Part of what I so dearly love about the rich tapestry that is the music community of Nashville is how sometimes you find the richest of gems in unexpected places. When Keith and I began visiting and ultimately joined the congregation at St. Bartholemew's Church, I had decided to take a break from serving in the music ministry of my home church. While the previous few churches I'd been a member of were wonderful, wonderful places and I'd been welcomed heartily into their music ministries (and honestly, my career shaped and catapulted forward by those same ministries) they were also large communities with lots of worship services over the course of each weekend and plugging in meant a large sacrifice which became increasingly difficult given the amount of time I was already away from home for work.
Keith and I decided we needed a season to just go to church together.
Sit in the pew together.
Be a church members.
And so we did. Through two years of visiting and almost two years of being an official member, I went to church and sat next to my husband and savored every moment of getting to pray along side him. Get to church at the same time. Give him a big hug during the passing of the peace. But then this past December I felt a tug that it was time to start playing again in the church that has become so dear to both Keith and me. So now, once a month, I have the immense joy of curling up in the loft at the back of the room and playing my violin through the rich liturgy of the Anglican tradition; harmonizing along to ancient melodies as well as tunes written in recent weeks by our brilliant music director David Madeira.
And I never know who I'll find playing music alongside me on Sunday mornings...one morning the bass player is from a well-known-long-running Christian band, another day the head of a major music publishing company is strumming the guitar or a physician is singing on the praise team. But one of the lovliest discoveries of becoming part of the St. B's family has been the friendship of Norwegian singer Solveig Leithaug. She is as talented as she is kind and pure class through and through. For a while now we've been scheming when and how we could join musical forces. My beloved grandfather was also from Norway and I have a few early memories of he and his brothers singing traditional tunes in a language I couldn't understand but found impossibly beautiful. I crossed my fingers that an opportunity would arise one day to add my violin to some of Solveig's lilting tunes and celebrate not only fine music but part of my heritage.
So with all this in mind, I'm so thrilled to get to invite each of you to join us....Solveig, me, a host of other incredible Nashville musicians and the breathtaking Voices of Joy choir (on tour all the way from Norway) to "Summer Nights, Northern Lights," an evening of music (and Scandanavian pastries) benefitting my favorite non-profit, Compassion International. (We even got some press in the Gaither Homecoming magazine this week!) I'd be honored to have you in my church, celebrating with my people and enjoying some beautiful music. What better way to spend a summer night?
Stories and thoughts and current happenings in music and life
Bethany is a freelance violinist/fiddler and tour manager who works with artists & events such as Kelly Minter, Cultivate: A Gathering Around The Word and Laura Story. She and her husband Keith live in Nashville, TN with their daughter Clare, cat & 6 backyard chickens. For more info on Bethany, visit her bio page!!