch an Evening of Classical Music live at 7:00 PM EST on or watch and discuss it with other classical music fans on Facebook.

The greatest joy that this job affords – and there are many – is the chance to throw open the doors and invite Americans into the White House and expose them to the talents of their fellow Americans. One of the ways that the First Lady has been doing is this is through the White House Music Series. This series was conceived as a way to celebrate the arts, demonstrate the importance of arts education and encourage young people who believe in their talent to create a future for themselves in the arts community be it as a hobby or as a profession.

We kicked off the series by celebrating the uniquely American art form of jazz. Our next event in the series was the day-long celebration of country music, followed by our Fiesta Latina, which showcased Hispanic musical heritage. Through student workshops and evening concerts, each event enlivens the White House with the sounds of music from dawn till dusk.

Music’s ability to inspire has never been more visible to me than during these events. When I see young students play with the masters of their craft, when two musicians jam together for the first time and manage to perfectly complement each other, when young and old learn from each other – that’s when true harmony happens.

So I hope you’ll join us today for the Classical Music Concert and watch our latest installment of the White House Music Series. The performance will feature the best and brightest of their fields: violinist Joshua Bell, classical guitarist Sharon Isbin, pianist Awadagin Pratt and Alisa Weilerstein on the cello. These acclaimed artists will be performing solo and together playing music by Bach, Ravel, Paganini, and Mendelssohn among others. It’s a performance not to be missed and I do hope you’ll join us at

Desirée Rogers is the White House Social Secretary.

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