Mormon Tabernacle Choir Member Refuses to 'Throw Roses to Hitler' at Trump's Inauguration

jan chamberlin
Cassie Sheets

Donald Trump’s inauguration, set to take place on Friday, January 20, is shaping up to be the must-miss event of 2017. The President-elect has had difficulty finding A-list (or B-list or C-list) performers for the event, with just three confirmed performances by 16-year-old classical singer Jackie Evancho of America’s Got Talent, the Radio City Rockettes, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Last Tuesday, a Rockette identified as Mary told Marie Claire she was willing to lose her job if it meant skipping the inauguration. It turns out she wasn’t alone in that thought. Jan Chamberlin, a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, sent a letter of resignation to the choir president last week, explaining her reasons in a lengthy Facebook post

"I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be all right and that I can continue in good conscious before God and man. I only know I could never 'throw roses to Hitler.' And I certainly could never sing for him," Chamberlin wrote. "Looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man," she added.

While President Obama’s inaugurations boasted popular performers, including Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor, and Aretha Franklin, President-elect Trump hasn't had the same luck with booking recognizable names. John Legend explained the popular opinion among artists who have publicly stated they wouldn’t perform: "Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate. We tend to be more liberal-minded. When we see somebody that’s preaching division and hate and bigotry, it’s unlikely he’ll get a lot of creative people that want to be associated with him."

In an interview with MSNBC, Chamberlin said she was given a choice of whether or not she would perform at the inauguration, and though her job wasn’t in jeopardy, she decided to resign anyway.

"The longer I thought about it, the more that I felt I needed to go beyond just quietly choosing not to go,"Chamberlin told MSNBC. "I was concerned about the image that it’s giving to others throughout the world."

 

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