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Music Performances for the Presidential Inauguration

Barack Obama's Inauguration

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On January 20, 2009, a very important day in United States' history took place in the nation's capital - the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee released a schedule of the inaugural ceremonies and events. These include musical numbers from some of the nations' prominent performers and music groups including:

  • The United States Marine Band
  • The San Francisco Boys Chorus
  • The San Francisco Girls Chorus
  • Aretha Franklin
  • John Williams together with Yo-Yo Ma on cello, Anthony McGill on clarinet, Gabriela Montero on piano and Itzhak Perlman on violin.
  • The United States Navy Band - Sea Chambers

In Depth:

United States Marine Band

Also known as "The President's Own" due to its role of providing music for the President of the United States, the U.S. Marine Band was founded on July 11, 1798. Their tradition of performing for presidents began in 1801, New Year's Day, when President John Adams invited them over to perform. Later that same year, Thomas Jefferson asked them to perform at his inauguration and since then, the band has performed for every Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.

Aside from inaugurations, the United States Marine Band also performs during official ceremonies and events such as State dinners at the White House and State funerals. The band is composed of about 160 members, including musicians and administrative personnel and is led by their current director Michael J. Colburn.

The USMC (United States Marine Corps) Band performed during President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony on January 20, 2009. They provided background music as the crowd waited for the ceremonies to begin. As dignitaries and former U.S. Presidents slowly filed in to the inaugural stage, the band welcomed them with music. The USMC band played four "Ruffles and Flourishes" followed by "Hail to the Chief" as President George Bush arrived at the ceremony. The same musical honor was done after President Barack Obama took his Oath of Office.

Did You Know?

John Philip Sousa served as the 17th Director of the United States Marine Band. Popularly called "The March King," John Philip Sousa's patriotism resonates from the numerous marches he wrote throughout his career. He was an American composer of marches, a conductor, performer and bandleader. His most famous work is the "Stars and Stripes Forever," known as the official march of the United States.

Next - The San Francisco Boys Chorus/The San Francisco Girls Chorus

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