Wedding at George Jones Museum 4/22/17

Saturday found a trio of us convening on the third floor of the George Jones Museum at2nd Ave. N. on April 22, 2017.  There we played for the fun wedding of Maggie and Will.  They had requested contemporary music such as “Marry Me”, “Theme from Forrest Gump” and “Gangsta’s Paradise”, the song we used to bring in the groomsmen.  The guests laughed out loud when we launched into that tune.  Maggie met Will at the altar to the strains of “A Thousand Years”.  As their unity ceremony they chose to place a bottle of wine in a box to be opened in five years to celebrate their anniversary.  We accompanied them doing this with the Beatles’ “In My Life”.  And finally, we sent them back down the aisle as husband and wife to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”.

Congratulations to Maggie and Will and their families!

Rehearsal Dinner at Hermitage Hotel 4/21/17

The trio, after dashing from a previous wedding close by, played for a rehearsal dinner at the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville.  The family requested classical music which we were glad to play.  We don’t get to play the classics so often anymore as tastes have changed.  We were even asked to continue playing after the contracted time which we were also glad to oblige.  Lauren and Krista of Southern Soiree, coordinators for this dinner and the wedding the following day, did their always flawless job of running things and making everyone comfortable.

Wedding at Riverwood Mansion 4/21/17

While rain is usually welcome for many reasons, it can certainly wreak havoc with wedding plans.  A couple needs to be prepared to roll with whatever happens with good humor and the fact that in the end they will be MARRIED.  That’s just what happened Friday evening at Riverwood Mansion.  Krystal and Greg were married in the garden in between showers with umbrellas held over them while the guests held umbrellas as well.  Their ceremony had a couple of interesting rituals including being “lassoed” by their mothers and later a processional of bridesmaids and groomsmen circling around the guests and back down the aisle to deposit coins.  Not sure of the significance because we, being parked on the porch to keep our instruments out of the rain, couldn’t hear the officiant explain what was happening.  At the end of the ceremony they also passed through a sword arch done by some of her colleagues.

Congratulations to Krystal and Greg and may they have a long and happy life together.

Wedding at Two Rivers Mansion 3/25/17

The second venue on our wedding tour of March 25 was the Two Rivers Mansion near McGavock High School.  The scene of the ceremony was to be on the front steps of the mansion but Mother Nature had other ideas.  About five minutes before the processionals were to begin the heavens opened and the guests had to make a run for the house.  Minutes went by while we moved closer to the walls on the porch and continued to play for the guests while the decision was made to go ahead with the ceremony in the foyer of the house.  While the hair and clothes might have been a little damp, the rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the guests for the wedding of Kacey and Zach.  Dave, the officiant lead a lovely service while Kacey and Zach stood in the doorway of the house looking out over the maze.

After the nuptials we moved into the foyer to continue to play for cocktails.  By this time the rain had stopped and most guests had gone outside on the back porch or the front porch so we just hoped our sound carried in both directions.  Eventually I talked Kacey and Zach into a first dance for a photo op in front of the house.  We played “When I Fall in Love” for them while the photographer snapped away.

Kacey and Zach are a lovely couple, both singer/songwriters.  We wish them all the best in their continuing life’s journey as husband and wife.  Congratulations to them and their families!

Wedding at the Wren’s Nest 3/25/17

The first of a double header on 3/25/17 began at the Wren’s Nest near Murfreesboro with the wedding of Jeanne to Dave in the loft of the barn.  We were a quartet playing hymns and the two versions of “Ave Maria for the prelude.  As this was a second marriage for both of them they dispensed with a wedding party but seated the parents.  Jeanne made her entrance to “Canon in D”.  After a short but sweet ceremony they made their way back down the aisle and downstairs to the reception area to “Hymn of Joy”.

This all took place in the middle of the day so that it was a brunch after the ceremony.  Both guests and musicians had a big time with tunes such as “Wagon Wheel”…which we ended up playing twice so everyone could sing along and dance.  The highlight was the Johnny Cash portion, again with the singing along and dancing.  Jeanne had requested a couple of Johnny Cash tunes for Dave who had no idea we would have anything like that.  We did “I Walk the Line” and “Ring of Fire”.

The cake was made by a friend of the couple and boy, was it good!  The planner/coordinator was Lauren Hartman of Southern Soiree, another one of my favorites.  She never leaves us hanging out to dry with no direction.  She makes our job so easy (it’s all about us, you know ;-))

Congratulations to Jeanne and Dave!  They are lucky to be surrounded by a large and loving now-blended family and we wish all of them every happiness for many years to come.

Wedding at the Schermerhorn 3/19/17

On March 19, 2017 Silver Strings was in attendance above the chuppah for the nuptials of Tara and Brian in the lobby of the Schermerhorn.  We played a variety of contemporary songs for the prelude with a couple of traditional Jewish wedding songs including “Dodi Li” and “Erev Shel Shoshanim” mixed in.  When it came time for the processionals we brought the men down the aisle to “Game of Thrones” after which the groom was escorted down the aisle by his parents to Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida”.  Next came the bridesmaids to “A Thousand Years” followed by the bride, escorted by her parents, to “Canon in D”.  In a Jewish ceremony the bride circles the groom seven times before the rabbi begins the marriage service.  We continued with the Canon while this was done.  It was tricky for us  being above the chuppah because we couldn’t see the bride except for a few times when she came far enough out for us to see her.  It must have been ok because the rabbi began right after we cadenced.  After the ceremony we sent them back down the aisle as husband and wife to the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love”.

After the ceremony we quickly decamped to an area above the west lobby to play more Coldplay, Beatles, etc.  I want to mention the planner, Bruce Pittman, who in my opinion is one of the best I’ve worked with.  When we’re parked in the balcony of the Schermerhorn, we’re pretty much at the mercy of the coordinator for proper signals.  Bruce never lets us down.

It’s time to say Mazeltov! to Tara and Brian.  It was a pleasure working with them and their families.  May they have many, many years of happiness together.

Marriage Proposal 3/12/17

A couple of weeks ago on March 12 Toni Ferguson and I got to participate in a marriage proposal in Centennial Park just after the sun went down.  Before I go on…a word to the guys… this man has set the bar really high when it comes to proposing to his girlfriend.  Just so you know.

Amy had no idea of what was going to happen that evening.  With the help of a best friend a small picnic was laid in the grass near the Parthenon complete with glowing lanterns and snacks.  Toni and I hid behind a tree until the moment of the proposal.  The signal to jump out and begin playing our violins was when Jordan got down on one knee to do the deed.  We strolled over playing “Marry Me” by Train.  Then we played a few more songs for them including John Legend’s “All of Me” and Michael Buble’s “Moondance”.

That was only the beginning.  When the white limousine pulled up they were off to an evening on the town.  The limo company offered to take them to various places and take pictures of them before dropping them off at a restaurant for a celebratory dinner.  Toni and I were so pleased and honored to be a part of their engagement and send our congratulations to Jordan and Amy!

Concert at the Cathedral 3/10/17

Every now and then we just can’t help ourselves and have to get together to play chamber music.   We love playing rock and roll or today’s pop music but every now and then we need a fix of classical music.  Susan Mullen, Toni Ferguson, Gary Tussing, Melodie Chase and myself met several months ago to read the Schubert Quintet in C Major for string quartet and guest cellist.  Violinist, Toni Ferguson, after having such a great time reading this wonderful work, engineered an opportunity for us to play the first movement at a concert given by the girls’ choir at St. Cecelia School at The Cathedral.

We rehearsed the first movement over a period of two months in preparation for opening the concert with the Schubert and afterwards accompanying the girls on the Pergolesi “Stabat Mater”.  I have to admit to fighting back the tears when the girls sang the first lines of the first movement of this piece.  Their voices were so clear and pure in the cavernous sanctuary it was truly breath taking.  Stephanie Nolan did a fabulous job of leading the girls in this stunningly beautiful work.

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.

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