CPS students going to Washington

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Twelve students from Cincinnati Public Schools will have the opportunitiy of a lifetime.

Eleven classical music students from the School for Creative and Performing Arts and one student from Walnut Hills will attend master classes and perform at the White House on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the invitation of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Awadagin Pratt, associate professor of piano and artist in residence at Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati, invited SCPA students to audition for the honor of being among a select number of schools nationwide to participate. The event marks the fourth in the White House Music Series, an initiative of Michelle Obama designed to highlight the importance of arts education while featuring different musical genres. Previous classes in the series have celebrated jazz, country and Latin music.

"Cincinnati Public Schools is home to students with extraordinary talents, which I'm thrilled that the White House has recognized with this honor," said Superintendent Mary Ronan, who will accompany the CPS musicians to Washington.  "I'm especially pleased that this event doesn't just involve a performance, but also will include classes with world-renowned musicians so that our students have the opportunity to grow and perfect their artistry."

According to the White House, the students - violinists, cellists and pianists - will take classes from Master Musicians Joshua Bell (violinist), Alisa Weilerstein (cellist), and Pratt (piano).

Participating CPS students include:

  • Titilayo Ayungade (cello) - SCPA
  • Jonathon Carlisle (piano) - SCPA
  • David Goist (violin) - SCPA
  • Philip Goist (cello) - SCPA
  • Lucy Hattemer (piano) - Walnut Hills
  • Alan Lawson (violin) - SCPA
  • Christin McKenzie (piano) - SCPA
  • Rachel Peters (violin) - SCPA
  • Charles Ramsey III (piano) - SCPA
  • Diedra Ryan (violin) - SCPA
  • Megan Steele (piano) - SCPA
  • Steven Yee (piano) - SCPA

In addition to the afternoon classes and performance, acclaimed concert pianist and conductor Pratt and other musicians will perform in a formal private evening concert in the East Room of the White House. Besides being an associate professor at CCM, Pratt also is Artist in Residence.

Copyright 2009 WXIX-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.