A young Canadian singing quartet will headline this year’s United States Day of Prayer at the White House.
The Chitans, whose ages range from eight to 14, have been selected to sing the American national anthem and three other songs at the annual celebration on May 5.
“The kids are absolutely thrilled and they are looking forward to the performance,” said their father, Layne Chitan.
Jamaican-born Rev. Terry Lee, who runs the By-Ways and Hedges Youth for Christ Ministry Inc. in New York, coordinated the upcoming White House visit after listening to the young Canadians sing on a Brooklyn Street last year.
“We were down there for a few shows and when Rev. Lee learned that the children did street ministries, he invited them to sing at a street corner and was very impressed by their talent,” said Chitan.
The kids – Kaizian, Jesse, Jayden and Kayandra – were on Capitol Hill last week for a meeting with Dr. Jannah Scott who is a member of President Barack Obama’s administration as deputy director of the Centre for Faith-based and Neighbourhood Partnerships in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Part of her role is to help community groups connect with the White House for faith-based and neighbourhood partnerships.
Layne and Karen Chitan migrated from Grenada two decades ago and spent 10 years in Vancouver before relocating to the Greater Toronto Area. They are members of Downsview Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The young vocalists, who are home schooled, sing at community events and in federal penitentiaries.
In 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States. President Ronald Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May every year as the National Day of Prayer.
By RON FANFAIR