Governor Mills Announces Inaugural Program

The inauguration will feature original poetry readings and musical performances

Governor Janet Mills announced today the complete program for her inauguration next Wednesday, January 4, 2023. The inauguration will feature the reading of original poems by Julia Bouwsma, Maine’s Poet Laureate, and Richard Blanco, the fifth presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history. The inauguration will also feature musical performances by Dave Mallett, the Pihcintu Multi National Girls Choir, the Franklin County Fiddlers, the Sockalexis Family Singers, and the 195th Maine Army National Guard Band.

“The inauguration of a governor is about the people of Maine,” said Governor Mills. “Maine people are kind, hardworking, creative, and, above all else, strong. The talented folks performing at my inauguration are a tribute to the people of our great state, a showcasing of our talents and skills, and a profound reminder of all that is special about Maine.”

Governor Janet T. Mills is Maine’s first woman governor. In her historic reelection victory, she earned more votes than any governor in Maine history. She is the first governor since 1970 to be elected with a majority of the votes for both terms in office.

The schedule of events is as follows:

4:30 p.m.: Doors Open

5:00 p.m.: Pre-Inaugural Concert

  • 195th Maine Army National Guard Band
  • Franklin County Fiddlers, Mt. Blue High School
  • Dave Mallett
  • Pihcintu Multi National Girls Choir
  • Sockalexis Family Singers

6:00 p.m.: Reconvening of the Legislature in Convention

Seating of the Maine House of Representatives

  • Rachel Talbot Ross, Speaker of the House
  • Robert Hunt, Clerk of the House
  • Michelle Dunphy, Assistant Clerk

Seating of the Maine Senate

  • Troy Jackson, President of the Senate
  • Darek Grant, Secretary of the Senate
  • Jared Roy, Assistant Secretary

Inviting to the Convention

  • The State of Maine Judiciary

Inviting to the Convention Stage

  • Honored Guests and Immediate Family

Inviting to the Convention

  • The Honorable Janet T. Mills, Governor
  • Valerie Stanfill, Chief Justice, Maine Supreme Judicial Court
  • Douglas A. Farnham, Major General, The Adjutant General
  • Lisa Session, Lieutenant Colonel, Herald

Presentation of Colors

  • Honor Guard, Maine National Guard & Maine State Police

National Anthem

  • Maine National Guard Staff Sergeant Crystal Ryder

6:30 p.m.: Poetry Reading and Musical Performance

  • Pihcintu Multi National Girls Choir
  • Julia Bouwsma, Maine Poet Laureate
  • Dave Mallett
  • Richard Blanco, Fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet


  • Rabbi Erica Asch of Temple Beth El, Augusta

Oath of Office

  • Administered by Troy Jackson, President of the Maine Senate


  • Shenna Bellows, Secretary of State

7:00 p.m.: Inaugural Address

  • Honorable Janet T. Mills


  • Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Brown, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Maine


  • 195th Maine Army National Guard

Tickets are required for entry. Members of the public who have not received an invitation in the mail are able to reserve a ticket at

The website will prompt the ticket-seeker to enter their name, address, and email. Once completed, a confirmation will be emailed to the recipient. A follow-up email with tickets in PDF format will be sent closer to the date of the event.

Those unable to reserve a ticket online can call 207-358-9350 to reserve one, which can then be retrieved at will call. Tickets are reserved on a first come, first serve basis until the Civic Center’s capacity is reached. For security reasons, no backpacks or large bags will be allowed.

Additional information on press credentialing and logistics surrounding the inaugural ceremony is forthcoming.

Background on Performers:

Franklin County Fiddlers: The Franklin County Fiddlers is a multi-stylistic fiddle band comprised of students from Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, the hometown of Governor Mills. The program was founded and is directed by Mt. Blue Regional School District Orchestra Director Steve Muise who works with the students to create arrangements, learn about musical styles, stage presence, tone, composition, and improvisation. Since their inception in 1993, the fiddlers have toured the Canadian Maritimes three times and have also played in Ireland, Québec, Boston, Nashville, and Louisiana. The Franklin County Fiddlers also played at Governor Mills inauguration in 2019.

Pihcintu Multi National Girls Choir: Founded in 2006 in Portland, Pihcintu Multi National Girls Choir a multicultural chorus that brings together young immigrant women who have escaped war, bloodshed, famine, refugee camps, and political turmoil to sing as one. Through the power of music, they are able to form a powerful bond that helps them restart their lives and begin the process of healing. The chorus includes young women from Cambodia, China, Congo, El Salvador, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Viet Nam, British West Indies, and Zambia, along with children whose families have been here for generations. The chorus has performed for more 300,000 people live and hundreds of millions via broadcast. They have appeared at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC, The National Cathedral, Washington, DC and the United Nations, New York, New York to name but a few of the venues. More than 300 girls representing 40 countries have participated in the chorus with 100 percent high school graduation and 85 percent post-secondary education rate. Pihcintu was founded by Con Fullam a five- time Emmy Nominated television producer and a multi-award winning song writer, producer and performer.

Dave Mallett: In a career spanning four decades, Dave Mallett has recorded 17 albums, had several hundred covers of his songs, including the American folk classic Garden Song and performed in clubs, concert halls and festivals across the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has appeared on numerous broadcasts, including National Public Radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. Known for his carefully written, poetic offerings, his body of work has provided material for an eclectic list of artists that includes Alison Krauss, Pete Seeger, Hal Ketchum, Emmylou Harris, John Denver and the Muppets.

Sockalexis Family Singers: Led by Chris Sockalexis, a member of the Penobscot Nation and the Penobscot Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, the family of six will perform an honor song.

195th Maine Army National Guard Band: The mission of the 195th Army Band is "to provide music throughout the full spectrum of military operations and instill in our Soldiers the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote our national interests at home and abroad.” The Band provides music that promotes troop morale, unit esprit, and civil military operations and performs for troop gatherings and activities, military and religious ceremonies, civil affairs, disaster relief, and psychological operations. The 195th also performs for a broad array of community events such as "Home Days", parades, community concerts, and commissionings.

Julia Bouwsma: Julia Bouwsma lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine, where she is a poet, farmer, and small-town librarian. She is the author of two poetry collections: Midden and Work by Bloodlight. She is the Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, Maine. Bouwsma is the recipient of the 2019 and 2018 Maine Literary Awards for Poetry Book, the 2016-17 Poets Out Loud Prize, the 2015 Cider Press Review Book Award. She has received writing residencies from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Monson Arts, and Annex Arts in Castine. She contributes poems and book reviews to Cutthroat, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, RHINO, River Styx, and other journals. Bouwsma, a former Managing Editor for Alice James Books, currently serves as an instructor at University of Maine at Farmington and on the Community Advisory Board for Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

Richard Blanco: Selected by President Obama as the fifth inaugural poet in U.S. history, Richard Blanco is the first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity characterizes his four collections of poetry: How To Love a Country, City of a Hundred Fires, which received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press; Directions to The Beach of the Dead, recipient of the Beyond Margins Award from the PEN American Center; and Looking for The Gulf Motel, recipient of the Paterson Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award. He has also authored the memoirs For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey and The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Blanco has written occasional poems for the re-opening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Freedom to Marry, the Tech Awards of Silicon Valley, and the Boston Strong benefit concert following the Boston Marathon bombings. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and has received numerous honorary doctorates. He has taught at Georgetown University, American University, and Wesleyan University. He serves as the first Education Ambassador for The Academy of American Poets.