You can’t get a better gig than this.
Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman will perform at Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 20.
Poet and playwright Elizabeth Alexander will deliver a poem, and John Williams has composed a musicial selection for the event. Rev. Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr., will deliver benedictions.
None of the entertainers in the lineup are a surprise. There had been rumors for some time that Franklin would have some role in the ceremonies, and Williams’ music was played at Obama’s Nov. 4 victory celebration in Chicago’s Grant Park.
The most interesting choice, however, is Warren. He is pro-life, and, although Obama appeared during the campaign at an August forum at Warren’s megachurch, the consensus was that rival John McCain felt much more comfortable and fared much better in the environment.
What’s more, there’s little love lost between Warren and opponents of Prop 8. In an interview with Beliefnet, Warren cited concerns over freedom of speech in supporting the measure to ban same-sex marriage.
The swearing-in ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m., with the new president taking the oath of office around noon.
Here’s the lineup, in order of appearance, announced today by Sen. Diane Feinstein, chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies:
The United States Marine Band
The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus
Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA
Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
The Honorable John Paul Stevens
Musical Selection, John Williams, composer/arranger
Itzhak Perlman, Violin
Yo-Yo Ma, Cello
Gabriela Montero, Piano
Anthony McGill, Clarinet
Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama
By the Chief Justice of the United States
The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.
The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama
The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
The National Anthem
The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"