Like Water is for the Body, Music is for the Soul and the City

By Frances Akridge
City Council Representative
District 2

I wonder if our Mayor and his administration knew of these words of wisdom by the ancient philosopher Plato when they proposed we diversify our economy and broaden our cultural experience by investing in the music industry.

“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns of music and all the arts are the keys to learning.”And: “Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the laws of the State always change with them.”

Regardless of the dichotomy in Plato’s words, I am 100% supportive of the administration’s foresight to create a stronger, diverse economy by capitalizing on our strengths in music in our city. Music, math, engineering, in that order; there must be a correlation which gives rise to people like Danny Davis, formerly an aerospace engineer and now a successful luthier.


Scheduled to open in late spring 2022, I already see evidence of how our Amphitheater is paying dividends. It’s a ripple effect.

For example; I recently attended several outdoor concerts co-sponsored by our Parks and Recreation department; that’s a very new twist. I applaud the symphony for continuing to stretch their repertoire. I am grateful to Danny and Sally Yancey, owners of Stove House, for continuing to pay musicians to play at the outdoor stage.

Ryan Murphy and Dianya Markovits of the operating company, the Huntsville Venue Group, filled me in on just a few of the ways they are amplifying the effect of the venue itself to bring music back into the classrooms of our schools and the libraries. Check out the very recent addition of local music to the digital content at the Huntsville-Madison County Public library: “Blast” is a collection of music by local musicians, curated by a cadre of local music makers and influencers. Bravo! To the librarians who thought to add this service to expand our minds and create new relationships through music. The librarians and curators are serving as a yenta, the matchmakers, introducing us to people we might not meet if it wasn’t for their geniality and creativity. It is so easy to use, and I discovered several styles that appeal to me. I hope you will also check it out.

Now, when I see these musicians’ names listed at one of the many venues in town, even at our amphitheater, I’ll be more confident that I’ll appreciate their work. It’s a great introduction to diversity through music.

The library service directly complements the vision of the Mayor’s administration: to intentionally grow another sector of our economy and bind our community through music. Incidentally, the city’s Music Board is setting up subcommittees, and if you are eager to participate in their mission, Dennis Madsen, Huntsville’s manager of urban and long-range planning, would like to hear from you.

Send an email to Dennis.Madsen@HuntsvilleAL.gov and he will introduce you to the Chairman of the Music Board. It’s absolutely true, Huntsville, we are making beautiful music- together.

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