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[11/17/05 - 12:00 AM]
Legendary Poet and Author Maya Angelou Joins President and MrS. Bush for Annual Christmas 'Pageant of Peace' and National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Thursday, December 1

[via press release from The Hallmark Channel]

LEGENDARY POET AND AUTHOR MAYA ANGELOU JOINS PRESIDENT AND MRS. BUSH FOR ANNUAL CHRISTMAS �PAGEANT OF PEACE� AND NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1

Ms. Angelou to Perform Original Spoken Word Poem �An Amazing Peace,� Backed by the National Symphony and D.C. Children�s Choir

Maya Angelou is among the most exquisite and rare of American originals. Ms. Angelou will join the President and Mrs. Bush, Thursday, December 1 at the 83rd annual Christmas Pageant of Peace and National Christmas Tree Lighting.

Maya Angelou has penned an original poem for the event � �An Amazing Peace� � which will be delivered in a spoken word performance backed by the National Symphony (under conductor Charlie Barnett) and the D.C. Children�s Choir. Maya Angelou�s poem is already generating significant interest. This week, Ms. Angelou will travel to Chicago to tape an episode of �Oprah,� which is set to air on Monday, December 5. The Christmas Pageant of Peace appearance was part of a media plan to help create awareness of Ms. Angelou�s one-hour Hallmark Channel Original special, �Celebrate! Christmas with Maya Angelou,� which premieres exclusively on Hallmark Channel, Friday, December 9 (7/6 c) with encores on Christmas Day (check local listings). �Celebrate! Christmas with Maya Angelou� also features Ms. Angelou�s son and family and extended family, including musical legends, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.

The annual event, free and open to the public, is staged on the southern ellipse of the White House. In 1923, Calvin Coolidge became the first President to light the National Christmas Tree. Since then, the tree lighting ceremony by the President has signaled the start of the holiday season for all Americans.

Maya Angelou is the author of thirteen best-selling books. The latest Hallelujah! The Welcome Table is a beautiful recipe book that sifts food and cherished memories in equal parts. As she does on every special occasion, Maya Angelou is in the kitchen preparing a memory-laden feast for those she loves. Maya Angelou has had a product line exclusively with Hallmark Cards for four years.

Hallmark Channel is a 24-hour basic cable channel that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 71 million subscribers. The program service is distributed through more than 5,200 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Crown Media also operates a second 24-hour linear channel, Hallmark Movie Channel. Through its subsidiary, Crown Media Distribution, LLC, Crown also distributes titles from its award-winning collection of movies, miniseries and films for exhibition in a variety of television media including broadcast, cable, Video-on-Demand and High Definition Television.

-- HALLMARK CHANNEL --





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· OPRAH WINFREY SHOW, THE (SYNDICATION)











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