Handel’s Messiah in Nashville, Tennessee

Schermerhorn Symphony Center
View of the main lobby at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, TN

For Christmas this year, my husband gave me tickets to see the performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  Being the lover of jazz music that I am, my husband was a little concerned that I would not care to go.  I told him not to worry, I was really looking forward to it, and I really was.  We had not been to anything in the way of performing arts in quite a while, outside of those put on by our church, and had not been to a show in downtown Nashville in a couple of years.

The Nashville Symphony was started in 1945, and made it’s home at the Schermerhorn when they opened their doors in 2006.  Since the year 2000, the orchestra has won 11 GRAMMY awards out of 20 nominations and since 2008 they have been under the leadership of acclaimed conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.  Everything from rock to classical is performed here, and I honestly haven’t heard a bad word about any of it.

 

Schermerhorn Symphony Center Auditorium
View from the Founders Circle balcony inside the Laura Turner Hall at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center

I had never been to the Schermerhorn, and upon entering knew the show would be wonderful.  The Neo-Classical architecture is absolutely gorgeous, and the staff are there for your every need.  There is a coat check, two bars, a cafe, which is currently under renovation, as well as plenty of restrooms.  Even if you don’t see a show, it is fun to just check inside the box office or lobby and see if they will let you look around.  Hotels and eateries are nearby as it is only a block off of Broadway, the heart of downtown.  One word of caution:  as with any big city these days, it pays to do your homework and review maps of available parking.

At Handel's Messiah, 2017 Schermerhorn

The performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah by the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Choir was phenomenal.  I really never knew who Handel was, what his composition of the Messiah is other than the bits and pieces that I just happened to see performed by a church choir or heard on the radio.  According to the program we received, titled, In Concert, Handel wrote the original 260 page masterpiece in just over three weeks in 1741.  Consisting of three parts, Messiah was originally written as a musical score for an Easter celebration in Dublin.  The text, written by Charles Jennens, describes in biblical verse the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Cellos at Schermerhorn.jpg

Over the years Handel continued making revisions, even adding new segments to the piece.  After Handel’s death, Messiah evolved from a traditional Easter performance to the beloved piece of music that we look forward to each year at Christmas.  It is believed that during the 1743 premiere of Messiah in London, King George II stood up at the start of the Hallelujiah Chorus, to which the crowd followed suit and it is still a tradition to this very day.

I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!  Be safe and let me know if you have seen Handel’s Messiah and your thoughts.  God bless!

All photos and artwork ©2017 Denny Martindale, All Rights Reserved

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Made to Create

As artists, musicians and other creatives, we often question ourselves and our abilities.  We listen to the voice of the one who is against us and after a while we begin to believe the lie:  “What difference does my art really make?”  I create it, then what?  Even if it sells, it doesn’t change anything.  That is where as creatives and believers we are wrong.  Dead wrong.

Last month along with 20 to 30 other artists, I attended the ‘Made To Create’ workshop given by Deborah Gall of Abide Studio Ministries and hosted by Grace Chapel in Franklin, TN.  It was a wonderful time of worship and learning, all while giving glory to God the Father.

Deborah is completely in touch with God and listening to and doing His word.  She is passionate about reinforcing to the creative person the fact that we as artists were made to create, its in our genes and we are to go about it with purpose, passion, and as artistic warriors.

Made to Create, Denny Martindale,
One of the exercises at the Made to Create workshop

Taking us through a series of exercises over the course of the day, Deborah revealed how the scriptures not only give affirmation to craftsmen, but also command us to use the artistic gifts the Creator has given us to further His kingdom.  She offered scriptures, book references, as well as break out sessions for artists to worship and create in whatever form they desired.  Many painted, some played instruments and/or sang, while still others wrote poetry or in their journals, while another even danced.

Made to Create, Denny Martindale
One of the breakout sessions of free artistic worship

By the end of the day, each of us was filled with the Holy Spirit and a renewed sense of purpose for our art and life itself,.  We were deemed ‘artistic warriors’, and charged with Deborah’s mantra, “If you want to change a culture, change it’s art”.  Sometimes just hearing truth to the fact we are on the right path helps us to take the first steps to making change happen.  Thank you Deborah!

Next Phase

horse trough, base coat
Applying the base coat

Here, I am applying the base coat on top of the

horse trough, next layer
This one will be a different scene from the other two

They will have a fox and hound hunt theme to them, with each having a different scene.  I have painted the background for the sky on this one.

horse trough, next step
Background for the other two

This is the first of many layers for the image.  Two will be a woodland scene which I am starting on this one.  It is definitely not a flattering phase of the painting, but it is all part of the process.