Feature Sarah Sagi

Alma College Alumna performs at White House



On Nov. 19, 2022,  Kristen Dubenion-Smith, an Alma College alumna, performed at the wedding of President Joe Biden’s granddaughter, Naomi Biden.

Kristen Dubenion-Smith is a 2002 Alma College alumna. Smith sings in the Washington National Cathedral choir, where she is “called upon to sing for State Funerals, Presidential Inaugurations and Prayer Services, high profile weddings and events of great importance,” said Dubenion-Smith.

“The amount of security at these events is staggering and we often have to arrive in the wee hours of the morning to pass through security only to sit and wait, sometimes for hours, for the event to actually begin… However, none of that prepared me for the level of security clearance you need to enter the White House,” said Dubenion-Smith. Other than the early morning hassle, the event was lovely to Dubenion-Smith.

Being an Alma College alumna, Dubenion-Smith has fond memories of her time as a student. Growing up in Okemos, Michigan, Dubenion-Smith was encouraged to check out Alma College and decided the tight-knit community environment was a good fit for her.

“We had a family friend attend Alma. Our family friend had nothing but amazing things to say about her Alma College experience and my parents knew I would thrive there because it was small. The other colleges I applied to were large universities, and, in the end, we chose Alma based on its size (teacher-to-student ratio) and the recommendation of others. I also received a nice music scholarship,” said Dubenion-Smith.

During her four years as a student at Alma College, Dubenion-Smith was a member of the college’s choir. She had nothing but good things to say about the program.

“At the time, the mixed choir was only upperclassmen so being a freshman in the choir was a huge honor. I made lifelong friendships and incredible memories in the choir,” said Dubenion-Smith. She also included how their Spring semester trip to France/Belgium was a highlight of her time at Alma.

On Oct. 22, Dubenion-Smith will join the Alma College Choir and Orchestra in a performance of Handel’s Messiah in the Heritage Center.

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