6/15/19 Wedding a Church of the Assumption

On 6/15/19 at the beautiful, historic Church of the Assumption Molly and John were united in Holy Matrimony in the presence of friends and family.  Silver Strings was a quartet for this wedding in collaboration with the Albennia Ladieu, the church organist.  We were also joined by Steve Patrick on trumpet.  The music was chosen from the classical literature including “Ave Maria”, Handel’s “Rejoicing” and Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”.  We brought the mothers in to Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, the bridesmaids to Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze and finally with a fanfare from the trumpet Molly, escorted by her father, met her groom at the altar to “Trumpet Voluntary”.  Vows recited, rings exchanged and Molly and John pronounced married, it was time for the grand finale…the familiar Mendelssohn “Wedding March”.

Congratulations to Molly, John and their families from Nashville Silver StringsMay their lives be richly blessed in the years to come.

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5/25/19 Wedding at Opryland Hotel’s Lion’s Gate Fountain

On 5/25/19 Silver Strings gathered to perform music for the nuptials of Tiffany and Brent.  I have to say this was one of the sweetest, most wonderful services of which I’ve been a part.  Matt, the officiant, told the story of Brent’s proposal.  They apparently met through an online dating website and the rest is history.  Brent had taken Tiffany on a holiday to Bermuda where he invited her to take a walk on the beach with him early one morning.  Unbeknownst to her he had half buried a bottle, decked out to look old, in the sand with a message (the proposal) on aged-looking paper.  He made sure she found the bottle and it was several sentences into the message before she realized it was his marriage proposal to her.  That right there was worth the price of admission.

For the music Tiffany chose contemporary songs such as “Beautiful Day”, “1979” and “Bittersweet Symphony” which we interspersed with a few selections from the classical repertoire.  “Ave Maria” was selected for the wedding party and “Con Te Partiro” was selected for Tiffany’s entrance.  After the opening words and a prayer by Tiffany’s dad, Matt cleared his throat signaling us to begin playing the chords to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” as in inside joke for Brent.  He recited a couple of the opening sentences and after a flourish by the strings, proceeded to the serious business of uniting the lovely couple.

The unity ceremony consisted of the parents mingling wine in a cup that was set on a nearby table along with the aforementioned bottle and framed message.  Tiffany and Brent shared a sip of the wine after which they exchanged rings and were ultimately pronounced married.  Appropriately enough they recessed to James Brown’s “I Feel Good”.

Tiffany, her mother, Mona, and officiant Matt were a joy to work with.  So it is with a big smile on my face that I congratulate Tiffany and Brent and wish them abundant happiness in the coming years!

 

3/30/19 Wedding at Wightman Chapel, Scarritt

In the late afternoon of 3/30/19 Caylor wed her sweetheart, Cody, in a lovely ceremony at Wightman Chapel on the Scarritt campus.  Silver Strings quartet was present to play an eclectic mix of light classics, Country and Broadway songs.

The prelude started off with “Cowboy Take Me Away”, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and a mashup of “Perfect” with “Canon in D”.  Mothers processed to “The Prayer”, lighting candles placed on a table to one side of the stage to honor loved ones who had gone before.  Assuming it was Cody who listens to Country music, the groomsmen and he entered to “Friends in Low Places”.  Next came the bridesmaids and children to “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera after which Caylor made her entrance on her father’s arm to “All I Ask of You”, also from Phantom.

During the ceremony Caylor and Cody had a unity rite that consisted of pouring together glass beads of black and white that would later be melted into something beautiful to signify the permanence of their union.  During this rite we softly played “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”.

After their self-penned vows, exchange of rings, the kiss and the presentation of Mr. and Mrs., we launched into “Forever and Ever, Amen” to end them back down the aisle as newlyweds.  The picture below is of Caylor’s stunning bouquet.  What a gorgeous idea!

Congratulations and best wishes from Silver Strings to Caylor and Cody!

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Wedding at Hermitage Hotel 1/26/19

On Saturday evening, 1/26/18, at the Hermitage Hotel, Pamela wed her sweetheart, Zach, in a lovely ceremony on the veranda.  Silver Strings was a quartet this time playing mostly contemporary selections such as “When I Fall in Love” and “All of Me” for the prelude.  For the processionals Pamela chose the Royal Wedding rendition of “Stand By Me” for the grandparents and her mother.  Next as we played “Canon in D” Zach entered after the minister to place roses on two chairs to honor his parents and was then followed by the attendants.  Pamela entered on her father’s arm looking absolutely stunning in her white gown with an enormous, wide train to the strains of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”.

As Zach is a proud member of the United States Navy, he and his groomsmen were dressed in uniform.  Very sharp!  After a short ceremony they recessed to the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love”.  Then to the delight of the guests Pamela and Zach entered the festivities through an arch of swords, being stopped by every pair of swordsmen with the demand that Zach kiss his bride.  Pamela was duly welcomed into the Naval family.

As young people these days are incredibly busy I worked mostly with Pamela’s mother, Vickie, on the music selections.  She and Becca from Modern Vintage Events were a joy to work with, telling stories over coffee and making the music selection a lot of fun.

Congratulations to Pamela and Zach and their families with many wishes for a long and happy life together.

10/27/18 Wedding at Scarritt

On 10/27/18 Silver Strings convened at Wightman Chapel on the Scarritt Campus for the nuptials of Shannon and Eduardo.  Jocelyn Sprouse and Gary Tussing joined me in a mostly classical setting in this beautiful chapel.  Grandparents and mothers took their places to Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” after which the attendants arrived to the no-so-classical Coldplay tune “Clocks”.  Shannon met Eduardo at the altar to “Trumpet Voluntary”.

Two friends of the couple lent their beautiful voices to moments during the ceremony.  At the beginning of the ceremony Maribeth sang “Blessed assurance”, accompanying herself on the piano.  After a scripture reading Dennis sang “In Christ Alone” with the trio along with the piano as accompaniment.  Both of them gave me goosebumps with the beauty of their singing.  After the vows and exchange of rings Maribeth and Dennis sang “The Prayer” with the trio in another goosebumpy moment.

When the Newlyweds were introduced we sent them back down the aisle to U2’s “Beautiful Day”.  And indeed it was a beautiful day for everyone.  Congratulations to Shannon and Eduardo and their families with wishes for a long and happy life together!

6/16/18 Wedding at Scarritt

On 6/16/18 Silver Strings was in attendance at Wightman Chapel on the Scarritt campus bringing selection of contemporary songs to the wedding of Rachel and Nick.  I got a last minute request for “Stand By Me” from Rachel.  I asked her if she had just watched the Royal Wedding to which she admitted she had.  Fortunately I had set my alarm to get up in time to watch the royal nuptials and heard the gospel choir sing their interpretation of this song.  I got out my stock arrangement of the the Ben E. King version, decided it couldn’t be what Rachel was thinking and transcribed what the choir did.  I told the quartet to play it as though we were a gospel choir…which they did admirably.

Rachel had also asked for “Your Song” by Elton John for the mothers and men, “Stolen” by Dashboard Confessional for the bridesmaids, and finally “Young and Beautiful” by Lana del Ray for her entrance.  After the vows and rings were exchanged, the pronouncement of marriage and most importantly….the kiss….we played them back down the aisle as husband and wife to “Shut Up and Dance”.  And indeed it was time to dance with joy and celebration.

Congratulations to Rachel and Nick!  May they have a long and happy union!

6/15/18 Wedding at St. John Vianney Catholic Church

On 6/15/18 Kate and Derick were married in a Catholic ceremony at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Gallatin.  We were a quartet that day and very much appreciated the help of organist and cantor, Stuart Kelly, in navigating the details of the Catholic marriage rite.  We also all agreed that it was such a pleasure to play selections from the classical literature for this wedding.  Kate chose things like the Brandenburg Concerto #3 and the stunningly beautiful Pavane by Faure for the prelude.  We brought family members to their places with “Arioso”, the men to “Trumpet Voluntary”, the bridesmaids to “Trumpet Tune” and finally Kate, on her mother’s arm, to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”.  We mostly got to watch this beautiful rite with the exception of playing “The Prayer” and “Panis Angelicus” during Communion.  Finally after all was said and done and the bride and groom were presented as Mr. and Mrs., we sent them back down the aisle to “O Happy Day”.

Silver Strings wishes Kate and Derick a long and happy together.  Congratulations to them and their families!

Tennessee Bar Foundation Dinner 5/5/18

May 5, 2018 was a busy day in downtown Nashville.  The Predators were playing a big game with a pre-game bash in front of the Hilton Hotel…the place we were supposed to be that evening to entertain at a dinner for the Tennessee Bar Foundation.  We all expected nightmare traffic but none of us had a problem, getting there in plenty of time.

We started off the dinner part with tunes like “Be Our Guest” and a Star Wars medley to bring the guests into the ballroom to find their tables.  Then we settled into beautiful background music to help create a convivial atmosphere for the diners.  We were a quintet that evening, an ensemble we absolutely love because the addition of a string bass really enhances the richness of the sound.  My favorite tune of the evening with this ensemble was “Oblivion” by Piazzolla.  Look it up on youtube if you’re not familiar with it.  So sensuous and compelling you’ll want to immediately run out and sign up for tango lessons.

After the dinner and presentation we kicked our music into high gear and played danceable music such as “Shut Up and Dance”, “Billie Jean” and “Born to Be Wild” during dessert.  One table of guests kept us playing a good half hour after our contracted time.  We winged an accompaniment to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” for one of the guests to sing and later a tango for one of the couples.  They were having fun and we were having fun.  Indeed a good time was had by all.

2/10/18 Marriage Proposal

Ok, guys…the bar has been set really high.  I mean this is pole vaulting high.  On 2/10/18 Ken asked Rhea for her hand in marriage.  But not right away.  First he brought her into his home blindfolded, guided her into the living area, had her stand in a particular spot and then signaled the string quartet to begin playing “A Thousand Years”.  She thought she was going to the opera and was dressed to the nines (or maybe in her case the tens…fabulous) but when the blindfold was removed she saw Ken in tie and tails and the musicians in tux playing her favorite song.  Then she saw at least eight arrangements of roses placed about the room in the soft candlelight.

For the next two hours they danced or just sat and listened to the music Ken had carefully chosen to express his love for her.  Then at the appointed song, “When God Made You”, he got down on one knee and proposed, producing a gorgeous ring to seal the proposal.  Violinist Toni Ferguson started crying and I nearly lost my place in the music when this happened.  We all felt honored and so delighted to be part of this grand scheme.

When the time came to pack up Ken announced that they were going out to Taco Bell dressed as they were and extended the invitation to join them since we were all dressed up as well.  We had a good laugh over that and had we not faced a long drive home we certainly would have joined in fun.

Congratulations to Ken and Rhea!!  Guys, remember what I said at the beginning…..FullSizeR2

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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

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