At long last, some answers! The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) has just released the lineup of participants for the swearing-in ceremony.
Participants of note include queen of soul Aretha Franklin, violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, and Grammy Award winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Dr. Rick Warren, pastor of the California megachurch Saddleback Church, will provide the innvocation, and a poem will be read by the Washington-born poet Elizabeth Alexander.
The program participants were invited by the committee and chosen by the committee chairwoman senator Dianne Feinstein, president-elect Barack Obama, and vice president-elect Joe Biden. In a statement about the program, Feinstein said, “The inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama will be an event of historic proportion. It is appropriate that the program will include some of the world’s most gifted artists from a wide range of backgrounds and genres.”