No doubt, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's announcement that it will perform at the presidential inauguration on January 20 has opened a floodgate of media attention. From petitions to one choir member's decision to resign from the choir, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has suddenly become the focus of debate across the nation.
Recently, Cristi Ford Brazao, a member of the choir for seven years, took to Facebook to share why she decided to perform at President-Elect Trump's inauguration.
Brazao's decision was not an easy one. "I talked to my mom who prayed with me. I talked to my husband, my kids, and my brother," she shares in the video. Though two members of her family were not Mormon and none of them voted for Donald Trump, all showed support for Brazao and the choir. Still, the decision took several days.
But then Brazao recalled the times when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang at past presidential inaugurations and for audiences who held views the choir did not agree with. She also told the story of Marian Anderson: "She's an African-American contralto classical singer who sung at two inaugurations at a time in this country when she couldn’t even walk in the front door of the building where she was performing her own concert because of the color of her skin.”
That story gave Brazao the strength to decide to sing with the choir.
"My mission as a singer has always been to soften hearts, bridge gaps, make connections, and also to make friends. It’s not so much about converting people but a spirit of fellowshipping,” Brazao says.
She continues: “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.”