The Saint Mary's College NightinGaels performed during the Legislature's opening session on Dec. 6, 2004 in Sacramento to honor newly elected Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata '67.

The student choral group, led by director Bruce Koliha and accompanist Lino Rivera, sang three selections (including The Bells of Saint Mary's) and received a standing-ovation from a standing-room-only crowd in the state Capitol. The NightinGaels were invited by Perata's staff as a surprise for his official swearing in to the Senate's top post.

Perata, the former Senate majority leader, succeeded longtime Senate leader John Burton. The ceremonies that opened the Legislature's new two-year session also included the swearing in of 97 legislative veterans and 21 first-time lawmakers.

-- Lisa N. Douglass
Office of College Communications

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