Chicago musicians headed to DC for President Obama's 2nd inauguration

January 15, 2013 2:18:50 PM PST
The inauguration of President Barack Obama to his second term is less than a week away.

A diverse group of people has been invited to the nation's capital to take part in the swearing-in festivities and parade.

ABC7's Theresa Gutierrez has more on the Chicagoans taking part.

Nine members of the Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles, Chicago's' premier band for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, will be in the parade following President Obama's inauguration festivities.

"We get to stand in front of the president and say, 'This is who we are, and we deserve the same privileges as everyone else.' It is just a thrill," said Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles' Jessie Reuteler.

"It means so much to me that the president says we are worthwhile and accepted and important enough to be in this parade," said Erin Campbell.

The group performed at President Obama's first inauguration and was asked back for the second one. They will be joined by other lesbian and gay band association ensembles performing during the parade.

"It is an honor to represent Chicago and the LGB community through our music," said Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles Chair Andrew Favreau. "We are the only openly gay LGB community to perform in the parade and were one of the first in 2009."

Students in the marching band from Dr. Martin Luther King College Prep are going to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Presidential Inauguration Heritage Music Festival. The band performed at Obama's first inaugural event. This time they were not selected to be in the parade. However, they have been invited to perform at a presidential brunch and at a political event at Howard University.

Two-hundred King College Prep students will be going to D.C.

"These are future voters. To keep them in the spirit of the democratic process in music is a good thing that is happening," said Benjamine Washington, King College Prep's band director.

"I feel that we are very honored and bless to be able to go," said King College Prep student Kiara Crumble.

"I can remember when President Obama was elected and watching it on TV," said King College Prep student Alyx Scott. "It will be an honor to actually attend."

Four years ago, King College Prep band performed at several inaugural balls. This year, they are still waiting to hear if they will be performing for any of them.

King College Prep's band and jazz group will be competing against 60 other bands from across the country in Washington, D.C. They hope to win plaques and trophies for their music . They pride themselves on being a school that has functional music programs for their students.

ABC7's Cheryl Burton, Charles Thomas and Jason Knowles will all be in Washington, D.C. to cover the inauguration. Their live reports begin Sunday morning on ABC7.