Christmas Party for the Bridge Ministry 12/11/17

Allow me to step away from the wedding recitations for a change to gush about what Candy Christmas does through her Bridge Ministry to feed the hungry in Nashville and for her volunteers who help make her ministry happen.

Every Tuesday night through the efforts and perseverance of gospel singer, Candy Christmas, several big trucks pull up under the Jefferson Street bridge to serve hot meals to the homeless population and minister to their spiritual needs as well.  She started this ministry years ago with a big pot of jumbalaya she cooked herself.  Now an army of volunteers prepare and serve tens of thousands of meals to the homeless over the year.  They have expanded to feed children and provide clothes for those in need.

Every December Candy hosts a Christmas party for the volunteers and asks Silver Strings to provide the music.  We jump at the chance to be a part of the thanks to these tireless workers.  It’s humbling but exhilarating to be a part of these festivities.

For more information visit https://www.bridgeministry.org/ to read about this ministry and if you find it in your heart to want to pitch in, you’ll find several ways to do so.

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Wedding at King’s Chapel 11/3/17

On November 3, 2017 Elise married Brandon in a lovely ceremony in the quaint, little church known as King’s Chapel in Arrington, TN.  We played lovely hymns for prelude and traditional classics for the processionals.  Elise chose the Wagner “Wedding March” for her entrance and “Wedding March Recessional” by Mendelssohn for their recessional.

King’s Chapel is a tiny chapel in Arrington, TN.  The acoustics are superb.  A string trio sounds especially nice, if I do say so.  This, however, was the first wedding I’ve ever played where the minister was late entering.  We weren’t sure if he thought someone was going to signal him to enter but we couldn’t really stop playing to go open the door to invite him in.  Finally a family member opened the side door to wave him in.  At the end of every wedding we play someone inevitably says “They’re married!” and indeed it was so.

Congratulations to Elise, Brandon and their families!  Blessings to all!

Anniversary Surprise at Amerigo’s 11/25/17

Occasionally we get to do something that is so much fun and so rewarding for the good feelings generated for the recipient and accidental guests of the surprise.  On November 25, 2017 a quartet of us did what might be thought of as a flash mob quartet gig at Amerigo’s on West End.  Charles wanted to surprise his wife, Tessa, on their first anniversary by having a quartet play the song to which she came down the aisle at their wedding in Tampa last year.  The song was “In My Life” for which thankfully we have a great arrangement.

Craig Duncan, Jocelyn Sprouse, Gary Tussing and I were already dressed in tux as we made our way to Amerigo’s after a previous wedding.  Amerigo’s is set up so that we could come in without anyone in the bar noticing and get our instruments ready.  I had previously cleared our plan with the manager to avoid any hassles.  Then I had pressed my boyfriend, Sandy Smolen, into being a human music stand so we could easily read our parts without having to set up stands and make a commotion that would ruin the surprise.  With the enlarged parts pasted onto two black pieces of art board with attached stand lights, Sandy walked in before us and opened the two pieces when we were ready to play.

We breezed in and began playing before Tessa realized what was happening.  Soon Charles and Tessa were dancing to the music.  People close by took video with their phones and passed them on to Sandy and me.  The bartenders kindly consented to take pictures as well.

After we were done we decided to remain in the bar for refreshments ourselves.  Charles came over to talk and we found out that one of the musicians they used in Tampa was a friend of Gary’s and someone with whom Gary works when he’s in Tampa himself visiting family.  Small world.

Charles has set the bar really high for husbands who want to do something incredibly romantic for their wives.  Tessa is one lucky lady!IMG_0623

Wedding at The Schermerhorn 10/28/17

On October 28, 2017 Caroline married Paul in a beautiful ceremony in the lobby of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.  We were a quartet this time for the ceremony as well as the cocktail hour.  The music was more contemporary this time with songs such as “All of Me” (John Legend) and “Just the Way You Are” (Bruno Mars).  Caroline chose the “Canon in D” for her processional.  The ceremony was short and sweet after which we sent them back down the aisle to “Zip A Dee Doo Dah”.  My, oh my, what a wonderful day!

We reconvened above the west lobby to play for cocktails.  Caroline’s special request was “Crocodile Rock” which we performed after making sure she and Paul arrived to greet their guests.  We always have a big time playing classic rock and this day was no exception.

Congratulations to Caroline and Paul!  May they have many years of happiness together.

Weddings on October 21, 2017

Instead of my usual (boring) recital of what brides chose for their preludes, processionals, etc., I want to take this moment to sing the praises of Angelina Ruiz of Homestead Manor, Lauren Hartman of Southern Soiree and Jamie at East Ivy Mansion.  These three women take the stress out of my job of playing the right song in the right place at the right time.

On October 21, 2017 Susan Mullen led a trio at Homestead Manor for the wedding of Sarah and Jordan where Angelina worked miracles in making Sarah’s mother comfortable with her leadership and then pulling off a flawless wedding.  Susan reported back with a glowing review of how the wedding went.

Also on October 21, Jocelyn Sprouse led a trio for me at the Bell Tower for the nuptials of Maggy and Doug with Lauren Hartman directing.  Jocelyn reported back that everything went swimmingly and how nice Lauren was to work with.  But I knew that already.

Last but not least I led a trio for the wedding of Meryl and Andrew at East Ivy Mansion.  At East Ivy as well as the two aforementioned places the musicians were never left unsure of what was going on.  The confident and sure directing is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks to my people for doing me proud and to these three planners/coordinators for their referrals and great work.  May everyone have as much work as they can handle in the coming year.

Wedding at Homestead Manor 10/20/17

On October 20, 2107 Faith and Michael were wed on the front lawn of the Homestead Manor, a lovely old mansion near Thompson’s Station, TN.  As a little background, after a rather abrupt departure of a previous planner/coordinator, Angelina Ruiz of Velour Premier Events did a fantastic job of stepping in at the last minute.  Her leadership was confident and firm with every detail in place.  We were impressed and I can assure you the couples who were married at Homestead Manor this fall were pleased with the perfectly handled weddings.

Faith chose the classics for her prelude and processionals and very specifically wanted a particular part of the “Canon in D” for the entrance of her groom.  No problem thanks to Pachelbel’s skill at constructing this beautiful canon which allowed us to do exactly as we were asked.

Congratulations to Faith and Michael with many wishes for a long and happy life together from Silver Strings.

 

Wedding at Country Music Hall of Fame 10/14/17

October 14, 2017 was a busy day for us.  After a wedding at Ravenswood we jumped in our cars and sped downtown to take care of the music for a wedding booked by Craig Duncan, one of our colleagues who sometimes double books himself knowing we’ll take care of business.  Sarah Fried of the CMHoF very ably did the coordinating.

Alexis and Jared were wed in the Rotunda at the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Alexis chose several Country tunes including “Amarillo by Morning” (George Strait) and “Cowboy Take Me Away” (Dixie Chicks) for the parents and wedding party and recessional respectively.  After an introduction from “When You Wish Upon a Star” Alexis  arrived at the chupah to “Forever and Ever Amen”.  Rabbi Rice of Congregation Micah performed the rite after which, of course, Jared stomped the glass and the festivities began.

Mazel Tov to the newlyweds!  Silver Strings wishes them a long and happy life together.

 

Wedding at Ravenswood Mansion 10/14/17

On October 14, 2017 Anna married her sweetheart, Brad, on the ground of Ravenswood Mansion in Brentwood, TN.  We were a trio that day with Sarah Goude of Regalo Design (one of my personal favorites) coordinating.  Anna chose a lovely program of classics with some beautiful songs from the movies such as “Secret Wedding” from Braveheart.  The processionals were traditional with Anna meeting Brad at the altar to the bridal favorite “Canon in D”.  After the vows and rings were exchanged and to help kick off the festivities to follow, we played “Bittersweet Symphony” for the recessional.  Beautiful weather, beautiful bride, my favorite musicians, Susan Mullen and Gary Tussing, and adept coordinating by Sarah, it was a fantastic day.

Congratulations and best wishes to Anna and Brad and their families!