Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'Orleans & Friends' Show to Honor Late Larry Hoppen

     (Nashville, Tenn.) -- The pop/rock band Orleans, best known for its '70s classics “Still the One,” “Dance With Me”, and “Love Takes Time,” suffered tragedy earlier this year. Lead singer and co-founder Larry Hoppen (right) passed away suddenly on July 24. Larry was well loved and highly respected as a great musician, player, singer, songwriter, brother, father and friend. He was also a great humanitarian activist with a big heart.

    In Larry’s honor, there will be a special “Orleans & Friends” show on Nov. 11 (Sunday) at the Mercy Lounge, One Cannery Row, in Nashville. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. with a $20 minimum donation. Tickets will be sold online and at the door.

     Many local and regional artists, who are also longtime friends of Orleans, will join them on stage. Artists scheduled to appear include Jimi Jamison, John Ford Coley, Henry Paul (Blackhawk), Jonell Mosser, Kathie Baillie & Michael Bonagura (Baillie & the Boys), Bill Lloyd (Foster & Lloyd), Alyssa Bonagura and Pete Huttlinger. The Boy Wonder Blues Band will open.

    All performers are donating their time and talent. All net proceeds will benefit the Hoppen family, especially Larry’s teenage daughters, Maeve and Claire. Additional donations are welcome. Checks can be made out to Hoppen Family Benefit Fund.

     Orleans, now in its 40
th year, was scheduled to appear on the Fox & Friends Summer Concert TV Series just a few days after Hoppen’s death. They also had previously scheduled a string of summer and fall shows. While there was no way to salvage the Fox TV appearance, brother and co-founder Lance Hoppen vowed to finish their calendar of 2012 concert dates in Larry’s honor. To accomplish this, Orleans’ mainstays Lance and Lane Hoppen, Dennis “Fly” Amero, and Charlie Morgan welcomed returning co-founder, John Hall, who had taken leave to serve as a U.S. Congressman (2007-2010, D-NY 19), for several well-received shows this past August, September and October. The calendar of live shows concludes with this benefit concert in Nashville on Nov. 11.

To learn more, visit

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Nashville Caroling Company to Perform at Cheekwood on Nov. 24

     NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 2012) -- The Nashville Caroling Company will bring Victorian holiday cheer to Cheekwood Mansion in Belle Meade with a special caroling concert from 2-3:30 p.m. Nov. 24 (Saturday).

     The quartet's "Songs of Christmases Past" show will feature a cappella performances of holiday classics such as "Silent Night", "The First Noel", and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". The Nashville Caroling Company, which was founded in 2008, is known for its breathtaking mix of unaccompanied soprano, alto, tenor and bass vocals. Although the quartet specializes in sentimental Christmas classics, it's not uncommon to hear a rendition of the children's sing-along, "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer!". 

     The group's repertoire was specially arranged for four-part harmony by composer and Broadway conductor Jeff Lisenby. The singers will be dressed in authentic Dickens-style top hats, coats, ties and dresses designed by Nashville costumer Pam Lisenby. 

     The "Songs of Christmases Past" show will occur in the mansion's drawing room, which is adorned with 20-foot high ceilings, marble floors, chandeliers, and fine art. 

     "We plan to perform carols that the Cheeks would have sung in their home during the 1930s," said group founder and vocalist Jaclyn Brown. 

     Admission to the concert is free with admission to Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. Cheekwood Mansion is located in Belle Meade at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. For Cheekwood ticket information, visit 

     To learn more about The Nashville Caroling Company, call (615) 491-4766, send an email inquiry to, or visit

Costco to Join Other Exhibitors for 'Health and Wellness EXPO'

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 2012) – Middle Tennesseans can receive life-changing advice from some of the area’s top natural health care and environmental experts by attending the "Health & Wellness EXPO" from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 3 (Saturday) at the Center for Spiritual Living Nashville, 6705 Charlotte Pike in west Nashville.

            The free event will feature health and wellness-related lectures, product demonstrations, and display tables. Professional health practitioners will offer gluten-free and organic foods, aromatherapy, healthy breathing sessions, essential oils, massages, books and other educational materials, Chakra energy clearings, ionic foot baths, iridology readings, mini-facials, skincare products, and chiropractic demonstrations. Attendees can visit exhibition booths for complimentary product samples, as well as insights on nutrition and herbal remedies, life coaching, and the environment.  As a special service to the public, Costco will provide free hearing tests and flu shots for $16.99.

            "In today's world, we need to care for ourselves and our planet more than ever," said event coordinator Bonnie Troxel.  "The purpose of the Expo is to connect those who seek to take responsibility for their health, fitness, well-being, and environment with related quality, local product and service providers."

            A highlight of the EXPO will be a special seminar on overcoming obesity by noted cardiologist Dr. Hal M. Roseman.  "Getting to the Fat of the Matter: A Course in Understanding Obesity and Returning to Health" will reveal the cause of obesity and its physical and spiritual impacts. Attendees will learn how to design a lifetime diet to restore spiritual balance and help prevent health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

            Other speakers and topics during the EXPO will include wellness expert Juliana Ericson ("Breathing for Your Health"); wellness expert Vanessa Gregory ("Negative Effects of Inflammation in the Body"); aromatherapy/energy-healing professional Kim Mollenkopf ("Holistic Healing Aspects of Aromatherapy"); Feng Shui practitioner Tisha Morris ("Feng Shui the Western Way: Practical Tips to Bring Balance and Harmony to Your Life"); chiro/wellness professional Dr. Sharon Roth ("Living in a Toxic World and What to

do About it"); health expert Jan Schim ("Natural Ways to Stay Healthy"); spiritual author/teacher/healer Gene Skaggs ("PSYCH-K: Removing Limiting Sub-Conscious Beliefs"); wellness expert Laurel Staples ("Healthy for the Holidays"); and iridology expert Brenda Starr ("Iridology: What Do Your Eyes Reveal About Your Health?").

            Providing demonstrations and discussions will be Zumba instructor Vina Buuck ("Zumba Fitness/Piloxing"); Dr. Kirk Jones ("Brain/Body and Balance"); health expert John Patrick ("Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture"); health expert Tommy Roth ("Neurofeedback"); health expert Randy Shreve ("The Happiness Paradox: The Inner Workings of Happiness"); yoga instructor Johnny Tomanio ("Yoga: Tuning Mind, Body and Spirit "); and Dr. Ning Wang ("How Acupuncture Works").

            Shred on the Run will offer free paper shredding from 10 a.m. to noon at a specially marked truck in the CSLN parking lot.  Private individuals are welcome to shred up to eight boxes or bags of personal items, including credit card statements, old checks and tax returns.  

            Other exhibitors will include A Matter of Taste (offering gluten-free and vegan food for sale); Bellevue Chiropractic Center; Center for Spiritual Living Nashville; Collaborative Peace Building Center; Costco; East Meets West Holistic Education Center; Feng Shui Your life; Harmonic Bodywork; Health4Life Center; Intuition - Aroma for the Soul; It's a Family Affair Catering (offering free vegetarian/vegan food samples by Erica Hall); East Meets West Holistic Education Center; LoAdebar; Melaleuca; Moore Living with Sarah; My Spa & Salon; Nashville Acupuncture & Herbs; Nashville Breathwork Center; Neuroclarity; One Miracle; Optimum Health Matters; Radiant Health Institute; Roth Wellness and Chiropractic; Brenda Starr (iridology); Transformation Body Therapy; and Wild Muffin (offering gluten-free, vegan and organic brownies, cookies and muffins by Antionette Licalsi).

            Some of the exhibitors will offer free herbal, nutrition and skin care product samples.  Drawings for complimentary goods and services will be held throughout the day.  Bottled water and snacks will be available for purchase.

            The Health & Wellness EXPO is sponsored by the Center for Spiritual Living Nashville. For more information about the EXPO, send an email inquiry to Bonnie Troxel at, call the CSLN office at (615) 356-0174, or visit  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Earth Mama Releases 'Blessings of the Universe'

           INDEPENDENCE, Va. (October 2012) – Environmental songstress Earth Mama (a.k.a. Joyce Rouse) of Independence, Va., has spent more than a decade writing 13 inspirational songs for her latest CD, "Blessings of the Universe".

            Rouse describes her new project as "softly produced inspirational songs for the foreground and background of your days". The vocal and piano-centered CD takes listeners on a soulful and lyrical journey of gratitude, reassurance, hope and wonder with heartfelt praises of God and all God's creation.

            Earth Mama is celebrating the album's release by launching a national "Blessings of the Universe" tour.  Her tour will include stops at the Heartwood Artisan Gateway off Interstate 81 in Abingdon, Va., on Nov. 16 and 1908 Courthouse in Independence, Va., on Nov. 17.  Proceeds from CD sales will support Grayson Backpack Ministry, a regional program providing nutritious meals and snacks to needy children.

            Rouse recently learned that the CD has been accepted for Grammy nomination consideration in the New Age Album of the Year category after recording brisk sales and receiving rave reviews from faith-based groups across the nation.  Members of the Recording Academy can vote for the album through early November at (Cat. 30 - New Age Album).

            A number of songs on "Blessings of the Universe" were commissioned to mark milestones for various faith-based organizations.  Others were written as musical blessings or prayers for a well-drilling project in Africa, women's events, and a solar energy conference.  Several musical short stories reflect on the "kin-dom" journeys of great religious figures, including Mary Magdalene and Saint Francis of Assisi.

            "The Sisters of St. Francis, the Sisters of Earth, and other organizations inspired me with their depth of love and concern for people and places on the margins -- women who walk miles each day to carry their family's water, those with serious mental and physical health issues, and ecological unraveling," said Rouse, who wrote most of the songs at her home in the Appalachians.  "These songs express in some way my gratitude for this journey. When I sang them at events, they caught on in a kind of folk song way and were then carried gently out into the world.  The whole project felt like the unfolding of the Universe".

            The album begins with "All Shall Be Well", a hymn conveying the message that, no matter the circumstances, "faith will lead us on."  Earth Mama said she wrote the song to help overcome the disheartening realities of growing ocean acidification, river toxicity, and animal extinctions. The lyric, inspired by several quotations from Saint Julian of Norwich, is emphasized with marching percussion, a moving piano solo, and repeating of the line, "All Shall Be Well".

            "We humans are not in charge," Rouse added.  "Sometimes we think we are."

            Based on a traditional African saying, "Women Hold Up Half the Sky" reminds listeners that women are one half of humanity and worthy of that respect everywhere.  Rouse said the idea for the song came to her while she was helping Catholic nuns raise money to dig wells for villagers in Africa.  The song opens with a moving piano solo.

            Rouse's Norwegian roots are evident with "Your Beautiful Heart", a song that celebrates the "old traditions of singing blessings of welcome and goodbye".  Rouse remembers being welcomed to a Hawaiian classroom with the traditional Oli chant.  Her tune also was inspired by the Southern colloquial phrase, "Well, bless your heart."

              Another song, "Sisters of Earth Blessing", was written for the Sisters of Earth network of women to celebrate two decades of healing the Earth.  The hymn was used as a chorus for the group's biennial conference in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

            The album ends with "The Dream and the Journey", a song honoring the founding of Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross in Merrill, Wis.  Rouse uses a heartfelt arrangement of piano, acoustic guitar, and vocals to celebrate the ministry's next 100 years.  She spent hours researching the organization's history, ministry, mission and vision statements.  It has already been used for funerals and celebrations.

            "Blessings of the Universe" was recorded in Nashville, with Rouse serving as lead vocalist, songwriter and producer. Some of the selections feature stirring accompaniments by pianist/vocalist Catherine Styron, guitarist Pat McGrath, and percussionist Paul Scholten.  Earth Mama plays grand piano on "Follow the Sun".

            "Every recording project seems to have its own personality, and this one felt like an 'old soul'," Rouse continued. "Most of the songs reflect the inner and outer landscapes of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There is a good reason why the prophets of old went high into the mountains to experience deep spiritual wisdom."

            The project and album-related performances have received rave reviews.

            "I can hardly wait to let the teachers know about your music," said Sister Mary Beth Gray of Saint Coleman Catholic Church in Cleveland, Ohio.  "Your newest CD is beautiful.  I'm so amazed at your creativity with lyrics and with musical styles and ideas."

            "I can't begin to even describe the highly favorable reaction among the Sisters to your performance," said Valerie Oltmanns, executive director of strategic communications for the Felician Sisters of North American in Beaver Falls, Penn.  "Numerous Sisters are asking to buy your CDs."

            "Your divine songs were all so assuring, truly 'mother-like' for the Earth's children and all with a kind of Aaron Copland-like dignity and stirring call to greatness," said Appalachian writer and naturalist Liza Field.  "Your voice sounds pure and clear like a mountain spring, full of both minerals and sunshine.  It's really ethereal, but also evocative of Nature's purity and goodness."

            Earth Mama has been delighting audiences of all ages with toe-tapping music and green-living tips for more than 10 years.  She performs regularly at a wide variety of venues across the nation, including grade schools, universities, church groups, retreat centers, conferences, museums, retail stores and green festivals. The artist weaves threads of science, spirit and art into each concert and continues to write inspiring music in many styles with one goal in mind: “Helping Heal the Planet One Song at a Time.”

            The artist's songs have been recorded and/or performed by artists such as Maureen McGovern, Marie Osmond, and the McCarter Sisters. Her music also has been used extensively in educational venues and by international environmental and peace organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, UNESCO, and the International Earth Charter. In 1995, her song, "Standing on the Shoulders", was chosen as the theme song for a national event in Washington, D.C., celebrating the 75th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

            In 2008, she recorded “Virginia Beauty, A Love Song for the Commonwealth”, a song which has been widely circulated as a possible new state song. The Highland Camerata featured the song in its Minds Wide Open program honoring Virginia women in the arts. In 2011, the Virginia Choral Society of Newport News, Va., debuted a new eight-part choral arrangement for larger choirs arranged by artistic director James Powers. Rouse earned a bachelor's degree in home economics from Iowa State University and a master's degree in earth literacy from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. Rouse and her husband, Richard, live in Independence, Va.

            "I hope my new album brings individuals joy and peace, whether as a sing-along or an inspiring backdrop to life's activities," Rouse said.

            Earth Mama will celebrate the album's release in Southwest Virginia with two special events.  She will perform, lead music composing demonstrations, and sign her CD from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 16 (Friday) at the Heartwood Artisan Gateway off Interstate 81 in Abingdon, Va.   She also will perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 (Saturday) at 1908 Courthouse in Independence, Va.  Proceeds from CD sales will support Grayson Backpack Ministry.

            "Teachers often report that they have students coming to school on Mondays without having eaten all weekend because there is no food at home," Rouse added. "'Blessings of the Universe' became a natural vehicle to raise awareness and funds for this critical need. So we're turning the release events into 'Blessings Parties' to fill lots of backpacks with nutritious meals and snacks for children."

            Earth Mama's fall tour will include composing demonstrations at the North American Association of Environmental Educators in Oakland (Oct. 10-13); a performance at the Sisters of Loretto Motherhouse at St. Catharine College in Springfield, Ky. (Oct. 19); play shops at Nazareth Retreat Center, followed by a concert at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky. (Oct. 20); and a presentation during the "Call to Action" conference in Louisville, Ky. (Nov. 9-11);

           "Blessings of the Universe", which retails for $15, is available at  Digital downloads are available at and other online retailers.  For more information about the CD or the artist, call (276) 773-8529 or send an e-mail message

Listen to selections from "Blessings of the Universe" at .

Monday, October 1, 2012

MCAU: Highlights for the Week of Oct. 1, 2012

Music City Arts Update

Providing resource information and exposure for artists of all kinds


We proudly support Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Country Music Association (CMA), NARAS (The Recording Academy), SongU, Indie Connect, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Film Nashville, Nashville Composers Association, Artists in Nashville, Arts Council of Williamson County, Positive Music Association, Nashville Artists Guild, TJBS, Nashville Songwriters Festival and other organizations who do so much for emerging and professional artists.

Do you have arts-related news?  Send it to us at .  We'll consider it for our regular monthly issue.

Read about breaking arts news and receive artist resource tips with photos at .  You can also sign up there to receive breaking arts news via email.

(MCAU Copyright 2012 - All Rights Reserved)

Artist Resources, Career Growth and Opportunities...

... Artist/instructor gail McDaniel's next round of watercolor painting classes will begin on Oct. 2 in Brentwood and Oct. 3 in Nashville.  Learn more: 

(Photo: gail McDaniel)

NSAI OFFERS FREE MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS...  If you've ever thought about trying out membership with NSAI, now's your chance... all for free!


BENEFIT FOR MARYLEA JORDAN FAMILY... The "Co-Creators Coffeehouse" will stage a benefit concert for the Marylea Jordan Family Benevolence Fund on Oct. 5 (Friday).  Learn more:

Congratulations to...

THE WANNABEATLES, who have released the new song and video, "Oh Betty! (The Betty White Song)". The project is being considered for a Grammy nomination in the Best Short Video, Best Song Written for Visual Media, and Best New Artist categories.
Read the full story:

, who has released the new CD "Blessings of the Universe". The project features 13 inspirational songs "for the foreground and background of your days."  The CD is being considered for a Grammy nomination (CCM Album: "Blessings of the Universe"). Learn more:

Health & Wellness...

... Area companies and professionals who specialize in health, wellness and the environment can showcase their products and services to Middle Tennesseans on Nov. 3.  Learn more:


'TUNESMITHING' TO CELEBRATE NINTH ANNIVERSARY...  "Tunesmithing Off Music Row" will celebrate its ninth anniversary from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 3 (Wednesday) at the Best Western Music Row. More than 20 singer-songwriters will perform.  The event will help kick off the "Independent Music Fest".  Learn more: 

(Photo: Lisa Aschmann)

'INDEPENDENT MUSIC FEST' TO OCCUR OCT. 5-7... More than 150 performing artists and songwriters from around the world will visit Nashville's Music Row from Oct. 5-7 (Friday-Sunday) for the "Independent Music Fest".  Learn more at   

Read the full story about the "Independent Music Fest":    

THE PRODUCER'S CHAIR TO CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY... Join James Rea and legendary producer Dann Huff at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 (Monday) at Douglas Corner for The Producer's Chair's seventh anniversary celebration.  Learn more: . (JR)


'JAW-DROPPING' FEATS... Four blind or partially blind members of the United States Blind Golf Association hit holes-in-one at various golfing events -- all in the same week!  Kevin Edwards, Ty Thompson, Ron Plath and Brian MacLeod are thrilled about their "jaw-dropping" feats.  Read the full story with photos:

Visual Art...

CONTINUING THIS WEEK! CAMILLE ENGEL'S SOLO EXHIBITION... Internationally awarded Nashville visual artist Camille Engel is exhibiting a large array of original contemporary realism oil paintings in a rare solo exhibition through Nov. 4 at the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center in Clarksville, Tenn.  The Customs House is located at 200 S. Second St. in downtown Clarksville. See a remarkable collaboration between Camille and fellow visual artist edie Maney. Learn more about the exhibit: .  See photos from Camille's reception on Sept. 20:




Music City Arts Update spotlights the accomplishments of artists and arts-related businesses and organizations of all kinds.  Basic mentions in the newsletter are free (based on time and space availability).  Customers of Whiting Publicity & Promotions receive major coverage.  Feel free to pass this on to others who might be interested.  See photos and longer stories at . The newsletter is written and distributed by Chuck Whiting. Please note that all written materials in this newsletter are copyright 2012 -- used by permission only.  Thank you!