CAMPUS NEWS

Gustavus Handbell Ensemble Refuses to Play Trump Inauguration

St. Peter, MN- Just a day before the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, the Gustavus Handbell Ensemble has made the last minute decision to cancel their performance. While they were reportedly offered payment in the double-digits, the ensemble felt that something more important than emergency beer money was on the line.

It is no secret that Trump’s staff has had some serious trouble getting any A-list celebrity talent at the event. Along with others, the Gustavus Choir was reportedly one of the first musical groups on campus to be asked to perform at the event. Dr. Aune, the conductor of the Gustavus Choir, responded with a long-winded and emotional speech that has since gone viral on social media which ended with him saying, “We have a moral responsibility as musicians to perform for people, not large carrots. Carrots don’t have ears.”

Ben Ro, a senior member and captain of the Handbell team said that they originally had made the commitment to play for whoever was elected, but that they had made the commitment on the full understanding that there was, “literally zero percent chance it was going to be Donald Trump.” Ro continued saying that the economic policies Trump is advocating for would be hurtful to hand bell players across the country, as the vast majority of handbells are not produced in the U.S. but are instead imported. “These tariffs could stop a generation of young aspiring Ringers (industry term) from getting access to the bells they need to practice and grow as musicians. Don’t stop the bells Mr. Trump. Let freedom ring.”

While the administration allowed the Handbell ensemble to cancel their performance, the liturgical dancers from Christmas in Christ Chapel are being forced to perform. They have allegedly been threatened with expulsion if they refuse.

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