Four Weddings and a Funeral 10/8/16

Sounds like the title of a movie.  As I was saying October 8, 2016 was THE day for weddings.  The ones I booked all happened at about the same time so I entrusted my able colleagues with the duties of seeing that couples got the deed done to beautiful music.  The weddings were all over the map.

Jocelyn Sprouse took care of a wedding near Clarksville, Susan Mullen presided over the music at the Wren’s Nest near Murfreesboro and Craig Duncan led a trio for a wedding in Franklin.  All over the map indeed.  The music was all over the map as well ranging from the traditional (Canon in D, Trumpet Voluntary, Wedding March Recessional) to today’s music (“Married Life” from Up, “Hoppipolla”, “White Dress” and “Here Comes the Sun”).

I did mention a funeral did I not?  Not exactly a funeral but a visitation after the fact.  The gentleman was a symphony supporter and it was a lovely gesture on the part of the family to have live music at the visitation.  It was my honor (and luck that symphony members were available) to provide symphony members to play a tribute for one of their supporters.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die….A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance….

Wedding in Leiper’s Fork 10/8/16

October 8, 2016 was THE day for weddings this year.  And what a glorious day it was weather-wise.  The quartet I led and I found ourselves in a gorgeous rustic setting just outside of Leiper’s Fork at the nuptials of Shelbie and Zachary.  It felt like we were all in the middle of the woods with a slight breeze and lovely green foliage all around.  The fun thing about the setup was the disembodied door that everyone passed through to either take seats as guests or begin a processional.  The door, of course, was pulled shut after the bridesmaids, ring bearers and flower girl processed.  With a sweeping intro as a fanfare we launched into “At Last” for the door to open and Shelbie to make her trip down the aisle.  After a short but sweet ceremony they made their way to the reception tent to the strains of “Come Away With Me”.

The family was a joy to work with and it is always heartwarming to witness the abundant love shown among the family members.  Congratulations to this happy couple and their families!


Wedding at Arrington Vineyards 10/3/16

It was such a pleasure working with these families on this beautiful, intimate wedding.  Mother of the bride, Mona, and I immediately bonded over the phone.  Everyone came from Texas to Arrington Vineyards so all the preparations had to be done long distance…a daunting task to say the least.  Bride, Ina, had spent a year in Tennessee and wanted to come back here to be married in a beautiful setting.

So on October 3, 2016 Ina and Nathan were married in front of the Stone House facing a vineyard in the shade of large trees.  Ina was positively stunning in her flowing gown and long train.

The trio consisting of Gary Tussing on cello, Craig Duncan on violin and myself on viola played selections such as “Ave Maria” and “My Tribute” for the prelude.  Ina chose “The Gift of Love” for the entrance of the minister and Nathan along with Nathan’s mom.  Then we quickly switched to the Bach “Air” for the single matron of honor.  Ina followed to “Canon in D”, our personal favorite for the beauty and ease of helping to make a grand entrance.

Their ceremony included a unity candle with prayers and scripture readings through which we played “The Prayer”.  Then they constructed a cross after which they took Communion and had private prayer with just themselves as we underscored with “Be Thou My Vision”.  Finally the vows, rings and recessional sealed this beautiful couple’s union.  The abundant love displayed among these families was a joy to witness.  It truly was our honor to be there.

And now congratulations to Ina, Nathan and their families and many wishes for a long and happy life together.  Even if it is in Texas!


Wedding at CJ’s Off the Square 10/2/16

October is the new June you know.  On Sunday, October 2, 2016 Meredith and Andrew were wed at CJ’s Off the Square in Franklin, TN.  Meredith chose a Secret Garden theme that went very well with the surroundings, requesting music including “Winter Light” and “Nocturne” from the movie “Secret Garden”.  Other music choices were “Surely the Presence” for the grandmothers and mothers, the aforementioned “Nocturne” for the flower girl and ring bearer and the traditional “Wedding March” by Wagner for her entrance.  During the ceremony we accompanied Holy Communion for the bride and groom with “The Prayer”.

After the ceremony the newlyweds went back up the aisle to the traditional “Wedding March Recessional”.  After all were dismissed we played a couple of extra requests that included “Tennessee” from Pearl Harbor and “When God Made You”.

CJ’s is one of our favorite places to play.  Jennifer Rhem and the others always make our job so much easier.  Many thanks to them for their efficiency and consideration.

Congratulations to Meredith and Andrew and their families.  May they carry the romance and beauty of the Secret Garden with them for as long as they both shall live.

Wedding at Tulip Grove Mansion 10/1/16

On October 1, 2016 Shelbey and Jack tied the knot in front of the Tulip Grove Mansion on the grounds of the Hermitage.  The weather was perfect as was the temperature.  Shelbey was stunning in her gown and long veil and Jack cut a dashing figure as he watched his bride to be approach the altar.

Shelbey and her mother, Carol, chose the “Butterfly Waltz” to bring in the mothers and 10 pairs of bridesmaids and groomsmen along with 5 flower girls and a ring bearer.  The littlest flower girl got cold feet and didn’t quite make it to the front.  We kept the music going until she was caught and comforted by her daddy.  Shelbey made the march to the altar to “Canon in D”, a favorite of ours as well because it sounds so beautiful and is easy to come to a graceful stop when all are in place.

The ceremony was short and sweet after which the new husband and wife made their way back down the aisle to the traditional “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn.  The guests were then invited to the cocktail hour and we put on our virtual party hats to play fun stuff, including music to appeal to the different generations represented.  As the newlyweds approached the porch after pictures we just happened to be playing “Love and Marriage”, which the younger generation will remember from “Married with Children” and the older generation will remember from Frank Sinatra.  Some tunes just have a way of staying relevant.

May this beautiful couple live happily ever after for many years to come.

Wedding at Union Station Hotel 9/10/16

On September 10, 2016 a trio of us convened in in the lobby of the Union Station Hotel to bring the music for the wedding of Kristin and Andrew.  I remember being in the Union Station many years ago when passenger trains still stopped there.  Pigeons flew in and out of the lobby doing what pigeons normally do….soil everything.  The lobby now is so incredibly beautiful it takes your breath away.

Andrew was involved in the selection of music, requesting “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for a hand binding ceremony with accompanying poems read by the parents.  (The minister I think forgot this part of the ceremony so we ended up playing this song as a postlude.)  He also requested “Happy Together” by the classic rock band, The Turtles, for the cutting of the cake, which we got to do at the right time.

The rest of the music was in the traditional genre including the Bach “Prelude in C” for the mothers and grandmothers, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” for the bridesmaids and the lovely, “Canon in D” for Allison’s entrance.  The newlyweds returned back down the aisle to the traditional “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn.

After the wedding we moved outside for the cocktail hour, choosing to stand as we were soon playing rock and roll and jazzy standards.  One of the songs we played, “Take the A Train” was definitely apropos of the venue. Craig Duncan, the violinist, always brings excitement to this tune taking solos that kick up the energy of this much-loved duke Ellington classic.  I also want to acknowledge Elizabeth Wright of Simply Southern Events for doing a great job of coordinating a fairly complex wedding.

Congratulations to Kristen and Andrew and may they always be “Happy Together”.

Wedding atThe Cordelle 9/3/16

On September 3, 2016 Allison and David were married at The Cordelle, a wonderful old home brought back to life as a wedding venue on Lindsley Ave.  A string trio provided the music for their prelude and processionals.  Allison chose “Simple Gifts”, an old Shaker tune, for the mothers, the lovely “Feather Theme” from Forrest Gump for the bridesmaids and for her grand entrance “Here Comes the Sun”.  After a short and sweet ceremony the trio sent the newlyweds back down the aisle to “Everlasting Love”, a song that some of us older folks remember being sung by the group, Love Affair.  It was fun (for me anyway) to take a walk down Memory Lane while arranging this song for them.  I hope many years from now this song will be a walk down Memory Lane for them as well.

Samantha Reedy of Firefly Events very ably coordinated Allison and David’s wedding. She and her sister, Michelle, are the movers and shakers of bringing The Cordelle back to life.  I’m in awe of their courage and persistence in getting the job done so well.

And last but not least…Congratulations to Allison and David and their families with many wishes for a long and happy union.