The spirit of the music community lifted Nashville up from the flood in 2010
By Lisa Zhito / GRAMMY.com
(The ReTune Nashville Anniversary Celebration: A Music And Art Event will take place May 3 at Soundcheck Nashville in celebration of the creativity and resiliency of Nashville's music community. All proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales and an artwork auction will be contributed to the MusiCares Nashville Flood Relief Fund and the Nashville Musicians Association's Flood Relief Fund to directly benefit musicians affected by the May 2010 floods. For more information, visit www.retunenashville.com.)
Ordinarily, downtown Nashville after dark is a boisterous place. Tootsie's Orchid Lounge spills Music City's signature twang out onto Lower Broadway, while tourists wander past landmarks such as the Ryman Auditorium and legendary show poster printer Hatch Show Print.
But May 3, 2010, was no ordinary night. That night found Zeneba Bowers and Matt Walker on a rescue mission at the downtown symphony hall. Bowers and Walker are both musicians with the Nashville Symphony, led by GRAMMY-winning conductor Giancarlo Guerrero.
"The police told us, 'If you guys go into that hall you're doing it at your own risk. We're not going to come in there after you,'" Bowers recalls. "We went in anyway."
For the next three hours the two joined in a race against rising floodwaters, helping clear hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of instruments and orchestral music from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center's bottom floors.