Queen of Soul Among Music Legends to Play Inauguration

Inaugural program features Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman

WASHINGTON -- The program for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration was announced Wednesday.

"I am delighted to announce this superb lineup of participants in the 2009 inaugural ceremonies," said Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "The inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama will be an event of historic proportion. It is appropriate that the program will include some of the world’s most gifted artists from a wide range of backgrounds and genres."

The lineup includes celebrity musicians Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.

The 56th Presidential Inauguration will be held Jan. 20 on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.

Musical Selections

  • The United States Marine Band. The oldest professional music organization in the nation, also known as The President's Own, performs a variety of compositions.
  • The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus, featuring singers from hundreds of schools in dozens of Bay Area cities.

Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks

  • The Honorable Dianne Feinstein


  • Dr. Rick Warren founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., an evangelical congregation that averages 22,000 attendees per week. Time named him one of the 15 World Leaders Who Mattered Most in 2004 and one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2005.

Musical Selection

  • Aretha Franklin. After a career spanning more than 50 years, featuring a repertoire of soul, jazz, rock, blues, pop and gospel and earning 21 Grammy Awards, Rolling Stone recently named her the Queen of Soul the greatest singer of the rock era.

Oath of Office to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

  • Administered by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court the Honorable John Paul Stevens

Musical Selection, Composer/Arranger John Williams

  • Itzhak Perlman. Considered one of the greatest violinists of his time, Perlman has played with every major orchestra throughout the world.
  • Yo-Yo Ma. The renowned cellist is maybe the most successful modern classical musician.
  • Gabriela Montero. The classical pianist is known for her improvisation.
  • Anthony McGill. The principal clarinetist of the New York Metropolitan Orchestra is a highly sought soloist and chamber performer.

Oath of Office to President-elect Barack H. Obama

  • Administered by the Chief Justice of the United States the Honorable John G. Roberts Jr.

Inaugural Address

  • The President of the United States, the Honorable Barack H. Obama


  • Elizabeth Alexander. A poet, essayist and playwright, Alexander has written four books and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005.


  • The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. Considered the dean of the civil rights movement, Lowery co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. and served as president and chief executive officer from 1977 to 1998.

The National Anthem

  • The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters. The official U.S. Navy chorus founded in 1956 appears throughout the country and has performed with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.
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