Where Words Fail, Music Speaks
As we look ahead to the new year, our team has taken time to reflect on our experiences during 2019. We had the opportunity to be a part of almost 600 events where the power of music was evident. Below we have shared some of our favorite memories from performing at retirement centers, accompanying for local schools, and providing music for wedding ceremonies.
MUSIC FOR SENIORS
"Nathan, [my son], and I were playing at Savannah Grace and there were several of the residents in assisted living present who had pretty significant health challenges. They rolled one elderly lady into the room and she just stared out the window while we played. I suspected she was suffering from dementia, so we just pressed on with our program.
One lady mouthed the words to a Beatles tune while I played, and a couple of folks knew the words to “Can’t Help Falling In Love” that Nathan played on the ukulele. Still, the one lady continued to stare out the window... Nearing the end of the hour, I began to play "Edelweiss," from The Sound of Music. Suddenly, the lady appeared to awaken as she began to sing along...
I’m sure the memory of the song left her before the the next hour, however, for a moment we were blessed with a moment of connection and beauty."
"When I was playing for the Wellmore brunch in Lexington, I began sharing a medley of Les Mis songs by ear. I didn’t think anyone was really paying attention [since it was 'background music'], but then I overheard some ladies near the piano talking about the songs. One of them was telling the other women the name of each Les Mis song as I played it and also which character sang it and what was happening in the story at the time. Next thing I knew, one of the women came over and requested a specific Les Mis song that I hadn’t played yet. It gave me so much joy to play “On My Own” for them by ear, knowing that they actually knew and appreciated the song and were listening so closely to the music."
ACDA NATIONAL CONFERENCE
"Early this fall I had the opportunity to be a part of ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) event. This was the second year Lowcountry Pianist was asked to provide all the musicians for the prestigious conference and my second time playing cello. This year was truly a treat because we were asked to accompany the 7-9th grade Mixed Choir lead by ACDA Clinician, J. Reese Norris. We were lucky enough to perform one of his original works set to Emily Dickinson's poem, 'I Will Not Live In Vain,' The song was delicate yet forceful and even haunting at times.
The students really connected with the music and made self proclamations during rehearsal about what their future will hold. A few students were selected to read at the concert and the mood was set. Here was a group of middle and high school students telling the world that they were going to go into the universe and make an impact, serve, and to be heard. It was enough to make my heart burst before even one note came out of our instruments or their mouths!
The cello part was exquisite and very exposed and the composition was brilliant and fit this group to a T. It is a treasure and honor to have played with this fine group of young people and I will never forget the message that was delivered in Lightsey Chapel that day."
WEDDING CEREMONY MUSIC
"I play Celtic harp, and in October I played for a wedding at Mingo Point on Kiawah Island for a couple from Washington DC. They had about 150 guests, and a large bridal party with 9 bridesmaids and groomsmen, flower girls, a ring bearer, and an honor seating for the two mothers. Rather than ask me to play just one tune for both the mothers during the honor seating, the bride asked me to play 'Edelweiss' as her mother walked up the aisle, and something different for her mother-in-law to be.
After the ceremony I went up and congratulated the bride and groom and the bride's mother came rushing up to me and hugged me, telling me how beautiful and special it was that I'd played 'Edelweiss.' She and the bride told me how that was the tune that the bride's mother had sung to her every night before bed while she was growing up.
It brought to mind how music is so special to us emotionally. How music that we loved at a certain time in life, and when we hear later, will bring that earlier time right back to us, and bring all the emotions and joy with it, like nothing else can. To incorporate these kind of memories and feelings into one's wedding is truly special; music is such a gift to us all!"
MY END OF THE YEAR REFLECTION
When I reflect over this last year and the memories it holds, I say to myself "... Do I really get to do this for my job?" Owning and performing with Lowcountry Pianist & Company has given me such joy and fulfillment in life. They say if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. That certainly is true for me!
Throughout this year, my portable baby grand visited multiple stunning venues and locations with me including the Francis Marion Hotel, Brookgreen Gardens, Honey Horn, and Palmetto Bluff.
This year, I personally performed for 150 events and have many stories I could share, however, I will share a few highlights and photos with you. This year I had the opportunity to be a part of:
What truly makes this job rewarding is the people we get to serve, the opportunity to hear their stories, and the privilege to be a part of the "big" moments in life. Thank you for supporting the local arts and our team of musicians! We are grateful that you give us the opportunity to do what we love to do. As we close out 2019 our hearts are full and we can't wait to see what's in store for the new year!
Wishing you a wonderful 2020!
Owner, Lowcountry Pianist & Company LLC