Thursday, January 15, 2009

The American Barbershop Harmony Society, Nashville, TN

We stopped briefly at the Barbershop Harmony Society, whose headquarters are in Nashville, before we left. The receptionist was quite friendly and talked a bit about what they do: organize concerts, distribute sheet music to singing groups, and beginning next year, run week-long courses in barbershop singing. I asked a bit about Nashville and how it became the "Music City", she said that there are all kinds of music here, including a renowned orchestra and active musical theater companies. I had told her I was interested in jazz, she said she wasnt as familiar with the jazz clubs in Nashville but that they did exist; a few times they had actually booked concerts at some of the venues.

As I found out, the Barbershop Harmony Society used to have its headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. But business was slower there, and their new downtown location in Nashville afforded them new business and a vibrant local music scene, and they were happy to get out of the cold as well.

I told her we were from the West Coast, and she was impressed that we had made it that far. I didn't really say much about our trip to the inauguration, but I did bring it up and she wished me the highest degree of safety.

It was difficult to gauge the political climate in Nashville. Obama bumper stickers did seem to be in the majority, but McCain and Palin stickers were well represented as well. But if our receptionist is any indication, people here are at least excited to see the inauguration. After all, Nashville loves a good show.

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