Black Member Of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Says Singing At Trump’s Inauguration Will “Soften Hearts, Bridge Gaps, And Make Connections And Friends”.
A black member of a Mormon Choir has defended her decision to sing at Donald Trump‘s inauguration saying she hopes to soften hearts, bridge gaps and make friends.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has been asked to perform at the president-elect’s swearing in ceremony and their acceptance of the invitation has provoked outrage among some.
The invitation comes after Trump had trouble during the Republican primary campaign winning over Mormon voters, who voiced widespread skepticism about his candidacy.
It prompted a petition urging the choir not to sing in Washington and fellow choir member Jan Chamberlain to quit the group in protest.
But now, another singer in the choir, Cristi Ford Brazao from Utah, has taken to social media to defend her decision to perform with the group at the inauguration on January 20.
During a video posted on her Facebook page, Brazao, who has been with the choir for seven years, says she wanted to perform to ‘express the power of music.’
In the clip, which has been viewed more than 100,000 times, she says: ‘I can’t speak on behalf of everyone in the choir but for me, my mission as a singer has always been to soften hearts, to bridge gaps, to make connections and also to make friends.
‘It’s not so much about converting people but a spirit of fellow-shipping.
‘What I’m trying to do as a person is to be like Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ associated with prostitutes and liars and thieves and while he did not endorse what they were doing, he still didn’t hold his mission from them.
‘And my mission is one of love, peace and hope and I want to share that with others, even in the face of ridicule because that’s what Jesus Christ did.’
She later adds that she realizes the United States is divided but says she believes that music will bring people together.
She adds: ‘It can heal hearts and I want to contribute to that healing and also to bringing people together.’
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir are one of a few acts to confirm they will sing at Trump’s inauguration in just under two weeks time.
The group has already performed at the inaugurations of George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and added they were honored to be picked to perform.
However, a petition has been set up by fellow Mormons requesting that the choir do not perform at the ceremony saying they don’t want Mormon values associated with Trump.
However, the choir’s president Ron Jarrett says the group is ‘honored to be able to serve our country by providing music for the inauguration of our next president.’
Earlier this month, Trump’s inaugural committee announced that America’s Got Talent star Jackie Evancho will be singing the national anthem at the ceremony.
By JENNIFER NEWTON FOR MAILONLINE