TSU Aristocrat of Bands performs for who’s who list of celebrities, dignitaries at the White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. (TSU News Service) – President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama weren’t the only ones awed by the powerful sound of Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands at the White House on Sept. 23.

President Glover confers with U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis at a reception in the White House minutes after the the Aristocrat of Bands’ performance on the south lawn. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The celebrity list of who’s who listening to the performance on the south lawn included music icon Quincy Jones, former basketball star Kobe Bryant, and Hollywood celebrities Debbie Allen and Samuel L. Jackson, just to name a few. There were also dignitaries and current and former government officials, including former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The band was invited to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; the first HBCU band to perform for the Obama administration at the White House.

President Glover makes a point to actress Debbie Allen, one of many celebrities at the White House reception. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

“We are extremely proud that our band and university are a part of this historic event with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in our nation’s capital,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “This is a proud moment for TSU, as we continue to build on our great legacy.”

The band’s tunes included Al Green’s “I’m Still In Love With You,” and TSU favorite, “I’m So Glad I Go to TSU.” Mrs. Obama liked what she heard so much that she posted the band on Instagram.

President Glovers shares a moment with band officials following the performance by the Aristocrat of Bands on the south lawn of the White House. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU’s director of University Bands, called the opportunity to perform at the White House a “once in a lifetime chance.”

“A lot of people would never be able to say that they’ve had the opportunity to meet the President of the United States, let alone play on the White House lawn,” McDonald said. “This is tremendous.”

Later, President Glover and her delegation were invited to the Grand Hall of the White House for a reception with other dignitaries, following which the President and the first lady joined Dr. Glover and the Aristocrat of Bands for a photo.

Department of Media Relations

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About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.