El Dorado Springs resident Ben Vickers is headed to Washington D.C. this week. He is part of the 50-voice Missouri State University Chorale which is scheduled to perform at the Presidential Inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20.
The Chorale, directed by Dr. Cameron LaBarr, will perform during the nationally televised inaugural ceremony. The group will perform an original song called “Now We Belong,” written specifically for this choir and this occasion, by Michael Dennis Browne with music from composer John Wykoff. They are scheduled to sing at around 11 a.m., just before the swearing-in of Vice-President-elect Mike Pence.
Senator Roy Blunt, chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, made the announcement Oct. 7 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.
“I’m very proud to announce that MSU’s Chorale will represent the university and the state of Missouri on the national stage at the 58th Presidential Inauguration,” said Blunt. “I have no doubt that the millions of Americans watching the ceremony will be as impressed with these incredibly talented students as all of us who have had the opportunity to hear them perform.”
Ben commented, “The arts are such an important aspect of our lives, and being part of MSU’s Choral program has brought amazing opportunities to a small town boy like me. I am so grateful to the people in my wonderful hometown, like Mr. Alumbaugh, for preparing me to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
This select choir of 50 voices has toured throughout the United States, Europe and South Africa and performs regularly at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, Missouri Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Education. While in Washington D.C., the Chorale will also perform at a concert and reception at 6 p.m. Jan. 21 at National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW, Washington D.C.
“We are honored that the Missouri State University Chorale has been selected to perform at the inauguration,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for Chorale students to take part in an important and historic event.”
Ben is a sophomore at Missouri State University majoring in Music. He is the son of Kyle and Debbie Vickers of El Dorado Springs.