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.

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Awards Dinner at the Hilton 1/18/19

On Friday evening 1/18/19 Silver Strings quartet, fleshed out with drums and bass, entertained the Tennessee Bar Foundation members during their annual Awards Dinner at the Hilton Hotel downtown.  We played a mix of classical and low key contemporary pop for the dinner.  Tunes included Piazzola’s fabulously sensual tango, “Oblivion”, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, Khachaturian’s “Masquerade Waltz” and a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.

After dinner we let our classical hair down and launched into a dance set that included “String of Pearls”,  selections for tango, cha cha, rhumba, waltz and songs like “Born to Be Wild” and “Devil With the Blue Dress” for good old rock and roll.  One of the guests asked to sing Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” which we were happy to oblige and were pleased to hear a very acceptable rendition of that classic.

Congratulations to the award winners and thanks to the Foundation for having us back again this year!

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11/3/18 Wedding at Homestead Manor

On 11/3/18 Jessie and Max were wed at Homestead Manor in Thompson’s Station, TN in the beautiful barn…yes, the barn and there are pictures to prove it.  Silver Strings was a trio this time with Josh Shepherd, Gary Tussing and myself.  The ceremony itself went fantastically under the able guidance of Angie Ruiz and her team from Velour Premier Events.

At Angie’s suggestion I arranged a mashup of Pachelbel’s Canon in D and Ed Sheehan’s “Perfect” which we used for the first time at this wedding for the entrance of the family as well as the wedding party.  Gary did a beautiful job with his solo in the middle of this tune of an excerpt from the Canon, which allowed him to play something besides the usual eight notes over and over.  Jessie then met Max at the altar to the strains of “Wedding March” aka “Here Comes the Bride”.  After the vows were recited and the rings exchanged, their unity ceremony was the braiding of three cords while we played a verse of “The Prayer”.

After all was said and done Jess and Max, now husband and wife, made their way back down the aisle to Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”.  Congratulations to the happy couple from Silver Strings!

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!

10/13/18 Wedding in Burns, TN

On 10/13/18 Silver Strings had the honor of playing for a wedding of a colleague from Wisconsin at a farm in Burns, TN.  Heather is a cellist in her Wisconsin city doing the same thing we do, but was here to be married to her sweetheart, Adam.  She provided the music for the processional and we were very impressed with her arranging skills.  Everyone who was part of the service entered to “Higher Ground” in which we played along with a track created by Heather of an oboist friend of hers who couldn’t be at the wedding but wanted to participate.

But I’m ahead of myself.  The wedding took place in a freshly mown meadow down from the house of her fiance’s brother in rural Burns.  Chairs for about 25 guests were placed in a circle.  At the beginning of the ceremony the officiant gave the rings to a guest to start the “Ring Warming” where the rings were passed around the circle of guests with each person silently conveying prayers, good thoughts or wishes as the rings were in their hands while the quartet played “The Book of Love” (Heather’s arrangement).  After the vows were recited and rings exchanged we sent them and the guests up to the brunch tent to the strains of “In Your Eyes/Solsbury Hill”, another of Heather’s arrangements.

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We soon followed to play fun stuff for their gourmet brunch, pulling out songs like “Uptown Funk”, “Istanbul”, Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Another One Bites the Dust”.  Toward the end of the brunch Heather asked if she could sit in and would Paul Nelson mind if she played his cello.  He happily let her have his place so he could warm up with a hot cup of coffee, it being quite cold that day.  When we were done we were invited to enjoy the buffet at a table set specifically for us….something only another musician would think of.

Congratulations to Heather and Adam!  It was wonderful meeting them, seeing that they were properly married and hopefully we’ll see them again when they visit Adam’s brother again.

9/1/18 Wedding at Cheekwood

On 9/1/18 Silver Strings also was in attendance at the wedding of Valery and Bill in Will’s Garden at Cheekwood.  Ashley Porter of Posh Occasion did a super job coordinating the ceremony and reception.  I think maybe she might have even had some pull with the Big Man Upstairs to hold off the rain until the ceremony was over.  The garden was beautiful and the ceremony went flawlessly, maybe with the exception of the PA system not working very well but then I can’t remember a time in Will’s Garden when the audio didn’t have problems.  I think the garden must be haunted.

The couple chose traditional selections for the prelude, processionals and recessionals but then left the music up to us for the cocktail hour later on at the Hillwood Country Club.  Susan, Toni, Gary and I had entirely too much fun playing tunes like “Shut Up and Dance” and “Uptown Funk”.

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

9/1/18 Wedding near Fayetteville

On 9/1/18 Gary Tussing, Susan Mullen and I found ourselves on an early morning road trip to a residence near Fayetteville, TN to bring the music to the morning wedding of Leanne and Brian.  The weather was hot and steamy so we were grateful for the shade of the front porch of a beautiful home in rural Tennessee.

Leanne surprised her parents with a tribute to them in the form of Floyd Cramer’s “Last Dance”, a favorite song of theirs when they got married, right before she floated down the aisle to “A Thousand Years”.  Leanne and Brian found out the day before their wedding that the minister they had wanted to do the ceremony wasn’t able to do it for health reasons.  Another minister of their acquaintance was able to step in and do a fantastic job.  A highlight of the ceremony was the singing of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” by Matt Gress, a close friend of Brian’s.  It has to be one of the most moving performances of that song that I’ve ever heard.  (Some of the words were changed to be more wedding appropriate btw.)

Vows said, rings exchanged, the first kiss as husband and wife and we sent them off on their new life together to the strains of “Brown Eyed Girl”.  Congratulations to Leanne and Brian!  May they have a long and happy life together.

8/18/18 Wedding at Ravenswood Mansion

On 8/18/18 a trio of us braved the nasty weather to (finally) play the bride down the aisle at Ravenswood Mansion in Brentwood.  Under the capable direction of Sarah Goude of Regalo Design the trio was placed on the porch of the mansion out of the rain.  Fortunately none of us had any place to be right away so the delay of 30 minutes wasn’t a big deal.  After the rain stopped and the chairs were dried off with towels the wedding went on as planned.  We didn’t have so much to do this time as the groom had chosen a playlist of their favorite songs to be played as prelude.  Then we took over playing traditional wedding music for the processionals including “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and the Wagner “Wedding March” processional ( aka Here Come’s the Bride).

Note to brides:  Adorable children and dogs sometimes will steal the show….just saying.  At any rate a lovely ceremony ensued during the let-up of the rain and the happy couple were duly married.  Congratulations to them and their families!

7/29/18 Surprise Birthday Party

On 7/29/18 Silver Strings quartet was called upon to provide special (surprise) music for the pastor of the Living Truth Christian Center, first starting with a performance of the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” during the service.  After the service they treated the congregation to more hymns and dinner music at a luncheon in honor of the Pastor’s 50th birthday.  After seeing pictures of the beautifully decorated room I was really sorry I couldn’t be a part of the quartet that day.  Check these out:

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!

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