Thursday, December 18, 2008

Presidential music

The music for inauguration has been announced!
The US Marine band will open the January 20 ceremony, followed by performances by children's choirs from San Francisco, said Dianne Feinstein, the California Senator who is heading the inaugural ceremony committee.

After welcoming remarks by Ms Feinstein, and a religious invocation by evangelical Pastor Rick Warren, Aretha Franklin will perform. The "Queen of Soul" has received a record 21 Grammy awards throughout her career and tops Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest singers ever.

Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden will then take the oath of office, followed by performances from violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill.

Then John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, will administer the oath of office to Mr Obama, after which the new president will deliver his inaugural address.

After Mr Obama speaks, there will be a reading by poet Elizabeth Alexander, a blessing by Joseph Lowery – a pastor and civil rights-era leader – and a US naval band will play the national anthem.

Mr Obama, Mr Biden and Ms Feinstein chose the programme's participants.

* * * AND
if you need somewhere to stay for the ceremony:
New York Philharmonic music director Lorin Maazel and his wife are offering their country estate in Virginia for $50,000 a night during the presidential inauguration.
The Rappahannock County estate can accommodate up to 50 guests. The complex includes a spa facility with a large heated swimming pool, a Turkish steam room and a Finnish sauna. Guests also can use a theater room with a commercial-size movie screen, along with a bowling alley and a petting zoo.
The package also includes chauffeured transportation for the 90-minute ride to and from Washington.
The money will be donated to the Maazels' Chateauville Foundation, which helps train young performance artists.

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