Party At The Symphony

Outside after a fun night at the Nashville Symphony.

What a shame to think we could ever vote out the arts from our educational system, for the simple sake of saving a dollar today.  Music is timeless.  Through every war, tragedy, and times of peace, music has remained a place the heart and mind can run to without fear of retaliation.  It allows us to dive right into the heart of our emotions or flee from them as far as the east is from the west.  The most broken of heart can find joy, and the dejected soul can find the courage to take another step on this journey called life.  People who don’t dance suddenly begin to dance, and those who do not sing find their song.

On Jan. 14th, I went to see the Preservation Hall Jazz Band perform with the Nashville Symphony.  From the time the orchestra set into motion, my heart began to race with the warm rumbles from the percussion section, and then the strings sent my soul soaring high above the crowd only to have the bass , the horns, and the woodwinds bring me back to a sort of balance; I took deep breaths as the trials of the day dissolved to a distant memory.

The busyness and frustrations of the day were swept away with each stroke of the conductor’s wand.  What an adventure!  What a journey!  Maestro Albert-George Schram was the conductor of the evening.  He was a delight to watch.  He bounced and danced with enthusiasm, and made the music swell as he lifted his arms high and wide into the air.  When he pulled his arms back into his chest all would go silent.  Suddenly you could hear the chime of a small bell in the distance.  Louder, louder, louder, it would get until Mardi Gras’ came marching in in full swing.  A part of me was expecting beads to start flying through the air, or at least have red beans and rice served.  Who would eat anyway?  It was time to dance!

And dance we did!  I have never been to a symphony where the people stood and danced as a jazz parade marched through the crowd.  I saw a few couples swinging to the rhythm of the music.  Others had their arms in the air swaying in sync to the beat of the drum; the toes were tapping and hands were clapping.  I even saw a business man in the balcony waving a white hankie in his hand as the trumpet and trombone swung on by.

After Rehab at The Nashville Symphony

To save a dollar today could mean losing a means to detox from our busy, fast paced, stress-filled lives.  Could you imagine life without music?  Think about it: music is intertwined in everything we hear, do, and see.  What about your favorite TV program?  I bet most of you could hum the opening theme song.  What would our world be like if we took away all the theme music from television, movies, and the doctors waiting room.  We hear calming music playing even in the elevator as we rise and fall from floor to floor.  What if all musical down-loads were removed from computers and iPods became illegal?  What if singers lost their right to sing the song in their heart, and musicians had no instruments to play?  What a sad world we’d live in if the color of the music ceased to paint on the canvas in our mind.  Better yet, what a scary thought to think of how much worse the wars would become if this creative expression was stifled.

What’s my point?  What’s my objective to writing?  I simply decided to write my thoughts and share a sweet moment I experienced.  But think about it.  Pay attention as you go about this day, where is there music playing?  What does it do for you at that moment?  How are you being affected by the sounds you hear around you?  I’m open to hear what you discover!  As you listen, be aware that music comes in many forms.

I heard music in the laughter of a child while on a plane ride to South Carolina.  I was flying down to stand in a courtroom, face to face with the man who killed my husband.  Just as I felt the emotions of this journey sucking the breath from my lungs, the music started.  I couldn’t help but to find joy and a sincere smile as this little one’s giggles came rolling out and tickled my ears.  My world suddenly became full of color again.

So, share with me: how has music painted your day?

~Shannan Parker
copyright Jan. 29 ‘2010


  1. Kevin Ward said,

    01/31/2010 at 11:50

    Hey Shannan. You have such a gift with writing.
    You are right, music paints a picture that brushes and canvas never can.
    Janna and I went to a movie a couple of weeks ago. We kept looking at each other during the movie and saying to each other, “I LOVE THIS SOUNDTRACK!”. As I was walking out, I got my iPhone and downloaded the soundtrack before we could even get to Starbucks! (can I get a witness Shann?)

    Anyway, everytime I listen to the soundtrack now, I can see beautiful pictures of the movie scenes.

    Keep up the good work Shannan.

    • shannanparker said,

      01/31/2010 at 11:50

      Aww, Thanks Kevin. I bet you can see colors of music I can only dream of. Your creativity in the studio and insight with ‘Empower’ is a true gift. I appreciate all your hard work.

      So, are you and Janna going to leave us all to guess what movie we need to go see? It must be something really special if getting the soundtrack beat you to Starbucks!

  2. Carolyn said,

    01/31/2010 at 11:50

    reading your thoughts was like hearing the music again. i’m so glad we could share the experience not just once, but twice!! you’re helping me open my heart again, and i am profoundly grateful.

    • shannanparker said,

      01/31/2010 at 11:50

      “You’re helping me open my heart again” Wow! Those are words I do not take lightly. I was talking with my Empower group ( and the question was asked, “If you could reach the PINNACLE of success in your ministry, EXACTLY, what would that look like?” I wrote an entire paragraph as I thought about what was asked, but this is what I wrote at the end of my thinking on paper…

      “…It is a huge honor to have someone hand you their heart. Hummm, success??? Becoming a person worthy to hold the heart handed you. Fans always hand their heart over. Unfortunately, too often it’s not placed in safe hands.”

      I know I’m not perfect and will fail at times, but I sure do pray God can help me be the person I’d like others to be for me. You are a special person my friend!

      • Kevin Ward said,

        01/31/2010 at 11:50

        That was a moment Shannan. I’m glad you are a part of this!

      • shannanparker said,

        01/31/2010 at 11:50

        Thanks Kevin, I appreciate the opportunity. You must have missed my earlier reply to you, when are you going to tell all of us what movie you and Janna went to see?

      • Kevin Ward said,

        01/31/2010 at 11:50

        It was “It’s Complicated”… a very neat little complicated story… I thought the music really fit the mood of every scene. Have you seen it?


      • shannanparker said,

        02/01/2010 at 11:50

        No, I have not seen it, but I’m now curious. I’m still trying to get out to see Avatar in 3D before it’s gone. I had planned on going this past Saturday, but then the ice came; I’m still stuck!

  3. 02/01/2010 at 11:50

    Hi Shannon. As usual, your writings have brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. I brought my devotional book with me to work today but I think I just had my devotional for the day.

    How has music painted my day? Listening online now to the station I deejay for (, the tag line is “Nothing compares to the promise I have in you.” No matter what I may be able to attain (bold “I”) or what comes my way, nothing compares to the promise I have in HIM. That is my hope for today, tomorrow and the future.

    God bless you my friend….and yes, having only met face to face one a few years ago when you sang at my former church down here in Palatka, FL, I know you are my sister in Christ but I also consider you my friend. Still praying for you.


    • shannanparker said,

      02/01/2010 at 11:50

      Oh Yes, I too am familiar with that song. With each passing day the reality of His promises grow stronger. This morning I was reminded that God is incapable of lying. It is the one thing He cannot do. Therefore, His promises are good, pure, and absolute. He will keep His word.

      Thank you for sharing Adam, and thank you for your continued friendship. How’s the weather down there? I’m still stuck in my house because of the storm that hit Nashville. I’m thinking I need a trip to FL. Ha!

      • 02/01/2010 at 11:50

        Hey Shannon….the weather here is quite nice. I took a walk downtown this morning (kind of nice to be on this city of Palatka now my (my office window overlooks the st johns river….last place i didn’t even have a window). We did have about 2 weeks back in December where the highest it got was about 37* and dipped as low as 17*.

      • shannanparker said,

        02/01/2010 at 11:50

        Well, After living in Canada for 7yrs, I cannot complain about a few weeks of this. We’re finally above freezing today and I’m just staring to see a shadow of my driveway peeking through.

        YAY, for the window! You’ll experience lots of music now.

  4. Kevin said,

    02/02/2010 at 11:50

    I would go see Avatar again… I had to wake Janna up a couple of times.

    Think “Captain John Smith and Pocahontas” or “Dances with wolves” set in futuristic times.

    The 3D and Graphics are AMAZING!


    • shannanparker said,

      02/02/2010 at 11:50

      I’ve heard the graphics are like nothing else yet done. I guess all the hype over that is why I’m willing to take myself to the movies, Ha!

      Would you believe out of those three movies you mentioned, I’ve only seen “Dances With Wolves?”

  5. 02/09/2010 at 11:50

    “… my world suddenly became full of color again…” I could not have said it better my friend! (And I attempted in several of my own blogs over the past year – ha!) There is not a moment in my life that there is not a song that comes to mind or a song that He has given to carry me through. Music indeed is my heart and soul, the dance in my feet and the clap in my hands – now if I could just carry a tune, even in the shower, I’d be good. 🙂

    By the way, this was a fabulous night and I’m so thankful for being a part of it and that I was with such amazing friends!

    • 02/09/2010 at 11:50

      I think of that night and all I witnessed in others around me, and my soul still soars. I am so thankful for those I was blessed to share it first hand with. I’ll tell ya, they are the cream of the crop ;o)

      Thanks PJ!

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