Reception at McConnell House 2/19/17

On February 19, 2017 Susan Mullen and Mimi Nelson joined me in playing for a reception at the McConnell House given for brides who are having their weddings at CJs Off the Square this year.  The McConnell House, a beautifully restored historic building that once housed the prison in Franklin, also caters for CJs.  It is a beautiful place for meetings, receptions and parties and sports a large bar on the second floor.  You can still see the trap door through which unfortunate criminals dropped to meet their Maker at the end of a rope.

We played popular choices for weddings for the brides in attendance and took requests as well to give them samples of what we sound like playing rock and roll for example.  One of the brides, who had already hired us to play for her ceremony, even choked up hearing the Canon in D by Pachelbel, the music that she has requested for her float down the aisle.

CJ and her team are among our favorite wedding planners and venues.  We are always secure in the knowledge that they will run a tight ship and always help us do the best job we can by giving us proper signals.  The reception was a huge success as are the weddings that take place at CJs Off the Square.

 

Bach Double Concerto 2/18/17

As a break from weddings and parties I got to participate in the Nashville Concerto Orchestra to accompany one of my gig buddies, Jocelyn Sprouse, as she performed the Bach Concerto for Two Violins with Stephan Petrescu at Trinity Presbyterian Church.  If you don’t know this piece you can find a file on youtube.  You might recognize the second movement as music that was played in the movie “Children of a Lesser God”.  Jocelyn and Stephan played the second and third movements of this concerto at the concert.  They did a magnificent job of bringing life to this beautiful work and for a good cause.  Donations taken at the door were given to research on a rare cancer that took the life of a child of parents who are associated with the Linden School that is attached to Trinity Presbyterian.

2/3/17 Retirement Dinner at Union Station Hotel

On February 3, 2017 Silver Strings as a quintet was invited to entertain for cocktails and dinner at the Union Station Hotel.  This was a retirement party…although we didn’t get to meet the guest of honor…hosted by Gobbell Hays Partners, Inc., an architecture and engineering environment firm.

Toni Ferguson and I decided to dress up in cocktail dresses, sparkles and fancy, spikey shoes for the occasion.  Craig Duncan offered to wear sparkly socks and fancy tie with his suit but I didn’t want him to steal the show from Toni and me so I said black socks please.  Gary Tussing, cellist, and bassist, Roy Vogt, were just happy to be there.

When our guests have fun, we have fun.  We never miss a chance to play “Game of Thrones” as it always gets comments from guests and that evening was no exception.  Otherwise we were all over the map from Bach to (Garth, Friends in Low Places) Brooks enjoying having Roy’s expert bass support.

Congratulations to the retiree – whoever you are-and many thanks to GHP for having us there.

Dinner at the Hilton 1/13/17

It might have been Friday the 13th but we felt lucky to be entertaining the Tennessee Bar Association at their annual dinner that took place at the downtown Hilton Hotel.   Lucky because one of our favorite things is to be able to have a bass added to the quartet.  The bottom support adds a wonderful dimension to the sound.  We played music from the classics such as Khachaturian’s “Masquerade Waltz” (really awesome with the quintet), jazz standards such as “Take the A Train” all the way up to Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” with movie themes, classic rock and Country mixed in.

We girls felt lucky to be able to break out our fancy, long, sparkly gowns accessorized with rhinestone jewelry and spike heels for a change.  Guys were in their usual tuxedos although now I’m wondering if I should have suggested tails to complete the picture.

Luck was also with us when we were asked if we’d like dinner when we took our break while the guests watched a video.  Musicians never pass up food.  We’d behaved ourselves during the dinner with the more sedate music of the classics, movie themes and standards.  However after being refreshed and revived with the dinner, we returned to let our classical hair down to play the more raucous tunes like Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” during the dessert.

And from the comments we received at the close of the evening….a good time was had by all.

Christmas Party December 16, 2016 for JLB Company

On December 16, 2016 a trio of Silver Strings brought Christmas music as well as some non Christmas music for  JLB, a digital marketing company in Franklin, TN.  To keep the guests from glazing over from the almost nonstop Christmas music on the radio and in shops, we interspersed upbeat secular Christmas music with selections like “Friends in Low Places” and “Game of Thrones”.  Ken, our contact, was a pleasure to work with and who immediately made us comfortable when we arrived.  We’ll be looking forward to working with them again in the future.

Happy New Year to Ken and all who work for JLB!

Christmas Reception at The Bridge December 12

On December 12, 2016 the wonderfully generous Candy Christmas (yes, her name really is Candy Christmas) gave a reception for the volunteers and donors to her ministry of feeding the homeless every Tuesday evening under the Jefferson Street Bridge.  Go to http://www.bridgeministry.org to see what great work Candy and her team of volunteers are doing.

Candy, or rather her son, Joshua, called us to come out to play Christmas music for their reception.  Finding out that Joshua is now a chef, we couldn’t say yes fast enough.  We’ve worked for The Bridge Ministry in the past and always enjoy being a part of their celebrations.

If you’re interested in a painless way of giving to such a wonderful ministry go to http://www.kroger.com, click on the Community arrow and select Kroger Community Rewards.  There you can designate The Bridge Ministry, Inc #69391 to receive rewards from your patronage of Kroger.

Awards Ceremony at Ramsey Solutions

On December 8 a quartet of us gathered in a large meeting room at Ramsey Solutions in Cool Springs to play for an awards ceremony.  Ramsey Solutions is the brain child of Dave Ramsey, financial guru par excellence.  What was so impressive was how happy and enthusiastic his employees are.

The awards ceremony was conducted like the Academy Awards with walk-on and walk-off music.  It was our job to play appropriate money songs for the recipients.  Tim Smith, my contact, and I had a great time thinking up songs like “Money” by Pink Floyd – Dave Ramsey’s theme song, “Money, Money” from Cabaret, ” ABBA’s “Money, Money, Money”,  “Take the Money and Run” by the Steve Miller Band, Donna Summer’s “She Works Hard for the Money”, “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof and several others, of which I arranged snippets for the walk-on music.  Interspersed between the awards were in-house videos featuring employees in various hilarious situations.  The emcee as also an employee who did an amazing job of keeping keeping the program moving smoothly all the while making funny remarks or even singing along with us.

This job ranked a 20 on the enjoyment scale of 1 to 10.  Tim was a pleasure to work with and we were made to feel relaxed and welcome by everyone involved.  Thanks, everyone!  You’re the best!!

Christmastime

The month of December is always a busy time with baking goodies, playing Christmas programs, buying presents, etc., etc.  For some Christmastime can be a very sad and lonely time when a loved one has recently passed.  Phillips Robinson Funeral Home on Gallatin Road  provides a lovely setting for those who want to honor their loved ones with a Christmas remembrance.  Each family who attends brings an ornament to place on a Christmas tree in the chapel during a meditative instrumental interlude.

This year Phillips Robinson asked Silver Strings to provide the music for this time of remembrance.  Jocelyn Sprouse, Gary Tussing and Linda Davis played traditional Christmas carols and some lovely contemporary Christmas music for the time of gathering  and remembrance.  We, ourselves, had to fight back the tears as one by one a very many people came forward to place their ornaments on the tree.  We chose “All is Well” by Michael W. Smith for this part of the service and having no idea how many would come forward, ended up losing count of how many times we repeated the song.  It didn’t feel right to stop the music to fish out something else so we tried to relieve our aching muscles as best we could and kept the music going.

Afterward we played some upbeat, fun Christmas songs to lighten the mood for a short reception.  While we love playing weddings, we always feel like we really are contributing something meaningful to a service such as this.  There is no comparison between live music and piped in recorded music. We’re grateful to Phillips Robinson Funeral Home for recognizing this and therefore adding a human touch to this lovely service of remembrance.

Wedding at The Lodge 11/26/16

On November 26, 2016 Silver Strings as a quartet did what I like to call an “emergency” wedding.  I received a call from Kathy, the mother of the bride, a week before her daughter’s wedding in a near panic because the musicians that daughter, Whitney, had secured weren’t answering calls and emails.  I don’t understand that mentality but it was my good luck to get the call.

The wedding took place at a gorgeous place near Percy Priest Lake called The Lodge.  There were some very interesting aspects to the ceremony not often seen.  All the guests were asked to pick a stone from a basket to hold during the ceremony and along with that, a piece of paper to write something to the newlyweds.  At an appropriate time they were asked to think of a wish for the couple and then they were asked to support the couple and answer “Yes I do”.  We then played “The Prayer” as the stones were collected and place in a vase as a keepsake.

I’m a little ahead of myself….we played a mix of modern and classical music for the prelude but then played Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” for the parents and wedding party.  Whitney met her fiancé at the altar to the strains of Ed Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes’ “Home”.  Later during the service Morgan Beckford, a friend as well as a soprano with the Memphis Opera, sang Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love”.  Such a pleasure to work with a professional vocalist!  We recessed the happy couple to “Here Comes the Sun”.

We played for cocktails, pulling out classic Rock favorites as well as contemporary pop.  Fortunately for us we were invited to have dinner after we were finished.  There was a fun taco bar from which we filled plates and sat down to watch the disc jockey in action.  A few guests offered toasts that had all of us slapping our knees laughing.

Congratulations to Whitney and Dominic and their families!!  Best wishes for a long and happy union.

Wedding at Country Music Hall of Fame 11/5/16

On November 5, 2016 Elizabeth wed her sweetheart, David, at the Country Music Hall of Fame in downtown Nashville.  The ceremony took place in the Rotunda where Gary, Jocelyn and I played Country tunes for the prelude including “I Hope You Dance”, “Just a Kiss” and “I Loved Her First”.  Elizabeth kept the ceremony processionals simple by having us seat everyone to Canon in D before her entrance to “Wonderful Tonight”.  The recessional was Vivaldi’s “Spring” after which we gave the guests a taste of the fun to come by playing a postlude of “Friends in Low Places”.

The reception took place in the lobby where we played for cocktails and dinner.  Here we mixed more Country tunes with fun stuff like “Shut Up and Dance” and “Dixieland Delight”.  Kudos to planners Mary Alice Sublett and Whitney Gorbett of A Delightful Day Event Planning for doing a fantastic job of making the evening flow smoothly.

And of course congratulations and best wishes to Elizabeth and David.  May they live happily ever after.

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