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Student A Capella Group Performs at White House

Soul4Real sang a number of selections at a private holiday reception Dec. 12

WASHINGTON --- The student members of Soul4Real, one of Northwestern University’s many a capella singing groups, didn’t immediately head home for the holidays upon completing finals. Instead, they flew to Washington, D.C., and performed at the White House Dec. 12.

The event was part of a series of performances the executive mansion hosts throughout the holiday season. The group got to sing for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and have its photo taken with them.

To help fund their travel, the students received financial support from the office of Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. They were accompanied by advisers from the University’s office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

Students said they were very honored and excited to perform at the White House and to represent Northwestern.

The group performed a few different selections during the event, including a version of “Silent Night,” as seen in this video recorded at a community event earlier in December.

“Soul4Real specializes in soul, jazz, gospel, R&B and negro spirituals,” said Qiddist Hammerly, one of the group’s members and a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy. “The group was formed by Northwestern students in 2009 to establish a space for black music and voices on campus.”

Soul4Real regularly performs at Northwestern events, including the University’s annual celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.