Like much of this part of the country, last week Nashville was hit by a record snow storm – the largest snowfall recorded here in the last 28 years. Between 5 and 10 inches fell on Friday and Saturday, depending on what part of town you live in (8 inches was the official recorded snowfall at Nashville International Airport).
When snow falls here the city shuts down. Not only do schools and businesses close, but it’s simply not safe to be on the roads. We have few plows and they only attempt to clear main roads, leaving most neighborhoods treacherous and ice-bound. My family did not leave our house on Friday or Saturday, except on foot to walk the dog or to scout out the state of neighboring streets.
So by Sunday afternoon, when the city had begun to thaw out, I was happy to make my way across town to hear an afternoon concert of old music performed in collaboration by two local ensembles.
Our consumer culture has a strong tendency to overshadow other human values and reduce every aspect of human life and culture to an economic appraisal. This is as true of music as it is of anything else.
I’ve thought about this a lot over the years and discussed it many times with students and colleagues. Recently it was brought to my attention when a blog post about “the value of music” and “the state of the music industry” over at The Boot from a few years ago resurfaced on my FaceBook feed. The post is called Vince Gill Discouraged by “Mind-Numbing” Country Music.
This month Roger Wiesmeyer and an ensemble of local musicians – many of them members of the Nashville Symphony – will perform two benefit concerts for a local charity featuring music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as Roger has done every year at this time since 2003.
This year’s concerts will take place:
Friday, January 15, noon, at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 4715 Harding Road, Nashville.
Sunday, January 31, 6 pm, at Edgehill United Methodist Church, 1502 Edgehill Avenue, Nashville.
This year’s concert features the C minor piano concerto, K. 491 conducted by Vinay Parameswaran with Roger as piano soloist. Admission is $10, and all proceeds benefit The Contributor.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $959,000 grant to provide major funding for the Nashville Symphony’s Accelerando music education initiative over the next six years.
Apollo is the Sun. In the exalted solitude of his journey through the heavens each day, He hears the Harmony of the Spheres: the perfection of proportions in the orbits of the heavenly bodies – the Sun, the Moon, and the planets together resonating an etherial and celestial music never heard by mortals.
Perhaps it was this celestial harmony Apollo remembered when He saw young Hermes strumming on the strings of an instrument the child God had made from the shell of a tortoise. Hermes had stolen some of his cattle and Apollo was very angry, but when the Sun God heard the delicate yet enthralling sounds of Hermes’ lyre, His temper cooled and Apollo allowed Hermes to keep the cattle in exchange for the instrument. Apollo endowed the lyre with His solar power, inventing Music. Through His divine example He inspired men and women to live virtuously, to emulate the Gods, and to create Music and poetry for themselves.