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 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 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!

Wedding at East Ivy Mansion 10/7/17

On October 7, 2017 it was my pleasure to lead a trio for the nuptials of Jessica and Sean.  Thankfully East Ivy was prepared for the rain that threatened all afternoon and evening with tents over the ceremony area as well as the reception area.  Gary Tussing and Kristi Seehafer joined me in playing traditional classics and a few beautiful, contemporary selections for the prelude.  Jessica kept the processionals simple.  Mothers, the wedding party and the dog entered to Elton John’s “Your Song”.  Jessica met Sean at the altar to the strains of “Tale As Old As Time” from Beauty and the Beast.  The recessional was one of my personal faves…”Shut Up and Dance”.  After the ceremony the trio continued with more Disney tunes and other contemporary rock songs.

Many wishes for a long and happy life together to Jessica and Sean.

Wedding at The Hermitage 10/7/17

On the afternoon of October 7, 2017 Christian married her sweetheart, Andrew, in a ceremony in the beautiful garden next to Andrew Jackson’s home.  Isabel Bartles did an amazing job of leading a trio for me.  She and a couple of symphony musicians stepped out of their usual classical mode to play contemporary selections for Christian and Andrew’s ceremony.  Selections included John Legend’s “All of Me”, “A Thousand Years” and Train’s “Marry Me”.  Christian chose “Seasons of Love” from Rent for her processional.  After the vows were exchanged and their union sealed with a kiss, the trio played Fla-Ga Line’s “H.O.L.Y”.

Fortunately for everyone that day the menacing dark clouds held off dumping their contents until just after the ceremony was over.  I doubt the rain would have dampened anyone’s spirits however.

Congratulations and wishes for many happy years together to Christian and Andrew!

Wedding at Drakewood Farm October 7, 2017

October 7, 2017 was a very busy day.  I had booked 4 weddings for approximately the same time.  Fortunately for me I have several colleagues who do a fantastic job of leading an ensemble.  Julianna Waller took charge of this wedding with a trio at Drakewood Farm in Goodlettsville, TN.  Julianna was the perfect person to lead the trio as Sarah and Ben chose a variety of rock (Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran) and Country songs for their prelude and ceremony music.  I have to say this is the first time Silver String brought in a bride to the song, “Teenage Dream”.  The recessional was “I Like Me Better”…another first.

Congratulations to Sarah, Ben and their families.  May they be blessed with a long and happy life together.

The Bridge Ministry Fundraiser 9/21/17

For a change Silver Strings got to do something really neat, yet humbling.  We played background music for a fundraising dinner for The Bridge Ministry in the David Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena.  The Bridge Ministry was established by gospel singer, Candy Christmas, a few years ago to feed the homeless every Tuesday evening under the Jefferson Street Bridge.  Through her vision and guidance the ministry feeds sometimes hundreds of people every week as well as providing clothes and food boxes to take with them.

After we finished our part, the program continued with a performance by Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum along with her father and Ricky Skaggs of songs she had written.  Following her performance Franklin Graham, the Reverend Billy Graham’s son, took the stage to deliver thanks and encouragement to all the volunteers who participate every week in the feeding and care of so many.

Following Rev. Graham, Jasmine, Candy’s daughter and singer in her own right, took the stage to once again prove that apples don’t fall too far from the tree.

It was such an honor to be a part of this celebration of the generosity and love of so many people for those less fortunate than they.

Weddings and More Weddings 9/16/17

As I haven’t figured out yet how to clone myself to be able to play four weddings all at the same time, I send my trusted colleagues to take care of business in my place.  Cellist, Elizabeth Browne, played solo cello for the wedding of Elizabeth and Keith at Homestead Manor near Spring Hill.  She played mostly traditional selections with the exception of “Throw the Coins” from Sense and Sensibility for the recessional.

Meanwhile at Cheekwood Susan Mullen led a trio for the nuptials of Kristina and Dustin in the mansion.  The couple also chose traditional music for their ceremony that included “Jesu”, “Wedding March aka Here Comes the Bride” and “Wedding March Recessional”, saving the fun stuff for the cocktail hour that followed.

And yet another wedding took place in Columbia with Craig Duncan presiding over the music.  This time the couple, Gracen and Shad, chose mostly contemporary music for prelude as well as the processionals.  Selections included “When God Made You” for the mothers, “U2’s “All I Want Is You” for the maids and “A Thousand Years” for Gracen’s entrance.

Kudos to Angelina Ruiz, Meredith Zeller and Kimberly Scruggs for their expert coordination of the weddings in their charge.  And most of all congratulations to all the couples with wishes for many years of happiness together!

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