GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA/ AP) – A Greenville children’s choir has been invited back to the U.S. Capitol after their performance last month was cut short by police.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. tweeted Friday morning that he looks forward to having the singers from the Rushingbrook Children’s Choir back to perform in the halls of Congress.
7NEWS previously reported that the singers were stopped on May 26 because of a miscommunication.
Choir director David Rasbach and Micah Rea, a choir leader who helped organize the trip, told The Associated Press that they worked with Reps’ offices. William Timmons, Joe Wilson, and Russell Fry, all Republicans from South Carolina, to get permission for the performance.
McCarthy and three South Carolina representatives who had worked with the choir confirmed that the speaker’s office had invited the choir to the Capitol.
“We recently learned that schoolchildren from South Carolina were interrupted while singing our National Anthem at the Capitol,” they said in a joint statement issued to the AP.
“These children were welcomed by the Speaker’s office to joyfully express their love of this Nation while visiting the Capitol, and we are all very disappointed to learn their celebration was cut short.”
Musical performances in the hallowed seat of Congress require permission, and police said officers had been unaware that the choir had approval from the House speaker.
“When they stopped us and I walked over to the Capitol Police I said, ‘Why are you stopping us?’” Rasbach said. “They said, ‘Because this is considered a demonstration and we don’t allow demonstrations in the Capitol.’”
Rasbach claimed that a Capitol Police officer later told him that there were also concerns that people could be offended. Still, he was unable to provide the name of the officer or otherwise substantiate that assertion.
Capitol Police initially issued a statement saying they were under the impression the group didn’t have permission to perform in the building.
They later issued a second statement saying there had been a “miscommunication” and that the police “were not aware that the Speaker’s Office had approved this performance.”