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Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir Soloist Recounts Inauguration Performance

The Brooklyn Tabernacle choir performs during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Tabernacle choir performs during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Among the highlights of President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on Monday was the performance by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

The choir from the Brooklyn Tabernacle, a non-denominational church located in downtown Brooklyn, sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which featured a solo by 30-year-old Alicia Olatuja.

And that solo is what had many people talking.

“It was overwhelming in a beautiful way. Just seeing how people’s reactions were to the performance after the performance was over really just reminded me of the importance of standing in front of the world and delivering a message of hope and inspiration,” Olatuja told 1010 WINS on Tuesday.

Olatuja said she did quite a bit of exercise to get herself ready to sing.

“In my hotel room, I was doing jumping jacks, karate kicks, lunges, push-ups while warming up my voice just to get my body ready and my voice ready to be out there. Because we were sitting out there for about three hours before we even sang,” she said.

Despite it all, Olatuja said that she wasn’t nervous, but added the experience was surreal.

“Honestly when the music started, my heart steadied, I felt the love, the support and prayers of everybody surrounding me and then it just a matter of delivering it. Once I opened my mouth, I was like ‘Wow, ok. You know what? God is with me,'” Olatuja said.

A recording of the inaugural performance has just debuted on iTunes and will be included on a new album by the choir in April.

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