Nashville Symphony

It’s been a while, but… I have played the Grand Ole Opry AND the Wild Horse Saloon, ya know. Not this time, though. We played the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall.

We start sound check at 11:30. Ouch! Everyone’s pleasant and accounted for, and we make some nice fixes and additions and subtractions from our symphony arrangements. Larry Baird, our conductor, and Chris and I and Joe Turano had talked last week about about some changes that would improve the program. We previewed all that before the orchestra arrived, and had a really smooth almost flawless orchestra rehearsal. Lots of smiles and “Welcome back!”s.

We thanked them for having us back at Schermerhorn Hall, just a few years after our first time here with the Symphony when the hall had just opened. Nashville is surely the Capital of the world for country music since the beginning, and now it is arguably the hottest music community of any sort in the world. Music people from all over the country are headin’ for Nashville. And when you perform here, you do it as though it’s Paris or Berlin. Somebody’s watchin’ you. So cross your fingers and hold your heart and pray really hard. And doing it with a symphony adds a boatload more wonderings and questions.

We’ve got a lot of guests on the way today: Agency friends, symphony donors, and lots of friends and OH yes. A sweet little high school music journalist that I chatted with. She and her mom brought brownies and pound cake (mmmmmm good).

Wow, there was a lot of grinning going on, which was the whole idea, I said. Be serious about the music and doing it well, but be just as serious about having fun with the music in which singing along is essential, and hearing familiar music now enriched with an orchestra is really some jaw-dropping fun… And an orchestra so in the middle of Spain, and Boogie Down, with strings and horns. And it’s so fun to mess with the late arrivers…

An intermission program makes for a really full evening with the audience, and everyone was so tuned in and excited throughout the whole thing. At the end of the regular performance, we did a great off-the-cuff trio version of Roof Garden that, surprise surprise, began with me and Mark doing vocal percussion head to head on one mic, right at his drum kit, with him still sitting there. What a great find to be able to go to some funk at the end of a symphony evening. The people got it. And that’s really satisfying to be able to come to that conclusion, to know that the people got it. As I said earlier, this is like having a good night at The Olympia in Paris or the Berlin Symphony Hall or Capella Sistina in Rome. If prayers are part of your thing, these are special prayers.

AND SO, thank you, Nashville. AND Thank you Nashville Symphony. Keep playing alternatives for the people. You are special and wonderful, and you were especially generous and kind to me. Maybe I’ll see you over on Broadway!

Love, Al

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

Leave us a comment

Comments are closed.