The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed “America the Beautiful” during the Jan. 20 Presidential inauguration on the historic West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol.
The storied choir, which was accompanied by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, performed moments before the swearing-in ceremony of President Donald J. Trump. Almost a million people attended the outdoor event in person, with millions more tuning in across the globe.
Mormon Newsroom reported that some 215 choir members — dressed for the winter weather in crème-colored coats and red plaid scarves — participated in the inauguration. Not all choir members could attend due to space limitations on the platform at the Capitol. Attendees were randomly chosen from the choir members who volunteered to perform.
“The opportunity for us to be in Washington, D.C., is an opportunity to serve this great country of the United States, an opportunity for us to share the healing and powerful message of music with the entire world,” said choir president Ron Jarrett in the Mormon Newsroom report.
The Jan. 20 swearing-in ceremony of the 45th president is the choir’s sixth time the choir was invited to an inauguration. The first was the 1965 inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson, followed by the 1969 inauguration of Richard M. Nixon; the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan; the 1989 inauguration of George H.W. Bush; and the 2001 inauguration of George W. Bush. With the choir performing at the 1989 inaugural ceremony and then riding in the parade, it has made seven appearances at an inauguration.
It was during the 1981 inaugural parade that President Ronald Reagan dubbed the choir “America’s Choir” when it sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” His successor, President George H.W. Bush, called the choir a “national treasure” during his swearing-in ceremony in 1989.
“I worked for both the Clinton and Bush administrations, and this is my fourth inauguration to attend,” said choir member Caroline Marriott in the Mormon Newsroom report. “I am honored to be a part of this organization as a goodwill ambassador.”
Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Gary E. Stevenson, both of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, also attended the inauguration.