British Airways’ first London-Nashville flight greeted with live music

এই লেখাটি 80 বার পঠিত

Passengers on British Airways’ inaugural flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Nashville were welcomed to Music City with live music and whiskey.

As they disembarked from the plane Friday evening, they were met by musician James Hayden playing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” which uses the same melody as “God Save the Queen,” on the keyboard. As the passengers made their way to the baggage claim, they were handed gift bags containing, among other local favorites, Goo Goo Clusters and Jack Daniel’s.

“It is a big day,” said Smyrna’s Julie Saunders, who sewed together a Union Jack and Tennessee state flag for the occasion. Saunders was accompanied by her husband, Martin — the two moved to Middle Tennessee from London 52 years ago — and daughter Kim Eanes, the first of their children to be born in Tennessee. They were awaiting the arrival Martin Saunders’ brother, who was a member of the flight crew.

James Jennings, one of the first passengers off the plane, came to Nashville for one reason: dinner at the Catbird Seat. “I heard it was an amazing restaurant, and I said I’d only come if there was a direct flight,” he said. “I booked it as soon as the tickets were released. (This trip was) five years in the making.”

The Fisk Jubilee Singers, a vital part of Nashville’s rich music history, performed for the arriving passengers as well as those scheduled to fly to Heathrow Airport on Friday night on the Boeing 787-7 Dreamliner’s return trip to London. The a cappella group’s relationship with the U.K. dates back more than a century.

In 1873, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, who introduced slave spirituals like “Steal Away” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to an international audience, embarked on their first overseas tour. They sang for Queen Victoria; later, she wrote in her journal that the performers “sing extremely well together.”

“I think we have made history again,” said Paul Kwami, musical director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. “For us to be able to sing at this inaugural flight is a (performance) we will always remember … I am very thankful that we were asked to be part of this event.”

The Fisk Jubilee Singers needed several days to cross the Atlantic Ocean on that first tour 145 years ago. With the new flight, the group’s next trip will be little easier.

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