The Bridge Ministry Fundraiser 9/21/17

For a change Silver Strings got to do something really neat, yet humbling.  We played background music for a fundraising dinner for The Bridge Ministry in the David Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena.  The Bridge Ministry was established by gospel singer, Candy Christmas, a few years ago to feed the homeless every Tuesday evening under the Jefferson Street Bridge.  Through her vision and guidance the ministry feeds sometimes hundreds of people every week as well as providing clothes and food boxes to take with them.

After we finished our part, the program continued with a performance by Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum along with her father and Ricky Skaggs of songs she had written.  Following her performance Franklin Graham, the Reverend Billy Graham’s son, took the stage to deliver thanks and encouragement to all the volunteers who participate every week in the feeding and care of so many.

Following Rev. Graham, Jasmine, Candy’s daughter and singer in her own right, took the stage to once again prove that apples don’t fall too far from the tree.

It was such an honor to be a part of this celebration of the generosity and love of so many people for those less fortunate than they.

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Weddings and More Weddings 9/16/17

As I haven’t figured out yet how to clone myself to be able to play four weddings all at the same time, I send my trusted colleagues to take care of business in my place.  Cellist, Elizabeth Browne, played solo cello for the wedding of Elizabeth and Keith at Homestead Manor near Spring Hill.  She played mostly traditional selections with the exception of “Throw the Coins” from Sense and Sensibility for the recessional.

Meanwhile at Cheekwood Susan Mullen led a trio for the nuptials of Kristina and Dustin in the mansion.  The couple also chose traditional music for their ceremony that included “Jesu”, “Wedding March aka Here Comes the Bride” and “Wedding March Recessional”, saving the fun stuff for the cocktail hour that followed.

And yet another wedding took place in Columbia with Craig Duncan presiding over the music.  This time the couple, Gracen and Shad, chose mostly contemporary music for prelude as well as the processionals.  Selections included “When God Made You” for the mothers, “U2’s “All I Want Is You” for the maids and “A Thousand Years” for Gracen’s entrance.

Kudos to Angelina Ruiz, Meredith Zeller and Kimberly Scruggs for their expert coordination of the weddings in their charge.  And most of all congratulations to all the couples with wishes for many years of happiness together!

Wedding at Trinity View Farm 9/16/17

September is the new June.  I had four weddings booked for about the same time on September 16.  I chose to play the one with the best view.  Jocelyn Sprouse, Charis MacKrell and Gary Tussing joined me at Trinity View Farm to play for the nuptials of Amanda and Will.

Trinity View Farm is near Franklin and sports a breathtaking view from the back of the stable where we played pre-prelude music as guests arrived, then later played the official prelude further up the hill from the stable.  The guests were able to view the ceremony with the stunning view as a backdrop.  Will, a very organized guy, sent the requests for each aspect of our part.  The prelude was a selection of contemporary tunes that included Coldplay’s “Yellow”, Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight”.  The processionals were traditional:  “Simple Gifts” for the mothers, “Jesu” for the bridesmaids and “Canon in D” for Amanda.  Amanda’s was stunning in a beautiful non-traditional gown of a rich light brown color.  We couldn’t resist a picture of a beautiful butterfly that on one of our chairs during the ceremony.

After the ceremony everyone returned to the stable for the cocktail hour for which we played a variety of classic and contemporary rock including songs by the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay and Michael Jackson.

I’d need to brag on coordinator, Ashley Coston, of Love Southern Social.  If anything could go wrong, it did.  The shuttles were late because their previous job ran late.  The band for the reception lost the transmission of their van…fortunately at the bottom of the hill at Trinity View…but it put them behind for getting set up.  The officiant was a little late and a few other minor things happened but Ashley was cool as a cucumber coordinating everything to seamlessly take care of the delays and no one was the wiser.

Congratulations to Amanda and Will and their families.  They were all lovely, easy going people and a joy to work with.  Best wishes for a long and happy life to the newlyweds.

 

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Wedding at CJ’s Off the Square 9/3/17

On Sunday, September 3, 2017 Silver Strings played for the ceremony and cocktail hour of Sidney and Stephen at CJ’s Off the Square in Franklin.  What was neat and different was that the ceremony took place, not in front of the gazebo, but in front of the greenery to one side of the garden with a cross erected in the background.  The trio was in the gazebo this time.  Sidney chose “Ave Maria” for the seating of the mothers and grandmothers, “Trumpet Voluntary” for the bridal party and the beautiful “Canon in D” for her entrance.  There were tears of joy as self-penned vows were exchanged and afterwards cheers went up as they were pronounced husband and wife.

After the ceremony we continued with the fun stuff for a cocktail hour including “Thinking Out Loud”, “Shut Up and Dance”, “H.O.L.Y”, “Wagon Wheel” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.

Silver Strings wishes Sidney and Stephen all the best in their new life together as husband and wife.  May they have many, many happy years together!

Wedding in Bellevue 9/2/17

On September 2, 2017 Natalie and Robert were wed in front of friends and family at her mother’s home in Bellevue, TN.  Silver Strings was pressed into service with a traditional program of traditional, classical music.  Natalie was a joy to work with and the love their families showed for each other was abundantly clear.

I’d like to give a thanks here to DJ, Alex Lance, of The TC Show for being so nice about plugging us into his system so we could be heard easily by the guests during prelude and ceremony music.

Congratulations and best wishes for a long and happy life together to Natalie and Robert and their families.

Silver Strings aka BlackWire at Lakeside, OH 8/16/17

On August 16 at a Chautauqua (look it up if you don’t know what it is) in Lakeside, OH, Silver Strings, aka BlackWire (the dark side of the Silver Strings force) played a show of classic and contemporary rock as well as backing Sandy Merrill, a big band singer par excellence, in the big auditorium there.  We were joined by drums, bass and keyboard for an evening that included Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” (what a thrill for the string players!), Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” sung by Sandy, and as the grand finale…”Freebird”.  Since Lakeside is a smoke free community anyone who wanted to channel their inner Freebird had to use their cell phone app of a flashlight or lighter to participate in the tradition of waving a flaming lighter.  Other songs included “Stayin’ Alive”, “Love Yourself”, “Sentimental Journey”, a song written by Sandy called “Second Chances” that brought a terrific response from the audience.

For this show Sandy and I flew our drummer, Logan Todd, up from Nashville who did a fabulous job of being the heartbeat of the group.  We girls dressed in our spike heels, sparkly jewelry and hip clothes to reinforce the fact that we weren’t just classical stiffs.  Many thanks to the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra members who joined me in the BlackWire show in the Hoover Auditorium at Lakeside, OH.  20170817_081345

Wedding at Opryland Hotel Conservatory 7/22/17

July 22, 2017 found Silver Strings in the Conservatory of Opryland Hotel for the nuptials of Jaclynn and Paul.  There is a small area in the Conservatory called the Lions Head Fountain that can accommodate maybe 30 guests.  While guests gathered we played songs such as “A Thousand Years” and “River Flows in You”.  The processionals were “I Loved Her First” for the mothers, “Hallelujah” for the Maids and finally, Canon in D, for Jaclynn.  The grand finale was “Over the Rainbow”, the Israel Kamakaiwiwo’ole version (say that three times fast).

After the ceremony we all dashed to Jimmy Kelly’s restaurant for a dinner reception where the trio played “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Wind Beneath My Wings” for their first dance, father/daughter and mother/son dances.

Congratulations to Jaclynn and Paul and their families and many wishes for a long and happy life together.

Wedding in Franklin 6/17/17

The second wedding in our June 17 double header took place in Franklin, TN at the Southern Hills Church of Christ.  This wedding was by far the most interesting, fun and challenging wedding in our long history of playing weddings.

Amy and Kyle were married in a more or less traditional ceremony with several practical jokes played along the way.  Processionals included “On the Street Where You Live” for the mothers and grandmothers.  Then the fun began with the groomsmen arriving to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” theme followed by “Concerning Hobbits” for the bridesmaids and kids.  Amy chose “Mrs Darcy” from Pride and Prejudice for her entrance.

After the preliminaries it was time for the exchange of vows.  One of the groomsmen handed Kyle his vows that looked like a wadded up piece of paper with nothing written on it.  Oh well.  Then came the exchange of rings at which time one of the groomsmen dropped a ring on the floor and went scurrying after it.  Turns out it wasn’t the real thing, just a distraction.  Vows finally said, real rings exchanged, it was time for the kiss.  This time all the groomsmen opened pieces of paper with either a number or comment written them in judgement of the kiss.  We’re not done yet…at the amen of the final prayer the trio launched into “I Am the Doctor” from Dr. Who, a song that on American Bandstand would have gotten the lowest rating possible for dancing.  The song is written in 7/8, a time signature that suggests a marked limp with the uneven feel of an odd number.

After the ceremony we reconvened outside to play more movie music, including the “Throne Room” processional from Star Wars for the presentation of the newlyweds,  and classic rock for the guests as they feasted and celebrated with Ashley and Kyle.  Several guests took the microphone to sing several requested songs accompanied by us.  As soon as the sun went down the guests were treated to a beautiful display of fireworks.

Congratulations to Amy and Kyle and a thanks from us for all the smiles and laughter.  A wonderful time was had by all.  Your senses of humor will be a huge asset in the daily ups and downs of married life.

Wedding at the Village Chapel 6/17/17

Silver Strings had a double header on June 17 starting at the Village Chapel in the former convent at St. Bernard Academy on 21st Ave. S. with the wedding of Ashley and Rob.  Ashley chose an eclectic mix of hymns, contemporary rock/pop and classical for the prelude and processionals.  The fun came after a traditional ceremony with the bride and groom exiting to, as a surprise to Rob, “Wagon Wheel”.  Jocelyn Sprouse handled the fiddle part with panache much to the delight of the newlyweds and their guests.

Congratulations to Ashley and Rob and their families with a wish for many happy years together.

Wedding at the Cannery 5/27/17

Maria was a delight to work with on her wedding music.  We met for coffee a few weeks before the big day to decide on her music.  She chose “Isn’t She Lovely” for the mothers, “Can You Feel the Love” for the bridesmaids and “Canon in D” for her entrance.  We stayed with the classics for the prelude however and for the big finale we sent Maria and her now husband, Alex, off to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” after he stomped a glass in the Jewish tradition.

The quartet decamped from the ballroom at the Cannery to an adjoining room to play for the cocktail hour while the first room was set with tables for the reception.  We kicked the music into high gear with songs like “I Say a Little Prayer for You”, a request by the bride.  Other songs included “I Feel Good”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” and “This Will Be an Everlasting Love”.  A young boy who enjoyed our music expressed a desire to learn how to play the violin, so Toni Ferguson showed him how to hold the violin and bow and gave him a quick first lesson.

Congratulations to Marie, Alex and their families.  Many wishes for a long and happy life together!

 

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