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

28 Old Masters works on display at the Frist in Nashville, TN

September 9, 2011–February 5, 2012 | Exhibition
A Divine Light
Northern Renaissance Paintings from the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery



Antoine de Lonhy. The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (detail) , 1490. Tempera on canvas transferred from panel, 53 x 51 3/16 in. Bob Jones Collection, 1958; Inv. No. P.58.118

A Divine Light: Northern Renaissance Paintings from the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery and its accompanying catalogue, which have been awarded financial support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, presents twenty-eight works of art from one of the finest collections of Old Master paintings in the United States. These paintings were acquired by Dr. Bob Jones, Jr., for the art museum he founded in 1951 at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC.

The great Baroque holdings of the museum have long overshadowed other parts of the collection, and A Divine Light marks the first time that its beautiful Northern Renaissance paintings have been the sole focus of an exhibition. A Divine Light is designed as intimate encounter with the devotional art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and explores the ways in which Northern Renaissance artists expressed the central mysteries of the Christian faith through setting, pose, gesture, and the objects of everyday life.

Four of the paintings have undergone conservation treatment prior to their presentation in Nashville.

A Divine Light: Northern Renaissance Paintings from the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery is organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery.

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Want to know more about the Parthenon in Nashville?

Add this to your “To Do’s” as we slip into winter! The Parthenon’s Cowan Collection is an incredible array of fine art and includes work from Bierstadt, Vedder, Church, and Benjamin West. The provenance of this 60+ piece collection is quite intriguing and fulfills John M. Cowan’s wish: “……In my humble way to express to the citizens of that State, to some extent at least, the love and reverence I entertain for Tennessee.”


I always say that one of the best values on Nashvilleâs tourist circuit is The Parthenon, and Iâm happy to tell you that on Tuesday, they are opening a new permanent exhibit that explores the history of this beloved landmark, which was built for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.