How in the world it's 2015 already, I have no clue. This whole year seems like one big blur...a good blur...but a blur! I had so many incredible opportunities to travel, meet people...and of course play violin...in 2014 that there's no way I can share about them all in one post! But the most musical portion of my year was actually just this past December. I felt like each week brought a new opportunity to make music and I absolutely ate it up. Here are the highlights....and accompanying photo collages. :)
I kicked off the month with a trip to New Jersey and New York for a few Christmas events with my fabulous boss Kelly Minter. It was amazing to hear her teach through Mary's Song (The Magnificat) from Luke chapter 1. I am encouraged and inspired every time I get to hear her speak and being reminded of the birth of Christ and the meaning of Advent in the midst of the business of the season was balm for my soul. And as an added bonus, I got to see my Uncle Bill and several dear friends, ate way too much great food, drove in downtown NYC for the first time ever, and frolicked a bit in Central Park. Who doesn't love the holidays in the City?
After a quick 48 hours at home, I headed back East to start a Christmas tour with Laura Story. We saw lots of snow and cold weather as we took the show on the road from Maryland to New Jersey to Massachusetts to New York....it was a whirlwind of Christmasy musical goodness. If you haven't already gotten Laura's Christmas record, might I recommend you grab it even though the holidays are over? I was thrilled to get to open the second half of the show with one of my fiddle tunes...(see the somewhat fuzzy video here...my mom was filming on her iPhone from the audience for this one). Getting to play one of my tunes with a full band and full string section was a once in a lifetime experience. (Photo credit for all the good photos: Gina Esposito)
I grabbed a crazy-early morning flight home from tour and got back to Nashville just in time to squeeze in a shower and an hour long nap before heading to the historic Ryman Auditorium for what has become one of the pillars of my Christmas season....Andrew Peterson's "Behold the Lamb of God" show. The all-star cast this year was amazing as usual and I was honored to be part of the string section for the 3rd straight year. Playing on that stage, with folks that I admire so highly both as people and as musicians....it's all still a bit surreal...and I'm just so grateful. (Photo Credits: Bob Boyd)
And as if all that wasn't enough....I had the immense honor to get to add some tracks to Kelly Minter's upcoming album. I absolutely cannot wait for you all to hear her new tunes and tasteful arrangements of a few classic hymns. Her voice and musical talent are immense and she is so lovely...to get to add my violin to such a fantastic project was incredible.
And as lovely as my December was, I'm thrilled to have a few weeks now to settle in before I head back out on the road to spend time with my husband, get organized, snuggle with the cat....I pray that your new year brings fresh goodness and blessings. Thank you for all your support and encouragement during 2014! I appreciate each and every one of you!
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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!!