US composer gets in on the inauguration

US composer gets in on the inauguration


norman lebrecht

January 18, 2021

Although no classical artists have appearently been included in Biden-Harris showtime, the composer Peter Boyer has been commissioned by the United States Marine Band to compose a special fanfare for the Inauguration of President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol on January 20.

Titled ‘Fanfare for Tomorrow’, it will feature in a one-hour prelude music to the Inauguration, conducted by the Marine Band’s Director, Colonel Jason K. Fettig.



  • M McAlpine says:

    This is hilarious! All the talk about how Trump was a Philistine and then classical musicians for Biden Harris except a fanfare. What does that make our good Democrats I wonder? Arch-Philistines?

    • Bone says:

      In the interim between elections, classical music has been exposed for its non-woke origins. I doubt whether Joe or Kamala listen to classical music (I think Kamala loves her some Tupac from her college days LOL), but I’m sure the music of white privilege will have no place in this administration.

      • Christopher Culver says:

        “I think Kamala loves her some Tupac from her college days LOL”

        Kamala Harris is much older than you seem to think (a mistake I too have made). Her entire higher education was done by the end of the 1980s, and before Tupac Shakur’s career even started.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Since you ‘went there’, neither Biden or Harris will publicly make fun of people with handicaps and deformities. They probably won’t do that privately either. Biden won’t insult and call names at the wives of his cohorts, the way 45 frequently made a habit of doing. Biden might be ‘sleepy’, but he won’t get up and speak to his sycophants for hours, about how kitchen appliances are waaaay behind, and how he’s gong to sue the Sharpie company for making a faulty product. And on and on and on it goes – much of it far worst than those things I mention. But you folks who think he was the right choice for the job, like to forget all of that. Who the hell cares if there’s classical music at an inauguration, Democrat or Republican.

    • buxtehude says:

      Music to storm the Senate by. Those Patriots might have proved overwhelming had they brought this soundtrack along with.

    • PHF says:

      I don’t know why Hollywood still records soundtracks (not music), it is always the same thing, like canned soup. Much cheaper to produce if you create an algorithm able to write those soundtracks (again, not much music in there).

  • JussiB says:

    In other words they wanted classical elevator mood musak for the inauguration. Can’t they just play Telemann or French music?

    • minacciosa says:

      That’s not a fair assessment. he’s an American populist composer in the best sense of the term. Music is a huge tent – remember that.

  • Alastair Orr says:

    ‘The President’s Own’ United States Marine Band is among America’s premier musical ensembles. It contains graduates from many leading universities and conservatoires. The band has a rigorous and demanding audition process and maintains the highest musical standards. For any composer to receive a commission from this organisation is a high honour. I would encourage SD readers to listen and watch some of the work of this band on YouTube. They are first class musicians.

  • Should be a soviet socialist composer or March Funebre

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    It is befitting for the following composers to share their musical voices in the continuum of history. Looking forward to the music of Peter Boyer, Jim Stephenson, Kimberly Archer and Adolphus Hailstork. (I can safely share that Jim is in the process of composing his first Piano Concerto, which we have delayed due to Covid, and will present in 2022; one of the others listed here will be writing a new work for me for 2023-24-25, and we will reveal this at the appropriate time). Regardless of one’s political stance, music will continue and we will make sure it evolves as a testament of our time in history.

  • Jack says:

    Boyer has written some Coplandesque music in the past. He’s thus a good choice for this commission.

  • Curvy Honk Glove says:

    So a marchin’ band of crayon eating mercenaries couldn’t find a female composer of color to honor? I guess the patriarchy wins again.

  • Mike McGuire says:

    Mr. Lebrecht, The musicians of the US Marine Band are indeed “classical artists.” Almost all of them graduated from a school of music, and the band plays lot of classical music and wind music written for wind ensemble as well as chamber music and of course transcriptions. They don’t have to be “hired” to play though if you want to nit-pick my point. I’ve always thought you should hire someone who knows the classical music scene in the USA.

  • JussiB says:

    Do they have Wagner tubas or euphoniums in the marine band?

  • Mather Pfeiffenberger says:

    Today is the 60th anniversary of the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Fanfare for the Inauguration of John F. Kennedy:

    And tomorrow is the 60th anniversary of the inauguration itself.

  • LR says:

    Violinist Patricia Treacy is playing at the Inauguration.

  • Mather Pfeiffenberger says:

    The original version of Peter Boyer’s Fanfare for Tomorrow can be heard here:

    and the story of how he expanded it for the 59th US Presidential Inauguration here:

    The performance of James Stephenson’s Fanfare for Democracy at the 59th US Presidential Inauguration can be heard here:

    and another Zoom-mediated performance can be heard here:

    Finally, there is this local news interview with Kimberly Archer about the composition of her Fanfare Politeia: