What Is The Mormon Tabernacle Choir? An Inauguration Performance Has Been Confirmed
Leading up to President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, lots of discussion has centered around who will perform. Some claim the list of potential musicians was short, and so far, only one artist had been confirmed. Now a second performance at Trump's inauguration has finally been booked. So, you may be wondering, what is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?
Rather than a single performer singing in Trump's honor on Inauguration Day, the president-elect will have part of the 360-member choir there to help usher in his presidency. The Mormon group is based in Salt Lake City and is comprised of volunteers; The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the choir is asking for 215 volunteers to perform at the ceremony.
According to The Washington Post, the choir is recognized for performing renditions of religious and patriotic music. The group has performed at past presidential inaugurations, including that of Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush. The choir joins Jackie Evancho, the former America's Got Talent contestant who is scheduled to sing the national anthem.
It's an interesting choice for Trump to have the choir sing at his swearing-in ceremony, despite the group's history with the institution. An exit poll after the election indicated that only 61 percent of Mormons voted for Trump, which is a drop of nearly 20 percent in support for a Republican candidate from previous elections. George W. Bush received 80 percent of votes from Mormons in 2004, while Mitt Romney received 79 percent in the 2012 election.
In fact, according to the The Salt Lake Tribune, Trump received only 45.5 percent of Utah's vote. The remainder was split by Hillary Clinton with 27.5 percent and independent conservative Evan McMullin at 21.5 percent.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir President Ron Jarett issued a statement, saying:
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a great tradition of performing at the inaugurals of U.S. presidents. 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.
We'll have to wait to see if any other performances are planned for Trump's inauguration. Though Andrea Bocelli was rumored to be singing at the event, it was confirmed on Tuesday that he will not. In November, a member of Trump's team had suggested that Elton John may be performing, but the singer denied that claim.
It's difficult not to analyze the meaning behind the fact that the list of performers is under such scrutiny and the possibility that some have already turned Trump's requests to perform down. If Trump has shown anything over the course of his campaign, it is that he's pretty unpredictable. It wouldn't be surprising if his inauguration was the same.