On Friday, we performed as a string duo for a wedding held at St Michael’s Manor in St Albans, Hertfordshire. The wedding ceremony had taken place at a nearby church and we provided music for the drinks reception, as well as for the first part of the wedding breakfast. We performed as a violin and cello, which is a very popular combination as the sweetness of the violin is contrasted well with the richness of the cello. Both instruments also cover a large range of pitch, so the overall effect is very full.
For the drinks reception, we played a wide selection of music, starting off with some pieces by J.S. Bach and other classical composers before moving on to some light music, jazz and modern pop music for strings. We spoke to many of the guests who sat and appreciated the wedding music whilst enjoying a glass of Champagne.
Last weekend, our wedding string quartet returned to the Weston Manor Hotel near Bicester in Oxfordshire. This venue is very local to us and is ideally suited to either a string quartet or a string duo. The ceremony room has a minstrels’ gallery, which means that the musicians can project their sound effortlessly without intruding too much on the ceremony itself.
For this particular wedding, the bride had requested that we play Samuel Barber’s ‘Adagio’ for strings before her entrance. This we duly did, before playing Pachelbel’s ‘Canon‘ for her processional. During the signing of the register we performed Elgar’s ‘Salut d’Amour’ and Mascagni’s ‘Intermezzo’ from ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’. Finally, for the recessional of the bridal couple, we played them out to Take That’s ‘Greatest Day’.
We then transferred to the reception area of the hotel, before joining the guests on the back lawn of the venue (playing under the shade of a tree). All in all, the music added a special extra dimension to the proceedings and many guests told us how much the music was enjoyed.
On Thursday evening, our string quartet were hired to play for a corporate hospitality event held at Trinity House in Tower Hill, London. Although we are not a London string quartet, all of the players in the group work in the capital and we are frequently asked to perform there.
We played our first set of music lasting around 50 minutes in a minstrels gallery over one of the main halls. At the request of the client, we started by performing a selection of classical music prior to the speeches, changing to a performance of modern pop music for string quartet (as well as a few pieces from films and television) later in the evening.
The music seemed to be well received by the guests with the whole event finishing at around 9.30pm.
On Saturday, our string quartet were engaged to play for a wedding held at the Old Hall near Ely in Cambridgeshire. Although we are not really a Cambridgeshire string quartet, it is a relatively easy journey for us to this venue.
We began by playing a selection of classical pieces as the guests arrived and took their seats in the ceremony room. As the Bride entered, we played Pachelbel’s Canon in D and two much more modern pieces for the signing of the register at the request of the couple.
After the ceremony, we continued playing during the drinks reception in the same room and although many guest made their way outside to enjoy some spring sunshine, it was just slightly too cold and windy to move the wedding string quartet outside. We performed and energetic and upbeat selection of modern pop music for string quartet which was greatly enjoyed by many of the guests.
We hope to return to the venue in the near future as it was such a welcoming place to play.
On Saturday, two of us returned yet again to one of our most local, regular venues – Notley Abbey on the Buckinghamshire / Oxfordshire border. Although it was a lovely, sunny day the ceremony took place indoors, where our string duo played at the front of the room, next to the registrar’s desk.
We provided a selection of popular classical music as guests entered the room and took their seats. We then played Pachelbel’s Canon in D as the bride and her bridesmaids entered for the ceremony. During the signing of the register we performed Bach’s Air before playing Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’ to accompany the exit of the married couple.
We then joined the wedding party outdoors and played a varied selection of modern rock and pop covers for string duo which was enthusiastically received by guests as they enjoyed their drinks and canapes.