If you’re gonna get inaugurated, you might as well do it right. And President-elect Barack Obama definitely is. He’s got the Queen of Soul, the King of Dramatic Film Music and more than 10,000 U.S. troops to have his back in D.C. on January 20.
It was announced today that Aretha Franklin will sing at the historic event, her first time at an inauguration (though she did sing for President Bill Clinton back in 1993). It’ll also be her chance to return the favor to Obama, who sang a little bit of one of her own tunes to her at a Labor Day rally on the campaign trail in Detroit.
But it won’t just be Aretha making music on January 20 — the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has also enlisted none other than John Williams — best known for scoring Star Wars and Jaws — to compose a new work to be played by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill. Williams also wrote music for Obama’s election-night rally in Chicago’s Grant Park. We know they won’t be playing “The Imperial March” on inauguration day, but still. If you want to feel like a bad ass to instrumental music there are few other people worth calling.
Right now the expected attendance is around four million, surely the biggest audience yet for the other musical guests of the day — the San Francisco Boys and Girls Choirs.