Two Local Students Head To White House

November 04, 2009|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,liz.bowie@baltsun.com

Two Baltimore School for the Arts students are among 120 music students from around the nation who will be visiting the White House today to take part in a workshop with master musicians.

The two students, sophomore Nana Adjeiwaa-Manu and senior David Kalwa, were among those chosen to join first lady Michelle Obama at the event, which begins about noon.

Baltimore School for the Arts Principal Leslie Shepard said VH1 Save the Music Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to getting instrumental music back into the public schools, contacted the school to ask for the names of students who played the same instruments as the master musicians - pianist Awadagin Pratt, guitarist Sharon Isbin, violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Alisa Weilerstein. Shepard said the school chose four students, two of whom were selected based on the instruments they play.

Adjeiwaa-Manu, from Odenton, is a hardworking student who is devoted to her music and practices the violin and cello many hours every night, Shepard said. Kalwa came to the School for the Arts playing rock 'n' roll but took up the acoustic guitar and now plays classical music. He is auditioning for conservatories, according to Christopher Ford, head of the music department at the School for the Arts.

Each student was required to submit a repertoire for the music workshop.

Today's event is the fourth in a White House music series that draws students from around the country to work with well-regarded musicians. The series also is intended to highlight the importance of arts education.

After the workshops, the professional musicians will perform in the East Room.

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