For a music lecturer at Case Western Reserve University, the high note of the inauguration won't be the swearing in ceremony or throngs of people or even the glamorous balls and parties. It will be a much quieter event: the traditional inaugural luncheon for the new president.
Julie Andrijeski, a violinist, will be part of a small chamber ensemble that will perform during the traditional bipartisan meal, which is attended by members of both houses of Congress, Supreme Court justices, Cabinet members and the families of both the outgoing and incoming presidents and vice presidents.
"I was thrilled (to be asked to play). It is such an honor," Andrijeski said. "This election has been very exciting and filled with action-packed thrills through the whole process."
Andrijeski's invitation to play came from Kenneth Slowik, director of the Smithsonian Institution's Chamber Music Society and curator of the division of music at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, which provides the music for the inaugural luncheon.
Slowik is also the artistic director for the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College, a summer program at which Andrijeski teaches violin and dance. Among the other members of the five-person ensemble are two Oberlin professors.
"I got lucky," she joked when asked how her invitation came about. "Ken and I have worked together in the summer program at Oberlin and I will be playing with this group again in May as part of the Smithsonian's regular series. So, in addition to it being such an honor to play, it also allows us additional rehearsal time as a group."
The music for the program comes mostly from Thomas Jefferson's library. Andrijeski says the former president owned a fine collection of works by Handel and others, which now belong to the Smithsonian. Works by Purcell and several popular marches —typical for a presidential event —also will be included.
It's unlikely that Andrijeski will have an opportunity to meet the nation's 44th president, but being asked to take part in an event held in his honor is still quite a thrill, she said.
"Right now, I honestly don't know what I'd say (if I met him)," she said. "But it's such a special and historic event, and that makes it all the more exciting for me."
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