The Lincoln Middle School Select Orchestra welcomed some new United States citizens by performing at a citizenship ceremony on Friday, March 13.
The event marked the 26th time students in the Portland Public Schools Orchestra Program have performed for a citizenship ceremony, said orchestra teacher Julianne Eberl. However, it is only the second time the performers have been middle school students – and both of those times have featured the LMS Select Orchestra, Eberl said.
The citizenship ceremony took place at U.S. District Court in Portland.
The orchestra students participating in the event were: Francesca Houran; Lucas Jasonides; Rebecca Frank; Tabarak Al-Musawi; Jacob Lowe; Ava Spach; Grace Tumavicus; Isabella More; Jill Joyce; Annie Dodson; Johanna Canter; and Glynis O'Meara.
Eberl described the role of the student orchestra at what is a momentous occasion for new Americans.
“The orchestra is brought into one of the jury rooms to unpack, tune up and warm up,” she said. “These are imposing rooms, with lots of marble, paneled walls, dentil moldings, large oil paintings, and hundreds of bound leather legal tomes, Then they are brought into one of the courtrooms – again, a grand space, and lots more marble and painting. And wonderful bronze chandeliers that the (Portland Police) Color Guard has to be careful to avoid hitting with the banners and flags they bring in!”
Eberl said the students sit in a prominent position near the front of the courtroom, “right by the jury box, next to the court reporter, the witness box and the clerk of the court's desk.”
First, she said, the LMS Select Orchestra performed welcome music as guests and the future new citizens arrived. They played Mozart's "Eine, Kleine Nachtmusik;" a Russian piece, "Hopak;" a medley of Irish songs: "The Last Rose of Summer," and "The Harp that Thru Tara's Halls;" and some Argentinian tangos, she said.
Then the ceremony began with a judge presiding, and the Portland Police Color Guard bringing in the colors and the American flag. The judge gave a speech about citizenship, then the new citizens were sworn in.
Then, Eberl said, the judge introduced each member of the LMS Select Orchestra and gave biographical information about their participation in the District 2 Honors Festival and other events. Then the orchestra played “The Star Spangled Banner;” “My Country 'Tis of Thee;” and “America the Beautiful.”