PHOTO GALLERY: Vanderbilt remains separate from Music City connections in Nashville
By Katy Bergen
August 16, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDTVanderbilt University remains insulated from the allure of the country music industry in Nashville. Students call it the "Vander Bubble" because the campus is so connected to all the other things they need.
Vanderbilt University is the smallest and only private university in the Southeastern Conference. Though their football team does not typically perform well in the conference, new coach James Franklin just led the Commodores to six regular season wins and a bowl game invitation in the 2011 season. | Katy Bergen
The Parthenon, in Nashville's Centennial Park, is the same size as the ancient Greek structure and was built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition. The city of Nashville earned the name "Athens of the South" in the mid-19th century by establishing several institutions of higher education. | Katy Bergen
Originally built as a tabernacle in 1892, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., broadcast the radio program "Grand Ole Opry" from 1943 to 1974. "The Mother Church of Country Music" still hosts musical performances, as well as auditorium tours. | Katy Bergen
Students gather on a spring Saturday to watch a basketball game at a fraternity house. Greek parties are a popular way to spend the weekend at Vanderbilt, particularly during football season. "The big thing about football Saturday isn't really the football game, it's the fratting," senior Tracy Fetterly said. | Katy Bergen
Alcohol is permitted in upperclassmen dorms on the Vanderbilt University campus. Many of the Vanderbilt students live on campus during their college careers because everything they need is within walking distance of the "Vander Bubble." | Katy Bergen
From left, Aaron Zimmerberg, 16, Stephen Indrisano, 15, and Jay Besch, 18, all of Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., look at papers that plot the lighting and sound for the filming of "A Prairie Home Companion." The students visited the Ryman Auditorium as part of a high school class trip to Nashville, Tenn. | Katy Bergen
Music stars Patsy Cline, Kris Kristofferson and other country legends were known to visit Tootsie's Orchid Lounge between sets at the Ryman Auditorium, which is just around the corner on Broadway in downtown Nashville.
| Katy Bergen
| Katy Bergen
Emmanuel Trevino, 22, works as a sound technician at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., where visitors can make recordings of popular country songs. "I don't even consider it a job," he said. "I get to listen to music all day." Missourian reporter Katy Bergen recorded Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" during her visit. | Katy Bergen
A performer at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in downtown Nashville hands out bracelets to a group of music students from Virginia Tech. The band played covers such as Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places." | Katy Bergen