I forget sometimes how saturated this town is with layers and layers of musical talent. It’s just where I live, buy groceries, take a run, attend church, and go out to eat. But last night I got a reminder.
We attended a fundraiser for my daughter’s school. We’ve become big fans of Montessori education, which supports the internal motivation and creativity of each child as she or he learns in a supportive and disciplined environment. We sometimes joke that most of the parents are either doctors, lawyers or musicians. We, of course, are none of the above. (I’m the kind of doctor, that doesn’t really help people, as the old saying goes.)
This particular event was put together by Victoria Shaw who has gathered singer-songwriters for several years for an evening of music that benefits the school. The evening also includes performances sung, played (and often written) by older students.
To give you a hint about the level of talent we’re talking here, these folks have written number one hits with and for Billy Joel, Lady Antebellum, Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi, the Dixie Chicks and B.B. King. And the list goes on and on. My point here is not to drop names or give in to my starry-eyed feelings (altogether). In fact I’m trying to make my point and still respect the privacy of families who want, like us, to send their children to school for a creative education, with sincere hope of contributing to the good of the world. All motivations aren’t blissfully pure, mine included. And privilege has a its own unavoidable pitfalls.
So the point really is this: if you live and work and spend your days (or at least some of them) in Nashville you are surrounded by low-key but highly accomplished and creative people. All the time. Everywhere. When we first moved here we used to say, everyone here (but us) had a music gig on the side, a recording studio in their basement, a platinum record hanging on the wall, or all of the above.
But it is easy to forget. Last night I was reminded of the enormous talent and success that surrounds us in this town. Many of these folks give their names and energies and talents to other great causes, like this one to raise funds for Magdalene House, for instance.
While there is a concentration of musical talent here in Nashville, creativity and goodwill is available most everywhere. Yet these qualities in people can remain low-key and hidden in other places, too. Last night was a good reminder of the deep tidal pools of inspiration and generativity all around us. And it was also a good reminder to slow down with thanksgiving for wonder and beauty that is everywhere if we take the time to see.