Brooklyn Federal Court hosts special naturalization ceremony to celebrate Constitution Day

September 22, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Marking a significant moment of unity and American citizenship, Brooklyn’s United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently hosted a special naturalization event on Tuesday.

Held in the Hon. Jack B. Weinstein Ceremonial Courtroom at 225 Cadman Plaza East, the event was a vivid display of the nation’s rich tapestry of diversity.

Chief Judge Margo K. Brodie stands confidently at the podium, guiding attendees through the ceremony and embodying the essence of the federal court’s commitment to its community.

Presided over by Chief Judge Margo K. Brodie, the Constitution Day and Citizenship Day celebration commemorated the formation and signing of the United States Constitution. But it was more than just an observance of history; the event witnessed around 100 candidates proudly taking the Oath of Allegiance administered by Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak.

Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak conducts the ceremony with grace and gravitas, ushering in a new chapter for the 100 candidates taking the Oath of Allegiance.

Lending gravitas to the occasion, leaders from the American Composers Orchestra (ACO) delivered keynote addresses. The ACO, known for its unwavering commitment to promoting orchestral music by American composers, resonated with the spirit of the ceremony.

Melissa Ngan, president and chief executive officer of the ACO, was among the distinguished speakers. With her background in leading the Fifth House Ensemble in Chicago and crafting programs that benefit students and families transitioning from homelessness, Ngan’s speech was a heartfelt testament to the spirit of unity and community.

Melissa Ngan, president and CEO of the American Composers Orchestra, passionately speaks from the podium, with an esteemed panel of judges attentively listening in the background.

Her journey as a flutist and her educational background from the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University added depth to her words.

Curtis Stewart, the ACO’s artistic director, and a three-time Grammy-nominated violinist/composer, not only spoke but also enchanted attendees with a special violin performance. His vast musical repertoire, including collaborations with legends like Stevie Wonder and iconic performances at venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, was noticeable in his passionate renditions.

To further amplify the emotional resonance of the ceremony, Edmund McCarthy, a prominent tenor renowned for his roles in the tri-state area’s theatrical productions, delivered a striking rendition of the National Anthem. 

A grand commencement: The New York State Police proudly carry the American flag into Brooklyn’s federal courthouse, setting the stage for a landmark naturalization ceremony celebrating Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, an embodiment of America’s enduring promise and the shared journey of its newest citizens.

His contributions to Brooklyn’s Grace Choral Society and his formidable presence in Brooklyn’s Heights Players added a local dimension to the day’s proceedings.

 


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