Emerald City Performs for The President of the United States
One of the most asked about shows we have done is when we played for President George W. Bush twice at the White House Congressional Ball. First, in 2003 and again in 2004 when we were invited to return the following year. This incredible opportunity came about when we played at a wedding in Oklahoma. Unbeknownst to us at the time, one of the bridesmaids at the wedding worked as a White House intern. About 2 weeks after the wedding we got a call from the White House Social Secretary asking us to perform for the President at the Congressional Ball that winter. We were so shocked we thought it was a prank call at first!
White House Secretary Voicemail
The Annual Congressional Ball is an Event held at the White House once a year, usually in December, with all congress and cabinet members in attendance. Most White House events have the Army or Navy Band play for the event. But this is the one event where they bring in a social band, and as one of the top bands of the country, we were honored to be considered.
Preparation for this event was very intense. FBI screenings, background checks, walking into the front door of the White House felt like walking into a high security airport. We had SWAT Team members posted outside of our hotel, undercover agents, and even a security detail while we performed for the President at the ball.
Despite the intimidating security and evasive preparation process, the event was a real pleasure to perform at. We were given a tour of the grounds when we arrived but we performed in the Gold Room for all of the Senate and White House personnel to see.We did the love train with congress, democrats and republicans, it was great to see everyone getting along and dancing through the night. No band ever comes twice, because they want to showcase all kinds of talent, but everyone had so much fun that Laura Bush called us back again the next year.
When President Obama was sworn into office, and President Bush flew back to Dallas, we were asked to meet them at the airport to welcome them home. Anna, Deno’s daughter even came! Funny enough she later went on to work at the George W. Bush library at SMU.
For a full recap, and interview with Deno and the other band members who were there, check out our episode of ‘Memories from the Shoebox’ below!