As shocking as this sounds, we do have a panicked call/e-mail at least once a year from a bride or groom who have been let down at the last minute by a quartet who were offered a better paid engagement elsewhere. Although it beggars belief, it’s a reminder of the benefits of always having a contract in place, as well as researching whether your group are indeed a professional outfit or students/part-time players whose reputation is not necessarily going to suffer much even if they let other people down. If we still have the date free in our diary, we’ll do our best to help with emergencies wherever possible. Organising a duo (with two players) is always slightly easier to arrange than co-ordinating four people at the last minute, but with our pool of experienced players, we can sometimes arrange a full quartet suprisingly quickly. The fastest so far? Providing a violin / cello duo for a corporate event with 8 hours notice.