Music City, Here We Come

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Where does music fill the streets and dance across the stages?  Nashville, Tennessee.  And if you travel with a high school orchestra, the weekend will be packed with music.  We loaded up the buses at 7:30 in the morning–instruments in one compartment; suitcases, coolers and breakfast boxes in another compartment; and students and parents with backpacks, blankets and pillows in the seats.

Our first stop was Western Kentucky University, where the orchestra students enjoyed a sight reading workshop with one of the professors from the school of music.  The parents sat back and enjoyed the concert.  We even got a tour of the campus, and learned first hand how the school earned the nickname of Hilltoppers!

This orchestra can sight read!

This orchestra can sight read!

Friday night welcomed the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, with special guests The Midtown Men from Jersey Boys.  I may have not lived through the sixties, but I grew up in the eighties listening to the best music from the sixties.  I had to remind myself not to sing along. If I forgot, my daughter generously elbowed me as a reminder.

Home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Do you know how an album is recorded?  I learned a little bit about the process when we visited Blackbird Studios where some of the biggest acts in music today have recorded albums.  There are separate rooms to record drums, keyboards, strings, and vocals–and that’s just to get down the basics of the songs.  Extra touches to fill out the music are added later in yet another studio room.  Then the last mixing is done to create the perfect sound in another room before being sent off to create the final master.  Each song is the result of thousands of decisions along the way.  (Sounds a lot like a day in the life of a teacher.)

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Some of your favorite artists may have sung into this microphone.

We found even more music aboard the General Jackson showboat.  We cruised up and down the Columbia River while eating a delicious lunch and being entertained by a muscial act that gave tribute to some of the greats in country music (along with a few laughs at their expense).

 

We are ready for toe-tapping music and good eating.

We are ready for toe-tapping music and good eating.

We celebrated Saturday night at the Grand Ole Opry.   Most (well, really all) of the current starts were on Las Vegas for some reason last weekend, so none of them made a surprise appearance on the circle at the center of the stage, but we did get to hear some of the old time greats of country music and bluegrass, including Little Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson, and Restless Heart.  My favorite had to be the Willis clan.  Six of the twelve children–all siblings–played bluegrass until the youngest six children (down to age 3) joined them on stage to kick up their heels.  My daughter came home and has been checking the Opry calendar to see when we can go back and catch her favorite members.  During our backstage tour he next day, we even got to stand on the circle on center stage (taken from the stage at Ryman Auditorium where many of country’s greatest stars stood).  Those orchestra members who played violin even got to play a few measures while getting their picture taken.

The Willis clan throws down some bluegrass and dancing.

The Willis clan throws down some bluegrass and dancing.

 

8 Comments on Music City, Here We Come

  1. Ramona
    April 9, 2014 at 12:56 am (7 years ago)

    How fun to join the trip as a parent (or was it as a teacher?). My own children told me I could never go on band trips. You crammed a lot of fun in a few days.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      April 9, 2014 at 5:29 am (7 years ago)

      I went as a parent, but I had many of the students in class back when they were in middle school.

      Reply
  2. Leigh Anne
    April 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm (7 years ago)

    What a fun trip! I love the daughter elbow – I just had to laugh! My sister lives down by Nashville and it is such a great city!

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      April 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm (7 years ago)

      I did get the elbow a few times, but I’m glad she wanted to hang with us for most of the trip.

      Reply
  3. Elsie
    April 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm (7 years ago)

    It sure was a weekend filled with music and education. What a great opportunity to show kids how hard work and dedication pay off.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      April 8, 2014 at 7:04 pm (7 years ago)

      It was! Probably the person we met who worked the hardest was the engineer at the recording studio. They consider 8-hour days a half-day. The longest day he worked was 36 hours straight. Wow!

      Reply
  4. Dana Murphy
    April 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow, this sounds like an amazing and music-filled trip! Lucky kids (and parents)! I love the idea of getting to stand on the circle on center stage! I want to do that!

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      April 8, 2014 at 6:28 pm (7 years ago)

      It was very cool to stand in the circle–and watch our students perform with a violin on the stage, too. Nashville is definitely the city to visit for all kinds of music.

      Reply

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