WASHINGTON — The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which has performed at inaugural events for Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, will also perform at next month’s inauguration of Donald Trump.
The 360-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir announced on Thursday that it had accepted an invitation to perform at the swearing-in ceremony.
“The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a great tradition of performing at the inaugurals of U. S. presidents,” Ron Jarrett, president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, said in a statement. “Singing the music of America is one of the things we do best. We are honored to be able to serve our country by providing music for the inauguration of our next president.”
According to reports, Donald Trump Jr. visited Temple Square in Salt Lake City this past September, and was fascinated that the Mormon Tabernacle was built without nails.
“[He said], ‘My dad would love to spend 10 hours here in the Tabernacle on Temple Square figuring out how they built this, because we’re builders,'” Don Peay, the founder of Trump for President Utah, recalled Trump Jr. stating.
He said that Trump made the decision to include the choir in the ceremony. They will be joined by the Marine Corps Band.
While there haven’t been any reports of concerns that those of the Mormon religion will be a part of the presidential inauguration, conversely, there has been pressure on the choir to pull out of the event over concerns about Trump.
“Response to the announcement has been mixed, with people expressing both opposition and support,” LDS spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. “The choir’s participation continues its long tradition of performing for U.S. presidents of both parties at inaugurations and in other settings, and is not an implied support of party affiliations or politics. It is a demonstration of our support for freedom, civility and the peaceful transition of power.”
In addition to the choir, the Radio City Rockettes, known for their leggy kicks, will also perform at the event, as well as youth sensation Jackie Evancho. As previously reported, Evancho’s brother Jacob, who now identifies as transgender and uses the name Juliet, is part of a lawsuit against the Pine-Richland School District as he is among several students fighting for permission to use the girls’ restroom. He had previously appeared on his sister’s album.
“Juliet sang the male part, which caused her distress,” the legal challenge outlined. “She considered this to be a huge step backward because everyone who listened to the song heard a boy, but Juliet knew she was a girl.”
“We’re delighted to have Jackie Evancho performing the national anthem at the 58th presidential inaugural ceremony,” Boris Epshteyn, the inaugural committee’s director of communications, told Yahoo News. “As the youngest solo artist to ever go platinum, she is a true role model and inspiration for people young and old in our country and around the globe. Jackie represents the best and the brightest of America.”
Evancho has performed twice for Barack Obama, including at the 2012 national prayer breakfast.