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Jefferson County commissioner sings solo while being sworn in

December 28, 2000

Jefferson County commissioner sings solo while being sworn in



By DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town


CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jane Tabb said she has often thought that swearing-in ceremonies for public officials needed a little more life.

On Thursday the new Jefferson County commissioner decided to do something about it.

To the surprise of several people who attended the ceremony at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Tabb sang a stirring rendition of "America the Beautiful."Tabb performed the song as she was being sworn in as the county commissioner representing the Middleway District.

Onlookers and several other office holders clapped in approval.

"A lot of people were surprised. They didn't know I could sing," Tabb said.

Jefferson County Commission President James G. Knode said he knew Tabb could sing, but he didn't know what to expect.

As it turned out, Tabb gave a strong performance that was "on the par with some professionals I have heard," Knode said.

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Knode said the song was very fitting as the County Commission looks forward to a new year.

"It kind of reminds us what it's all about," he said.

County officials said they did not know Tabb was going to sing until she inquired about it just before the meeting.

Jefferson County Clerk John Ott swore in the new office-holders.

Others sworn in were Ed Boober as Jefferson County sheriff, Ginger Bordier as Jefferson County assessor, Michael D. Thompson as Jefferson County prosecuting attorney and William Clem as Jefferson County surveyor.

Others were swore in privately in Ott's office.

Tabb said she has always wanted to sing, and in 1991 she became the soloist for the Christian Science Church in Shepherdstown, W.Va. She began taking voice lessons in 1993, and today she has about 75 songs in her repertoire.

The last time she sang "America the Beautiful" was two summers ago when U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., visited the federal Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, W.Va., where a new fruit tree was named in his honor.

"I sang all four verses then," Tabb said.

On Thursday she decided to sing only two verses, thinking the full song "may be a little much with me being sworn in."

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