ROGERS PARK — A special inauguration edition of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” Wednesday night will include a musical performance by Chance The Rapper and the Chicago Children’s Choir, among others.
“The Late Show” will air live at 10:35 p.m. Wednesday on CBS. Earlier that day, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as president and vice president, respectively.
The episode will include a pre-taped performance by Chance The Rapper, Peter CottonTale, Kofi Lost and Cynthia Erivo featuring the Chicago Children’s Choir and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, according to Deadline.
The song being performed is “Together (Soundtrack From Year In Search),” which Peter CottonTale wrote as part of Google’s year-in-review content. It features Chicago Children’s Choir members including Austin Burgett, an 18-year-old Lane Tech High School student from Rogers Park.
“Being in a room with all these Black teens from Chicago, it was empowering,” Burgett said. “It feels like we are gaining power even with everything that’s going on with the world.”
The “Colbert” performance was filmed four days after the Capitol riots, where supporters of President Donald Trump stormed Congress. It was a confusing time for the performers, but being in the Chicago Children’s Choir has taught them to channel their grief through art, which is a comfort during difficult times, Burgett said.
“The choir was a place where I could gain a voice,” he said. “This is how we chose to fight back.”
This isn’t the first time the Children’s Choir has performed with Chance and fellow collaborators like Peter CottonTale. The choir was on stage during Chance’s “Magnificent Coloring Day” festival at Sox Park, performed with Chance at Lollapalooza and was involved in the rapper’s recent Christmas special.
“To have these collaborations with Chicago artists, world-class artists, it’s a special bond,” said Josephine Lee, the Chicago Children’s Choir president and artistic director.
The performance is a career highlight for Burgett, who has spent 10 years with the Chicago Children’s choir. Burgett, who also plays piano, will go to college next year and likely will study engineering, said he is excited to have this experience on his resume.
“For me, to finally see the full product after all this work will be amazing,” Burgett said. “I’m so stoked to see myself on screen.”
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