IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE: Spirit of the Season
Premieres Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV / On Demand
This dazzling music special celebrates the holidays and highlights the seasonal décor at the White House. Featuring special remarks by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and First Lady Jill Biden, actress Jennifer Garner will serve as the program host, which will also include performances by Andrea Bocelli, Matteo Bocelli, Virginia Bocelli, Camila Cabello, Eric Church, Jonas Brothers, Norah Jones, Pentatonix, Billy Porter, Northwell Health Nurse Choir, Voices of Service, and the United States Marine Band. The hour-long television special will be recorded at the White House Dec. 11-14, 2021.
The President and Dr. Biden are welcoming this diverse roster of artists to perform songs in historic White House rooms — including the East Room, the State Dining Room, and the Blue Room, home of the Official White House Christmas tree — sharing the festive spirit with the nation through In Performance at the White House.
Audiences will see the First Family’s “Gifts from the Heart”-themed holiday installations currently on display throughout the White House. The performances and inside look at the White House holiday décor will honor the resilience of the American people, with communities coming together in service to others, during this celebratory and reflective time of year.
Two performance acts in particular will celebrate service to the nation. The Northwell Health Nurse Choir is a group of frontline nurses — each from different Northwell hospitals, nursing specialties and areas of New York. They formed in 2020 and represent frontline workers and the nursing profession, with the power of music lifting their spirits and helping them forge a special bond while the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially challenging for their profession.
Voices of Service is a singing quartet, part of the nonprofit Center for American Military Music Opportunities (CAMMO), and includes retired Master Sgt. Caleb Green, retired Staff Sgt. Ron Henry, Sgt. Maj. Christal Rheams and Sgt. 1st Class Jason Hanna. Voices of Service use their platform to increase awareness of what music can do for service men and women who are coping with post-traumatic stress and other invisible and visible wounds.
About The Series:
WETA has produced IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE for PBS since 1978, first collaborating with President Carter’s administration. The series is a showcase of the dynamic fabric of American culture in the setting of the nation’s most famous home. The series began with an East Room recital by the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz. Since then, IN PERFORMANCE AT THE WHITE HOUSE has embraced virtually every genre of American performance: pop, country, gospel, jazz, blues, hip-hop, theatre and dance among them. Past programs have showcased a wide array of performing artists, including cellist Mstislav Rostropovich; dancer/choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov; jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie; soul icon Aretha Franklin; popular music singers Marc Anthony, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Ariana Grande, Mick Jagger, John Legend, Linda Ronstadt, Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder; gospel singer CeCe Winans; blues icon B.B. King; Broadway luminaries Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald and Idina Menzel; country music’s Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss; and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the holiday season with this special musical performance at the White House,” said Paula A. Kerger, PBS president and CEO. “As an important part of our mission, PBS and our member stations will continue to share the very best of theater, music and dance with audiences across the country.’’
A production of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Ken Ehrlich Productions, Inc. The executive producers are John F. Wilson for WETA and Ken Ehrlich for Ken Ehrlich Productions, Inc. The producer is Renato Basile. The director is Toré Livia. The project executive is Kate Kelly. The senior producer is Jim Corbley. The executive in charge for PBS is Douglas Chang. Created by WETA Washington D.C.