Inauguration event #2: Inaugural Ball

Monday, January 21st, 2013 by

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth –
President Obama’s 2nd Inaugural Speech

On the morning of January 21, I stayed in bed to watch the pomp and circumstance of the 57th Inauguration. I had wanted to go stand with the crowd, then visit the King Memorial, but after learning of the challenge of transportation, and that public transit might be suspended for a portion of the day, I decided it was too risky to venture into the city, given that I was to perform later in the day. There would be plenty of other chances for being a tourist in the nation’s capital.

Watching the Inauguration from my hotel room, I especially enjoyed the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir! What great singing and such a lovely arrangement.  The soloist, Alicia Olatuja, was exceptional!  I also enjoyed Beyonce’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner – though the controversy over whether or not she lip-synced is disappointing.  Either way, she’s a fantastic singer.

At 5pm, the band met in the lobby, then boarded the shuttles to the Washington Convention Center. Once we arrived, we had to navigate several security stations, walk in circles as we tried to figure out where to go inside the venue (thank GOD I wore comfortable shoes), and then finally met up in our designated dressing room.

Me, waiting outside of our dressing room

Shortly after finishing my make up, we were rushed to the backstage area (‘hurry up and wait’ was again in effect), where we watched others performers come and go for about an hour. I was able to meet members the band Fun (and yes, I was singing along LOUDLY to their song “We Are Young”), members of the band Maná, John Legend and members of the band Soundgarden. Finally, it was Stevie’s turn to perform. The crowd loved it, but sadly, I learned later, CNN decided to only show portions of his performance. Who can predict a director’s editing decisions? Oh well.

Andrew Dost (Fun), Nate WattsNate RuessJack Antonoff (Fun), Me
Me, Emily Moore (Fun)

Roland Gajate, Héctor Quintana, Me

Me, John Legend

Me, Jamie Foxx

I had a great time, and relished every moment of standing on that stage next to the platform where the President and Mrs. Obama danced. As I walked off stage, Jamie Foxx was preparing to go onstage, and graciously extended a hand to help me off stage. It’s nice to encounter a superstar who is also a gentleman!

While I was unable to meet the President or Mrs. Obama, I am thrilled to have had the honor to perform for them. Next goal? To perform at the White House of course! 2013 – my year of Jubilee!

This entry was posted on Monday, January 21st, 2013 at 8:55 pm and is filed under Inaugural Ball, Inauguration, Obama, Stevie Wonder. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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