South Side Musician an Inaugural Player

Chatham's Anthony McGill part of inaugural quartet

Chicago's South Side has been the incubator for our city's particular brand of blues, rhythm and blues and gospel music, as well as the longtime home of president-elect Barack Obama.

But just before Obama took the oath of office Tuesday, another son of the South Side took the spotlight in a different style of music during the inauguration ceremonies.

Anthony McGill -- raised in the Chatham neighborhood and, at age 29, principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra -- appeared as part of a quartet that includes cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman and pianist Gabriela Montero. They played a short piece written for the ceremony by John Williams, composer of dozens of film scores ranging from "E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial" to "Star Wars.'"

The inauguration's musical lineup also included Aretha Franklin, the U.S. Army Marine Band, children's choruses from San Francisco and a contingent from the U.S. Navy Band.

Wynne Delacoma, the Sun-Times' classical music critic from 1991 to 2006, profiles McGill on

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