Pratt Scholars Invited to the White House
October 29, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Pratt Music Scholars of Illinois Wesleyan University’s Preparatory Music Program have been invited to the White House on Nov. 3 and 4 to participate in activities
surrounding the Classical Music Performance. The performance is a part of the White
House Music Series organized by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Members of the community are encouraged to attend the trip’s send-off on Nov. 3 from
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Supporters will meet in the Bloomington-Normal Airport visitor
waiting area where there will be a banner, signs, balloons and treats. All are encouraged
to wear something red, white or blue to help students identify their supporters.
While in Washington, D.C., the students will take lessons from musicians Awadagin
Pratt, Joshua Bell, Alisia Weilerstein and Sharon Isbin, after which they will attend
an afternoon concert at the executive residence.
Awadagin Pratt, the award-winning concert pianist with roots in Bloomington-Normal,
helped arrange for the students to be invited to the event. He founded the Pratt
Foundation in 1997. The Pratt Music Scholars are supported by funds provided by community
members as well as corporate sponsor State Farm and the foundation has raised about
$200,000 to date. These funds provide music lessons with Illinois Wesleyan music
instructors through the Illinois Wesleyan Preparatory Music Program as well as make
certain that the students have music and instruments as needed.
Pratt himself will perform during a private evening performance in the East Room after
giving lessons to the students in the afternoon.
The attendees will be accompanied by Erin Mulliken, IWU’s Preparatory Music Program
director; Elain Vogt, Preparatory Music Program instructor; and Dennis Power, a member
of the Bloomington-Normal community.
Pratt Music Scholars making the trip:
Morgan Schaub (9th year piano) – of Susan and Randy Kemplin family
Andrew Powers (6th year piano) – of Dennis and Diane Powers family
Zari Gary (5th year viola) – of Sharon Rice family
Brandon Churchill (4th year cello) – of Ed and Cindy Churchill family
Ryan Cavallo (4th year piano) – of Tina Penn family
Tess Johnson (3rd year violin) – of Nance Johnson family
Reyhana Pippins (3rd year piano) – of Rosario Joyce family
Shelby Babys (3rd year violin) – of John and Malinda Bays family
Haden Toohill (2nd year violin) – of Dan and Tristin Toohill family
Stephen Cook (2nd year cello) – of Rose Cook family
Mikhayla Price-Hutcherson (2nd year violin) – of Barbie Price and Roland Hutcherson family
Sam Birsa (2nd year strings) – of Terry and Paula Birsa family
For more information contact the Office of University Communications at (309) 556-3181.
Contact: Monica Piotrowski, (309) 556-3181