It Is Marvelous in Our Eyes: Four Years of Hill House Concerts
“World-class music, warm hospitality, and even inspiration to create…”
“We have enjoyed the fun, fellowship, and music at Hill House. These concerts have presented opportunities to add to my favorites list on my ipod and to discuss music with friends…”
I’d like to say that I planned this all along, but that would be a big, fat lie. Hill House Concerts began rather unceremoniously four years ago when the venue for a concert that I was producing for Canadian singer-songwriter and distant cousin, Rob Lutes, fell through at the eleventh hour.
What was I to do? I needed a space intimate enough and an audience respectful enough for a hear-a-pin-drop listening experience, a welcoming atmosphere, and hosts who major in hospitality and also have a heart for artists. Oh, and I wanted to give Rob all of the money.
Even with months of advanced planning, this would have seemed a tall order, to be sure. Well, turns out it wasn’t. And all the saints shouted: “Call Mary Jane and Greg Grooms!” So, I did, and the rest is, well, history.
It all seems so obvious now – of course we’d have concerts at Hill House! The wood-floors and high-ceilings of this grand, Victorian house, the feeling of walking into your dream living room (the Inklings would have been perfectly happy holding forth with pints and pipes here); the ease with which Mary Jane and Greg host dozens of guests and treat each like they’re old friends; the delightful intermingling of All Saints, Hill House, and the artist’s communities; the way in which such an atmosphere draws captivating performances out of our artists, who, themselves, feel captivated, loved, encouraged…And I could gush on.
The point is, this is how the Lord works: He takes broken things and makes them beautiful, even vital. He’s taken the friendships with fellow artists that I’d haphazardly formed and often neglected during my touring days and has nurtured them through this series and our community. He’s blessed the Grooms with a gift for hospitality and their ministry with a house in the center of the city and used both in new and unexpected ways. He’s restored many a weary artist’s vision for performing. And he’s gently gathered His children, sinful and broken though they are, around good music and given them a taste of how He’s making all things new.
Simply put, the Lord has blessed Hill House Concerts. “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:23)
So, here we are four years later, welcoming Nashville singer-songwriter, Andy Gullahorn, next Friday, May 10th. I hope that you can join us.
– David Lutes