Out and About Nashville
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Nashville in Harmony 'flash mobs' surprise city with songs

October 23, 2009 O&AN Staff Reports   Comments

Members of city chorus Nashville in Harmony, seen here in Centennial Park, performed several surprise 'flash mob' songs around the city on Oct. 10.  Photo by Tommy LawsonNashville in Harmony (NiH) became a marauding mob recently - and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the city chorus unleashed what is known as a “flash mob” where a musical group surreptitiously mingles among an unsuspecting crowd and then, on cue, breaks out into song. Starting with just a few voices laying down the rhythm, the rest of the chorus gradually joined the ranks. Before the unsuspecting knew what hit them, NiH was delivering a full choral rendition of “Build Me Up Buttercup”.

The chorus performed six such flash concerts during the course of a busy Nashville Saturday morning.

At 9 a.m., the group quickly congregated at the Nashville Farmers Market where just a few patrons were starting their day. Next was an invasion upon the Southern Festival of Books at Legislative Plaza where quiet shoppers were sucked into the musical vortex only to be left with the ache of smiling faces and hands sore from clapping. Similar surprise attacks occurred throughout the day.

Upcoming NiH "Sing Out" performances

Sunday, Nov. 15 - 4:30 p.m.
Glendale Baptist Church
Benefit Concert for Youth Peace Projects

Sunday, Nov. 22 - 2 p.m.
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts
The Auditorium

Tuesday, Dec. 1 - 6:30 p.m.
The Renaissance Center; Dickson, TN.
World AIDS Day

For more information and tickets visit nashvilleinharmony.org.

After a brief stop at the Metro Transit Authority Depot, NiH made its way to Centennial Park for a double assault upon the Dog Day Festival where not even hundreds of dogs could sniff out the mischief that was about to unfold. From there, they journeyed into Green Hills where NiHarmony stealthily descended upon the Hills Center. There, 60 to 70 members of the chorus performed inside the small space of Swoozies.

The final infiltration occurred in the food court at Whole Foods. It was an unplanned performance, but with short notice the management approved and the mission went forward, prompting customers and staff alike to sing and dance among the entrées.

Several Whole Foods employees commented that the energy level was much higher after the flash mob and customers were friendlier and more talkative.

The group rounded out their day at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center to perform at the Regions Free Day of Music along with dozens of other musical ensembles.

For the second year, NiH performed a 30-40 minute show in the main lobby. At the close of Saturday’s performance, the Schermerhorn’s Jim Gray and Jim Mancuso invited Nashville in Harmony to perform again next year and asked if the chorus would consider performing on the main stage with accompaniment. Director Don Schlosser made the announcement at the after-party at Past Perfect. The “mob”, exhausted from a day of marauding, still had enough energy to nearly blow the roof off in cheers with what little voice they had left. It was a resounding “Yes!”


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