Music for a Corporate Function in Oxford – Early on Monday morning, the Manor House String Quartet received an urgent¬†phonecall from a professional colleague asking for help. Their string quartet had been booked by the European Business Assembly to supply music for a corporate function in Oxford Town Hall that evening, but due to sudden illness, their principle violinist had been taken into hospital and the group¬†were trying to¬†find another string quartet (local to the Oxford area)¬†to fulfill their commitment.
As the engagement was only hours away, we had to be sure that enough of our own players could be found before agreeing to take the commitment on, and this can be quite a time consuming process as mobile phones may be switched off during rehearsals or teaching and it’s not always easy to contact people immediately. Fortunately on Monday as the call came in so early, we got to work straight away and by 9.30am had found enough of our players who could juggle things around and help out.
Next we had to liaise with the company who were holding¬†the evening, and immediately sent over our standard contract to be signed and returned, scanned in by email. Although the¬†client had already hired another string quartet, we always get all the details in writing to protect all parties and ensure details of timings, location and preferred string quartet repertoire are¬†100% accurate. Within an hour and a half, the quartet¬†was all sorted and it was just left for us to put together a nice selection of music (on this occasion, light classical and music from the palm court era) into folders, all ready.
The evening went well (although the stage area where we were to play was quite dark so reading music was a little tricky) and at the end, the feedback we got from the corporate client was that they’d been relieved how efficiently and quickly a replacement group had been sorted out. This just goes to show what a strong network of communication and support there is among working musicians.
As professional musicians are usually highly conscientious, it always feels dreadful for any quartet to unavoidably cancel an engagement at the last minute and it was good to be able to call and reassure our colleagues so quickly that their original commitment would be honoured – and the clients were hugely relieved as well.