In the wake of Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Jan Chamberlin’s announcement that she was resigning from the choir in protest of the group’s decision to perform during President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, another choir member, Cristi Ford Brazao of Murray, Utah, has come forward to defend her own decision to perform.
“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,” said Brazao in a video posted to Facebook. “It’s not so much about converting people but a spirit of fellowshipping.”
After learning of the choir’s decision to participate in the inauguration, Brazao said she talked with her family and decided to emulate the example of Marian Anderson, an African-American woman who sang at two presidential inaugurations during the segregation era. She posted the video on her Facebook page on Christmas Eve, but it just began gaining notice this week.
“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,” Brazao explained. “In this country where people are so divided and people are hurting. I truly believe in the power of music. It can heal hearts and I want to contribute to that healing and also to bringing people together.”
Watch the video below.