More than a dozen students from St. Robert's Catholic School got the opportunity of a lifetime this week when they were invited to sing Christmas carols at the White House.
The fifth- and sixth-grade students—and one fourth grader—were among 22 kids selected to sing as part of the San Francisco Unified School District/Archdiocese of San Francisco Choral Collaboration Honor Choir, a combination of children from San Francisco and San Bruno schools. Of those who sang in the choir, 14 of the children were from .
By chance—or Christmas luck, you could call it—the St. Robert's choir was invited to sing on Monday in the grand foyer of the East Wing, where military personnel and White House staff were taking their families on a tour of the presidential mansion, said Aura Jose, the St. Robert's choir director.
"Everybody who came through the White House saw us sing," Jose said. "It was incredible."
Richard Herron, an artist in residence with San Francisco Unified, put in the good word for St. Robert's after being wowed by their performance several years ago at Archbishop Riordon High in San Francisco. He had been following the choir since it got invited to sing at several San Francisco Giants games as well.
Herron has a friend who works in the White House, and after months of recommending the choir, he finally got the OK about the invite, according to Jose.
The parents of the children, however, didn't initially get the OK to accompany the choir. Fortunately, Santa's helpers were at work in Washington, D.C., as well—more like in Congress.
A parent of one of the St. Robert's kids asked Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, if the parents could go to the White House as well, and she got them clearance, Jose said.
"A lot of people connected with a lot of people," she said.