Saturday, June 12, 2021

Mormon choir member quits rather than sing for Trump


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Mormon choir

A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has quit the group rather than sing at Donald Trump’s inauguration and appear to endorse “tyranny and fascism.”

In a resignation letter posted on her Facebook page Thursday, Jan Chamberlin said she had agonised over whether to sing at the January 20 ceremony and “spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil.”

She said her only option, finally, was to quit the famed choir.

“I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events,” she wrote. “I could never look myself in the mirror again with self-respect.”

The singer, who had been with the choir for five years, said her decision came down to upholding her moral values.

“I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him,” she wrote.

Chamberlin said while she respected the choir’s bid to be politically neutral, “I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that (the) choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man.”

Her open letter came a week after it was announced that the 360-member choir, which has a long tradition of performing for presidents, and the Radio City Rockettes would appear at Trump’s inauguration.

Several members of the dance troupe have also expressed reservations about performing at the event.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which runs the choir, would not comment on Chamberlin’s decision. A spokesman said performing at the inauguration was voluntary and that only a limited number of singers would participate due to limited space.

A petition urging the choir to snub the ceremony has gained nearly 24,000 signatures.

Only a smattering of artists backed Trump’s election bid and the Republican president-elect has struggled to pin down big names for the January 20 event in Washington, with high-profile stars including Elton John turning down invites.

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