Wedding in Centerville, TN 9/30/17

Road trip!  On September 30, trio of us piled into my car to make the hour trek to Centerville, TN, to a beautiful little wedding venue tucked away in a hollow (or in Tennessee, a holler) off a lane that was off the main road.  There in an open pavilion replete with pews, in front of friends and relatives, Sara Beth tied the knot with Philip in a lovely ceremony.

We played mostly hymns and classical selections for the prelude after which mothers entered to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, maids to the Vangelis “Hymne” and Sara Beth to the much loved “Canon in D”.  During the ceremony they both read their self-penned, amazingly eloquent vows to each other.  After the rings and kiss were exchanged we sent them back down the aisle to the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

Congratulations to Sara Beth and Philip.  Best wishes for a long and happy life together!

Wedding at Church of the Assumption 5/6/17

May 6 was a busy day for us with back to back weddings.  We started in mid afternoon playing for the full wedding Mass for Katherine and Scott at the beautiful Church of the Assumption in Germantown.  We were a quartet that day with vocalist, Julie Cox, and on trumpet, Steve Patrick.  The acoustics in the sanctuary are wonderful and it’s such a joy to play there.

For prelude the quartet played the first movement of the Bach concerto for two violins.  Susan and Toni did themselves proud with this one.  Julie Cox gave us all goose bumps with her lovely rendition of “The Prayer”.  The processionals were traditional classics of Handel and Bach with Katherine meeting her groom at the altar to the Wagner “Wedding March Processional” led by  on trumpet.

After the Mass and when all was said and done we sent the newlyweds back down the aisle to the Mendelssohn “Wedding March Recessional”.  Then it was time for a bit of fun.  While organist, Albennia Ladieu, played a postlude the quartet and trumpet dashed outside to play “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” as guests were leaving.

Congratulations to Katherine and Scott and their families and best wishes for a long and happy life together!

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.

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