Jim Hawthorne, who has been the “Voice of the Tigers” for 36 years as LSU’s play-by-play broadcaster, has another big gig ahead of him: Hawthorne has been picked to serve as the master of ceremonies for Louisiana Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards’ inauguration next week.
Edwards, who is set to be sworn into office on Monday, revealed that news and a few other details about his inauguration plans in a release on Thursday.
Retired Lt. Col. Murray Starkel, Edwards’ classmate at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, will introduce the incoming governor at the swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps.
Nancy Armstrong Holmes, Minister of Music at Greater King David Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, will perform the National Anthem. Richard O’Brien, a Purple Heart recipient who served in the U.S. Navy, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Richard O’Brien, a Purple Heart recipient who served in the U.S. Navy as a Captain on a river patrol boat.
The Rev. Rodney Wood of The Mission Foundation will lead the invocation, and the Rev. Samuel Tolbert, president of the National Baptist Convention, will lead the inaugural prayer. Father Mark Beard of St. Helena Catholic Church, Edwards’ home church, will give the benediction.
Musical performances will include Tulane Roots of Music, Centenary College Choir, Victory Belles, Livingston Parish Children’s Choir, the Louisiana National Guard Band and an inaugural gospel choir made up of members from five choirs around Baton Rouge.
State Rep. Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, and his family will perform Amazing Grace in French.
Edwards’ inauguration theme is “Louisiana First.”
Crews have been working to build the stage for the inaugural ceremony on the Capitol steps and build risers for TV crews.
An inaugural ball will be held Monday evening at Celtic Studios.