Wedding at College Hills Church of Christ May 23, 2015

I’m a little bit of a risk taker, especially when it comes to participating in weddings that have wonderful requests for music.  On May 23, 2015 three of us dashed from an earlier wedding to this one in record time (I’ll never admit we exceeded the speed limit).  Fortunately I’d attended the rehearsal the day before and was able to set up part of our equipment to save time.  We were a quartet with a trumpet, a vocalist and a pianist this time playing mostly classic wedding selections and a few well-known songs from famous movies.  The stage was stunning with white draping  that looked almost like it could have been a chuppah with a chandelier hanging over where Lindsay and Caleb would be exchanging their vows.

The really cool thing about this wedding was the discovery that I had played in the quartet for Lindsay’s mother, Linda’s wedding 27 years earlier.  Linda handed me a picture at the rehearsal that really took me back, seeing old friends I’d worked with in what seems like another lifetime.

Jonathan Riggs was our soloist for the ceremony, singing “Ave Maria”, “My Own True Love” from Gone With the Wind”, and “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera.  Jonathan did a phenomenal job allowing us the pleasure of simply accompanying him because of his confidence in leading us to make music with him.  Steve Patrick on trumpet did a phenomenal job of tastefully adding to the arrangements when appropriate or taking the lead when it was time to bring Lindsay to her groom with a fanfare to the Wedding March.  Brandon Carver, a friend of Lindsay’s, was terrific on keyboard stepping up to work with total strangers without missing a beat.

During the ceremony there was a very sweet moment during the unity candle when a recording of Lindsay’s sister singing “The Prayer” was played.  Lindsay’s sister thought she would be too nervous to sing with us accompanying so her song was pre-recorded.

Now for the fun part…We started off the recessional with the Mendelssohn “Wedding March” but before we got to the second refrain we seamlessly launched into “Rocky Top” to send the newlyweds the rest of the way back up the aisle along with their wedding party.  “Rocky Top” had special meaning for them at the start of their relationship so it was imperative to include the song somehow.  By the time the mothers were ready to recess we were back to “Wedding March” for a little more dignified exit.

One last thing…thanks to Misty Saunders of Finishing Touch Event Design for her able directing and coordinating of the millions of details that going into making a wedding run smoothly.

Congratulations to Lindsay and Caleb and their families!  If they get busy with starting their family maybe I’ll be able to see the third generation down the aisle.  Best wishes to all!

Wedding at Lilac Farms on May 23, 2015

May 23 turned out to be a gorgeous day for an outdoor wedding.  Lilac Farms, which is just off TN-96 between Franklin and Murfreesboro, hosted the nuptials of Lauren and Josh.  We were a trio for this wedding mixing light classics with a couple of nice contemporary selections such as “The Prayer” and John Legend’s “All of Me”.  Lauren requested Michael W. Smith’s “This Is the Air I Breathe” for her bridesmaids.  This is a beautiful, contemporary Christian song that I was happy to add to Silver Strings’ repertoire.  Lauren chose “Canon in D” for her entrance.  We love this selection for a processional because it lends itself so easily to perfect timing.  I never tire of this gorgeous piece of music.

Lauren and Josh had a unity symbol I had not seen before, that of mixing wines in a common cup to symbolize the blending of their lives.  We played a verse of “In Christ Alone” to accompany this part of the ceremony.  Come time for the recessional they were in the mood for some fun and had us play Ben Rector’s “White Dress”.

Many wishes for a long and happy life together to Lauren and Josh as they begin their newly married life.

Wedding at Schermerhorn Symphony Center May 23, 2015

The Schermerhorn Symphony Center Courtyard was the scene of the wedding of Ashley to Eddie.  Jocelyn Sprouse took over for me with a trio to play the ceremony as well as a cocktail hour.  Ashley chose an elegant selection of beautiful classics for the prelude as well as the processionals.  Mothers entered to Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze”, the wedding party to the beloved “Canon in D” and for Ashley, the traditional “Wedding March” (Here Comes the Bride for the uninitiated).  After Ashley and Eddie were pronounced husband and wife they made their way back down the aisle to the joyous “Hornpipe” by Handel.

For the cocktail hour the trio continued to play a mix of light classics and standards to add elegance to the festivities.  Leigh Barker of A Delightful Day Event Planning did a beautiful job of organizing and directing from start to finish, always answering my questions as soon as humanly possible.

Congratulations to Ashley and Eddie and their families!  Best wishes as they depart on their life’s journey together.

Wedding at Cedarmont Farm May 16, 2015

Last but not least Silver Strings as a trio, led by Isabel Bartles, met at Cedarmont Farm to see that Breanna married Adam in fine style.  Breanna chose several lovely hymns and contemporary Christian music for the prelude, followed by traditional selections for the processionals.  Mothers entered to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, wedding party to ” the Vangelis “Hymne” while Breanna entered to “Con Te Partiro”.  The recessional, however, was another story.  Adam had to have Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Tuesday’s Gone” and Silver Strings made it so.

Congratulations to Breanna and Adam and their families.  We wish them many happy years together.

Wedding at Belle Meade Plantation May 16, 2015

Meanwhile over in West Nashville at the Belle Meade Plantation Hilari was busy getting married to Grant in the garden behind the mansion.  I was originally looking forward to playing their wedding until necessary surgery intervened because they had chosen some really fun (for the musicians anyway) classical music for the prelude.  Selections included Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s Turkish March originally written for piano, a Handel Harp Concerto.  A trio consisting of Julianna Waller, Tammy Hobbs and Gary Tussing did justice to the masters’ works.

For the processionals Hilari chose Vivaldi’s “Spring” first movement for the mothers and then the third movement for the wedding party.  She chose for her entrance Handel’s “Hornpipe” from the Water Music.  At the close of the ceremony the newlyweds made their way back down the aisle to the exciting Handel “Allegro from Solomon”.

The trio reconvened at the area between the stable and the carriage house to play for cocktails and dinner.  They played music from all different eras to cover the generations in attendance including Ellington’s “Take the A Train” to Ben Rector’s “White Dress”.  During dinner the trio played “old school” love songs such as “When I Fall In Love” and “At Last”.

Congratulations to Hilari and Grant along with their families!  Many wishes for a long and happy life together.

Wedding at riverwood Mansion May 16, 2015

Lanier married her sweetheart, Nathan, in a garden wedding at the lovely Riverwood Mansion on the east side of Nashville.  Jocelyn Sprouse took the lead of a quartet for their ceremony and cocktail hour.  Lanier chose the beautiful “Butterfly Waltz” for the entrance of the mothers and grandmothers.  The wedding party arrived at their positions to a Handel “Aria” while Lanier made her entrance to the “Canon in D”.  As Mr. and Mrs., Lanier and Nathan made their way back down the aisle to the joyful “Hornpipe” by Handel.

Continuing the festivities in the pavilion the quartet entertained with classical as well as a few tasteful contemporary selections while guests enjoyed cocktails before dinner.

Congratulations to Lanier and Nathan and their families!

Wedding at Saddle Woods Farm on May 23, 2015

Saddle Woods Farm is a new, rustic venue between Franklin and Murfreesboro that was the scene of Brooke marrying her sweetheart, Adam, in an outdoor ceremony in a garden next to the big barn built for such festivities.

Susan Mullen took charge of a trio bringing groomsmen in to the Beatles’ “In My Life”, the bridesmaids to “Wonderful Tonight” while Brooke entered to “A Thousand Years”.  They recessed as husband and wife to “All You Need is Love”.  Afterwards the trio moved to the barn to play more classic rock selections along with Coldplay and Jason Mraz tunes.

These pictures aren’t of their actual wedding but I wanted you to see the venue…

Many wishes to Brooke and Adam for a long and happy life together!IMG_0454 IMG_0449

Four Weddings and a Surgery May 16, 2015

May 16 turned out to be a busy day for Silver Strings.  Except I wasn’t in attendance at any of the weddings.  I got to spend May 16 in the company of my family recovering from unexpected surgery….which was successful at least (total hysterectomy for uterine cancer.  No chemo or radiation needed. Centennial was wonderful as was my oncologist.)  My terrific, trusted colleagues took over for me and saw to it that everyone who wanted to get married that day with Silver Strings music did just that.  There are advantages to being a violist….nobody misses us when we don’t show up.

After all the weddings were completed several of my pals dropped by the house to meet my family and have a piece of uterus cake which also served as my birthday cake. IMG_0388 IMG_0389 IMG_0391

Wedding at Country Music Hall of Fame May 9, 2015

May started off in grand style with the wedding of Dana of Matt at the Country Music Hall of Fame on the 9th.  They chose to have their ceremony outside on a terrace overlooking 4th Ave. S.  But I’m ahead of myself…Dana and Matt live in Singapore when they’re not getting married in Nashville and our first communication was via skype.  It’s so cool to talk in real time to someone a half a world away.

Meanwhile back at the wedding…Dana and Matt were definite about the nontraditional music they wanted and the unity ceremony they’d planned.  After a prelude of a mix of a couple of classical selections with Coldplay and U2 we brought the wedding party in to Coldplay’s “In My Place”.  Dana chose an excerpt from “Dig” by Incubus for her processional.  She wanted a specific part that started with a long crescendo, culminating in a joyous arrival at the altar, which we delivered.

The most interesting part was the unity symbol they had chosen which consisted of their writing their wishes for their marriage on a paper balloon that they sent skyward by means of a small flame lit beneath the balloon to inflate it and send it soaring.  While they were doing this we played the Kings of Leon tune, “Use Somebody” that couldn’t have been timed more perfectly if we’d actually practiced it.

Ceremony completed, kiss exchanged, pronounced Dr. and Mrs., Dana and Matt returned down the aisle to “I Feel Good”.  Time now to party.

Silver Strings continued the festivities for the cocktail hour that took place in the big foyer of the banquet hall on the top floor of the Hall of Fame.  We didn’t know if we were being heard at all but after we played a Patsy Cline medley at the request of the bride, one of the guests came up to comment and applaud.  That answered that question.  We continued with more Coldplay, Train, Bruno Mars and whatever a guest might ask us to do.

Congratulations to Dana and Matt and many wishes for a long and happy life together… Singapore.