During the annual Road to the Hall of Fame: Rite of Remembrance and Salute, Circle Guard initiates wear formal garb. The focal point of these garments is the Ceremonial Stole, which was designed by couturier Sandi Spika Borchetta to be worn by Circle Guard initiates when conducting the Road to the Hall of Fame.
The front side of the Ceremonial Stole is rich in country music symbolism. Embroidered along the wearer’s right side are the Latin words “Musica Rustica Movet,” translating to ‘Country Music Rocks.” Below this, elaborately-beaded forget-me-nots flank music notes that represent the song “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” in C, which is the anthem of the Country Music Hall of Fame and is also inscribed on the interior of the museum’s Hall of Fame Rotunda.
On the wearer’s left side, strong roots at the base form into guitar strings, encouraging the remembrance of our musical heritage and culminating in the logo of the Circle Guard. The top of this logo forms a point, reminiscent of the WSM radio tower, whose 50,000-watt signal carries country music and its message far and wide.
The reverse side of the Ceremonial Stole presents a collection of colorful fabrics and ornate beadwork, referencing the beauty and humility of Dolly Parton’s quilted “Coat of Many Colors” and celebrating the diversity and glamour of modern-era country music artists. Each piece of fabric is a swatch from a garment that Sandi Spika Borchetta created for artists, ranging from Taylor Swift’s dress from the “Love Story” music video and Reba McEntire’s legendary red dress worn at the 1993 CMA Awards, to Trisha Yearwood’s wedding dress and performance wear worn by Randy Travis.
Throughout the month of October, the Ceremonial Stole is on display at the top of the museum’s Grand Staircase, just outside the Hall of Fame Rotunda. During the Road to the Hall of Fame: Rite of Remembrance and Salute, Circle Guard initiates remove the Ceremonial Stole from its case, and the Master of Ceremonies wears it while conducting the ritual in the Rotunda.
Sandi Spika Borchetta also created the ornately-beaded book from which the Master of Ceremonies reads biographies of every Hall of Fame Member, the black sashes worn by assisting Circle Guard initiates, and the swags which adorn the plaques of the Hall of Fame members whose biographies are read during the Road to the Hall of Fame: Rite of Remembrance and Salute.