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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Party!! 1/27/18

Occasionally Silver Strings gets to step out of the wedding mode to do something really fun.  On Saturday, January 27, a trio of us played for a birthday party.  Actually we had played the wedding of two of the attendees a couple of years ago but the party was for the birthday of the bride’s grandmother.

For the cocktail hour we played fun stuff that had several guests dancing and applauding.  People still can’t believe that strings play rock and roll and have a good time doing it.  When it came time for the dinner we toned it down a bit to play some favorite hymns and classics.  When we had finished their requests I pulled out my new favorite…a tango by Astor Piazzolla called “Oblivion”.  Look that one up on youtube and find you’ll find yourself attempting an impromptu tango to this incredibly sensuous music.

We finished our part of the evening with “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” which brought sighs and applause from the guests.

What a lovely evening!  And Happy Birthday to the birthday girl with wishes for many more birthdays to follow!

Wedding at Church of the Assumption 12/16/17

Silver Strings had the honor of bringing the music to the celebration of marriage of Maria and Kyle on December 16, 2017 at the Church of the Assumption.  Catholic weddings can be a challenge for us non-Catholics but we had wonderful help in the form of two friends of the bride who sang several of the essential parts of the service with us accompanying.  The sound in that sanctuary of these pure, clear voices was absolutely ethereal.  I felt like I was participating in a movie scene.

With my able colleagues, Susan Mullen and Gary Tussing, last minute adjustments to arrangements to fit what the girls were singing got worked out quickly so that the music worked perfectly for this lovely wedding.  Of course the music the trio played alone was classical, something we don’t do so often in this day and age.  It’s truly a pleasure now for us to play the classics such as Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and Mozart’s “Alleluia”.

Maria was a joy to work with and we wish her and Kyle many happy years together!

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.

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.