Mormon Tabernacle Choir singer quits over Trump inauguration

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Mormon Tabernacle Choir singer quits over Trump inauguration performance

The rocky road to Donald Trump’s inauguration performances gains another speed bump as one group slated to perform, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, has lost a member due to its decision.

Jan Chamberlin, who sings in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints-affiliated group, announced her resignation in a note on Facebook Thursday. “Since ‘the announcement,’ I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony,” she writes. “I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul.”

Chamberlin continues, “I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fa[s]cism by singing for this man.”

She also writes that she joined the Choir to honor her father and she now chooses to leave because “my father (who was an expert airforce bomber) hated tyranny and was extremely distraught over the holocaust. He and Mom both loved people greatly.” She says, “I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him.”

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins tells the Salt Lake Tribune that members are “not required to participate” in the inauguration ceremonies.

This resignation comes after members of the Radio City Rockettes expressed disdain over performing at the President-elect’s inauguration earlier this week. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable standing near a man like that in our costumes,” one dancer wrote in an email obtained by Marie Claire. “I feel like dancing for Trump would be disrespecting the men and women who work with us, the people we care about,” a dancer told the magazine.

America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho is slated to perform the national anthem during the inauguration, though Grammy-winning producer David Foster “politely declined” to be involved in the ceremonies, he told PEOPLE in a statement this month. An ask to perform is also out to the Beach Boys, who have yet to make a decision about participating.


Mormon Tabernacle Choir singer quits over Donald Trump inauguration performance

SALT LAKE CITY -- A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir says she has resigned from the famed group over its decision to perform at next month’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Jan Chamberlin posted her resignation letter to choir leaders on her Facebook page Thursday. In it, she writes that by performing at the Jan. 20 inaugural, the 360-member choir will appear to be “endorsing tyranny and facism.” She says she feels betrayed by the choir’s decision to take part.

The choir is part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins tells The Salt Lake Tribune that participation in the choir and the inaugural performance is voluntary.

Hawkins said last week the choir’s tradition of presidential performances isn’t “implied support of party affiliations or politics.”


Mormon Tabernacle Choir member quits, refuses to sing for Trump

Another member of a group selected to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration is protesting.

Jan Chamberlin, a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is quitting the group and saying that she could never sing for Trump.

She sent a resignation letter to the choir president this week.

"I've tried to tell myself that it will be all right and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man," Chamberlin wrote in a Facebook post. "I only know I could never 'throw roses to Hitler.' And I certainly could never sing for him."

One month out, Trump inauguration lacks star power
Chamberlin said she has concerns about the choir's reputation after performing at the inauguration.
"Looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man," she wrote.

"Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm," Chamberlin added.

The choir did not return a request for comment. Boris Epshteyn, a spokesman for Trump's inaugural festivities, simply said, "We're honored to have the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform in the 58th Inauguration, their sixth time participating in inaugural ceremonies, and we look forward to their uplifting performance."

Phoebe Pearl, a dancer with the Rockettes, reportedly had previously protested on Instagram about the group being chosen to perform at the event. Her post has since been deleted.

The Madison Square Garden Company, which operates the Rockettes, previously said the dancers would not be compelled, by MSG or their union, to perform at next month's inaugural festivities.

The committee for Trump's inauguration has not yet publicized any major celebrities performing at the event -- a change from the past two events.

The inaugural committee has announced The Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 16-year-old "America's Got Talent" star Jackie Evancho.

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