Music: Music in the White House

Virginia Lewis might well have showed stage fright, but she didn't. When she stepped on the stage at Philadelphia's Robin Hood Dell one night last summer, before the Philadelphia Orchestra and Conductor Alexander Smallens, she had never sung with an orchestra. She had not been rehearsed for this concert. She had just been handed an unfamiliar arrangement of two songs from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Someone had stepped on her gown and ripped it. But the chunky, dignified, dark brown Negro soprano let loose a voice for which everyone, including Conductor Smallens,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!