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.

Wedding at Scarritt 8/13/16

Silver Strings morphed into a trio of violin, cello and piano for the nuptials of Jessica and Tyler at the Wightman Chapel on the Scarritt campus.  Craig Duncan on violin, Kelli Cox on piano and Gary Tussing on cello played the classics for the ceremony.  Kristin Kaplan of Stunning Events did a fabulous job of coordinating this wedding.

For the processionals the mothers entered to “Trumpet Voluntary” while the bridesmaids entered to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”.  Jessica chose the beautiful “Canon in D” by Pachelbel for her walk to the altar.  After they were pronounced husband and wife the newlyweds made their joyful way back down the aisle to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”.

Congratulations to Jessica and Tyler and their families!  We wish them a long and happy life together.

 

Wedding at CJs Off the Square 7/9/16

On July 9 at CJs Off the Square (one of my favorite venues) Kathrine tied the knot with her sweetheart, Casey, in the presence of friends and family.  We were a trio that day with Craig Duncan on violin and Gary Tussing on cello.  Kathrine had decided on contemporary music for the prelude so we performed tunes such as “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, “Here Comes the Sun”, and “Tiny Dancer”.  For the processionals we switched to the classics, bringing the mothers in to Bach’s “Arioso”, the bridesmaids and children to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and finally for Kathrine’s grand entrance “Canon in D”.  After a lovely ceremony the newlyweds made their way back down the aisle to Mendelssohn’s famous “Wedding March”.

As I mentioned earlier CJs is one of my favorite venues.  They do such a good job of organizing the processionals and letting the musicians know when it’s time to begin the ceremonial music.  We really appreciate not being forgotten in the controlled chaos of weddings so that we can do our job easily and gracefully.

So it’s time to say congratulations to Kathrine and Casey and wish them a long and happy life together.

Installation of the President of Watkins College of Art, Design and Film

On May 13 Silver Strings brought their music to the installation of the new president of the Watkins College of Art, Design and Film.  It was great to play something other than a wedding although we did play a processional for the dignitaries, Mayor Megan Barry and the “new” President, Dr. Kline (who had already done two semesters of leading the college before his inauguration).  We enjoyed playing interludes for the guests and graduating seniors during the installation.  Julianna Waller, the violinist with the trio that day, did a beautiful job of playing the “Meditation” from Thais for one of the interludes.  We played a movement from the Mozart “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” as a sort of inside joke on the new president’s name.

After the ceremony we reconvened behind the school on a patio overlooking the lake at Metro Center for a cocktail hour where we played fun stuff for the guests.  Julianna is marvelous at improvising on the jazzy tunes and even got the other two of us to swing the Bach Concerto for Two Violins.  A little bit later we got a thumbs up on our rendition of “Game of Thrones”.  Someday I need to see an episode to see what the fuss is all about.

Beautiful weather, fun music, nice people….it doesn’t get much better than this.

Wedding at College Hills Church of Christ May 23, 2015

I’m a little bit of a risk taker, especially when it comes to participating in weddings that have wonderful requests for music.  On May 23, 2015 three of us dashed from an earlier wedding to this one in record time (I’ll never admit we exceeded the speed limit).  Fortunately I’d attended the rehearsal the day before and was able to set up part of our equipment to save time.  We were a quartet with a trumpet, a vocalist and a pianist this time playing mostly classic wedding selections and a few well-known songs from famous movies.  The stage was stunning with white draping  that looked almost like it could have been a chuppah with a chandelier hanging over where Lindsay and Caleb would be exchanging their vows.

The really cool thing about this wedding was the discovery that I had played in the quartet for Lindsay’s mother, Linda’s wedding 27 years earlier.  Linda handed me a picture at the rehearsal that really took me back, seeing old friends I’d worked with in what seems like another lifetime.

Jonathan Riggs was our soloist for the ceremony, singing “Ave Maria”, “My Own True Love” from Gone With the Wind”, and “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera.  Jonathan did a phenomenal job allowing us the pleasure of simply accompanying him because of his confidence in leading us to make music with him.  Steve Patrick on trumpet did a phenomenal job of tastefully adding to the arrangements when appropriate or taking the lead when it was time to bring Lindsay to her groom with a fanfare to the Wedding March.  Brandon Carver, a friend of Lindsay’s, was terrific on keyboard stepping up to work with total strangers without missing a beat.

During the ceremony there was a very sweet moment during the unity candle when a recording of Lindsay’s sister singing “The Prayer” was played.  Lindsay’s sister thought she would be too nervous to sing with us accompanying so her song was pre-recorded.

Now for the fun part…We started off the recessional with the Mendelssohn “Wedding March” but before we got to the second refrain we seamlessly launched into “Rocky Top” to send the newlyweds the rest of the way back up the aisle along with their wedding party.  “Rocky Top” had special meaning for them at the start of their relationship so it was imperative to include the song somehow.  By the time the mothers were ready to recess we were back to “Wedding March” for a little more dignified exit.

One last thing…thanks to Misty Saunders of Finishing Touch Event Design for her able directing and coordinating of the millions of details that going into making a wedding run smoothly.

Congratulations to Lindsay and Caleb and their families!  If they get busy with starting their family maybe I’ll be able to see the third generation down the aisle.  Best wishes to all!

Wedding at Belle Meade Plantation May 16, 2015

Meanwhile over in West Nashville at the Belle Meade Plantation Hilari was busy getting married to Grant in the garden behind the mansion.  I was originally looking forward to playing their wedding until necessary surgery intervened because they had chosen some really fun (for the musicians anyway) classical music for the prelude.  Selections included Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s Turkish March originally written for piano, a Handel Harp Concerto.  A trio consisting of Julianna Waller, Tammy Hobbs and Gary Tussing did justice to the masters’ works.

For the processionals Hilari chose Vivaldi’s “Spring” first movement for the mothers and then the third movement for the wedding party.  She chose for her entrance Handel’s “Hornpipe” from the Water Music.  At the close of the ceremony the newlyweds made their way back down the aisle to the exciting Handel “Allegro from Solomon”.

The trio reconvened at the area between the stable and the carriage house to play for cocktails and dinner.  They played music from all different eras to cover the generations in attendance including Ellington’s “Take the A Train” to Ben Rector’s “White Dress”.  During dinner the trio played “old school” love songs such as “When I Fall In Love” and “At Last”.

Congratulations to Hilari and Grant along with their families!  Many wishes for a long and happy life together.

4/4/15 Wedding at King’s Chapel

The little church at King’s Chapel is a delightful sanctuary with wonderful acoustics for a string trio.  Pamela married her sweetheart, Timothy, on a beautiful spring day with beautiful music as a backdrop.  After a prelude of classic wedding music friend, Natalie, sang “How Beautiful” just before the procession of the wedding party.  Pamela met Timothy at the altar to the beloved “Canon in D” by Pachelbel.  After the newlyweds were announced as Mr. and Mrs. we sent them back down the aisle to “O Happy Day”.

Jocelyn Sprouse on violin and Gary Tussing on cello joined me in the trio.  Michelle of A Magical Affair took care of business as the coordinator.

Congratulations to Pamela and Timothy and their loved ones.  The best is yet to come.

3/14/15 Wedding at Hancock House

Silver Strings kicked off the beginning of wedding season with a lovely small wedding at the Hancock House between Hendersonville and Gallatin.  This was actually more of a renewal of vows but sweet nonetheless.  Allison and Chad were wed in front of the big fireplace in the front room as an alternative to the back garden since it was raining cats and dogs that day.  Contingency plans are always advised in the spring.

After a short ceremony everyone adjourned to the upper level for a light repast of delicious foods prepared by Roberta Hancock, proprietress of the Hancock House and one of my most favorite people in the whole world, and her crew.  Roberta and I bonded from the first day I met her years ago and always look forward to seeing her.

During the reception the trio, consisting of Jocelyn Sprouse, Gary Tussing and myself, played love songs and then spiked the fun with a rendition of “Rocky Top” after which people yelled for “Sweet Home Alabama”.  No rivalry in this family.

Many wishes to Allison and Chad for continued happiness together in their life’s journey.

Wedding at The Hutton Hotel 11/8/14

You know you’ve arrived when your bride is also a wedding planner and coordinator.  Krista and Tim were wed November 8 at the Hutton Hotel.  Her friend and former colleague in another wedding planning company, Lauren Hartman (now Southern Soiree), did double duty as bridesmaid and coordinator.

The music was contemporary with a tip of the hat to Tim’s Irish heritage as we brought him and his groomsmen to the altar to “The Blood of Cu Challain”.  The bridesmaids entered to “A Thousand Years” while Krista chose “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for her entrance.  The ceremony was short and sweet and they went back down the aisle “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” to the reception in the beautiful ballroom that shows off a stunning view of downtown Nashville.

Many wishes from Silver Strings to Krista and Tim for a long and happy marriage!

Wedding in Shelbyville 11/8/14

On November 8, 2014 Amanda wed her fiance, Lee, in a lovely ceremony at the Fair Haven Baptist Church in Shelbyville.  We were a trio that day with Susan Mullen and Gary Tussing on violin and cello.  Amanda chose almost all contemporary music that included John Legend’s “All of Me”, Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and Jason Mraz’ “I Won’t Give Up”.  (Do you think Jason needs to buy a vowel for his last name?)

Amanda was very specific about the parts of the songs she wanted played during the processionals.  I appreciate a person who knows what she wants and can articulate it, especially since we couldn’t be there for the rehearsal.  The mothers arrived to “Marry Me” (Train), the maids to “Yellow” (Coldplay) and Amanda to “A Thousand Years”.  A friend of Amanda’s who acted as coordinator did a perfect job of communicating with me so that we could get Amanda down the aisle to the exact part she wanted played.

Congrats Amanda and Lee!  Have a long and happy marriage!

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