Before an auditorium full of Lee University students, Senator Lamar Alexander announced Thursday that a combined chorus of the university’s choirs will perform at the inauguration of the President of the United States.
“We do not yet know who will be inaugurated president in January,” Senator Alexander said, “but we do know who will be singing that day: the Lee University choir.”
Lee University’s performance will occur immediately before the official swearing-in ceremonies at midday on Jan.
21, in Washington, D.C. The Lee chorus will perform outdoors on the upper west terrace of the United States Capitol.
At the announcement Thursday with Lee University President Dr. Paul Conn, Senator Alexander said he recommended the Lee musicians because “their great talent and inspirational musicianship will thrill the millions of people who will be watching the inauguration of our president.”
Senator Alexander issued the invitation on behalf of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, of which he is the vice chairman.
This is not the first time Senator Alexander has extended an invitation to Lee University students to participate in an inauguration. He invited Lynn Golden of Lee College, as the university was called at the time, to sing the national anthem when he was sworn-in as governor of Tennessee on January 20, 1979. The new governor had met and heard Lynn sing during his 1,000-mile campaign walk across Tennessee.
Of the senator's invitation today, Dr. Conn said, “We are honored to accept Senator Alexander’s invitation to send a Lee University choir to sing at the presidential inauguration. Lee has a great choral tradition, and the Festival Choir will include 200 talented college students to represent Tennessee in Washington. Lee University is a patriotic campus. At the last presidential inauguration, we suspended classes so students could watch the ceremonies together on TV in large groups around campus. We plan to do the same this year. It’s thrilling to know that, this year, our students will be part of the festivities.”
Dr. Conn said, “I am grateful to Senator Alexander for this wonderful opportunity. We’re so complimented that, of all the fine schools he might have invited, he chose Lee University.”
The university will send its Festival Choir to perform at the inaugural ceremony, an ensemble traditionally convened to sing at special events on Lee’s campus. The 200-voice choir will comprise students chosen from among the school's seven choirs.
Lee University’s musical program is world renowned. Lee’s choral ensembles have toured extensively at home and abroad for fifty years, singing in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the World’s Fair (NYC), the Kennedy Center, the White House and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Lee’s School of Music, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, is comprised of two departments, the Department of Vocal Music and the Department of Instrumental Music. It offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in performance, church music, and music education.
Lee University is a private, comprehensive university with a current enrollment of 4,954, located in Cleveland. Lee provides a liberal arts education in a Christ-centered environment, offering more than 100 degree programs among its four colleges: Arts and Sciences, Music, Education and Religion.