WASHINGTON, D.C. | Caleb Larsen was full of life as he and the Purdue Varsity Glee Club sang to guests arriving Sunday night at the Indiana Inaugural Ball.
Larsen, 22, of Highland, beamed as the group kicked off the night with Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” and continued through cocktails and appetizers with a mix of songs including Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You.”
“One interesting thing about glee club is we actually don't know what we're going to sing,” he said. “We have about 75 or 80 songs that we know and our director will just tell us before we sing it.”
Yechan Lim, 20, of Gary, was in the front of the group providing larger than life expressions as the group sang to guests coming down the stairs of the Omni Shoreham Hotel ballroom.
“Just being here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me,” he said.
This is the club’s sixth time performing at an inauguration event, club director William E. Griffel said.
“They performed at Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration in 1953,” he said. “Back then they performed in the parade float that would drive right by the president’s viewing box.”
As guests sat down for dinner in the large ballroom, Jason Ban stood on the risers with the group of 50 and waited for the program to begin.
“The best part is to come and sing the national anthem at something like this,” said Ban, 21, of Crown Point.
The group also broke off into smaller groups and serenaded individual tables throughout dinner — something Ban and Larsen were excited about.
“It's an honor for us to be able to perform at this,” Larsen said. “It's not something to be taken lightly. It's exciting that growing up none of us would expect that we would be doing something like this.”