There’s such a trend now for couples to choose contemporary music for their wedding in addition to or instead of the more traditional classical pieces. Because there are few things I love more than creating new musical arrangements, it’s a trend I hope stays around!
Today I wanted to share some video from a wedding we performed for at Portland’s Lan Su Chinese Gardens (which by the way is an incredible place to visit if you are exploring our fine city.)
This video features our Acoustic Trio, comprised of Violin, Guitar & Cello playing ithe Guns N’ Roses tune Sweet Child of Mine.
I was so busy arranging music this summer that I didn’t have a chance to upload a list of our current offerings. As you can see we have quite a few updates to our Rock, Pop, World Music, Movie Themes and Jazz Sections. The first section is our offerings for string trio and quartet (2 Violins & Cello or Violins, Viola & Cello). I did not list the classical repertoire of our string trio and quartet because we can basically perform any classical selection you are looking for. For a list of suggestions, please contact us directly. The second section is for our Acoustic Ensembles (Strings in combination with rhythm instrument~ either piano or guitar.) If you would like access to our entire repertoire, consider a combination ensemble such as string trio with guitar or string quartet with piano!
This summer Effesenden Music has enjoyed playing weddings in Napa and Hawaii in addition to events throughout the state of Oregon. We offer a unique service with our focus on Customized Live Strings and we are happy to take this labor of love wherever it will be appreciated. I already do a lot of touring as a performing artist so why not travel to play for weddings too?
By keeping Effesenden’s Repertoire ever changing, the combination of instruments in flux and the destinations exciting, our team of musicians is enthusiastic and we never become complacent about our role in weddings because… well, we care and we challenge ourselves to give our best.
The logistics of hiring Effesenden Music to travel for your wedding are really not as formidable as they might seem. While there may be some practical expenses involved, we typically offset those by offering additional value to our clients: including services for free that normally come at a cost such as additional song arrangements, rehearsal attendance or extra performance time. When you hold up the end product that you receive by working with Effesenden and compare that with the fees that a local group might charge you for the same suite of services, you might actually even be getting a deal–and you almost certainly are when you factor in the level of quality, experience and passion that are a proven track record with our company.
WHERE: West Chehalem Friends Church
16700 Northeast North Valley Road Newberg, OR 97132
WHAT: An Acoustic Evening with Wendy Goodwin & Friends
This concert is presented as a benefit for the West Chehalem Friends Church camp scholarship program. The concert is free and family friendly. Reception with refreshments will follow the concert.
James “Jimmy” Watson—Percussion
I am looking forward to this concert! While NOT a CD release, we WILL be performing all of the songs from my forthcoming CD along with covers by Peter Gabriel, super old hymns re-imagined by our guitarist Nate Macy—as part of his own upcoming CD release, and more. The concert is free and totally family friendly—that is if your kids like upbeat, Celtic influenced music and lots of interesting instruments to look at followed by a reception with refreshments and plenty of room to run around.
I’m hoping that the gorgeous clover fields surrounding this country church will be in bloom. If you’ve been out on North Valley Road in the late spring, you know what I’m talking about. . . but whether the bees and my calendar have it all lined up or not, I can promise a wonderful evening of music. Please join us. There’s even a CHANCE that my CD will be ready to go…but I can’t promise.
You can also help a really great cause while at this concert by making a donation to support the church’s camp scholarship fund. I know that for me, attending camps like Tilikum Day Camp and Twin Rocks built lasting wonderful memories—For any of you out there around the same time as me, I have to say that my daughter’s favorite bedtime songs are now the Skunk Song and the Shark Song (with hand motions of course!) The concert is free so you can come even if you don’t have the funds to send people to camp. See you there!
One of my favorite ensembles is our Acoustic Quartet. Comprised of violin, piano, cello and guitar or bass, the ensemble stands out for it’s ease at creating endless combinations of diverse texture and style.
On the day we performed at this wedding pre-ceremony, ceremony and cocktail hour, it was so hot that I was really worried the groomsmen were going to pass out! As it turned out they were almost all police officers so I guess they were accustomed to dark clothing in hot weather. I was really proud of our quartet because we stayed focused in spite of the heat AND the bees that kept circling around our heads. It was only after the event concluded that we realized that there was a nest up in the umbrella that was providing our shade! Any ensemble can go into a recording studio and come out with a decent sounding song but unless you’re getting married in a sound booth, you need music that will sound great in the actual setting!
The first sample is of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Canon is one of the most sought after pieces of Classical music in the modern wedding ceremony and if an ensemble can’t do it justice. . .or more accurately, won’t… then you should look to a different company. Because this piece is SO iconic, all of our ensembles have it in the repertoire.
Effesenden Music’s Canon in D (Pachelbel’s Canon) — Acoustic Fiddle Version
Effesenden Music’s Canon in D (Piano, Guitar, Violin, Cello) LIVE
Effesenden Music’s Canon in D (Strings) Classical, Traditional Version
Another selection that this beautiful couple made is one of my absolute favorite Classical pieces: it’s actually an operatic duet for two sopranos but we have arranged it for violin and cello with accompaniment. It’s popularly known as the “Flower Duet” from the Delibes opera Lakme.
Sometimes a fusion of styles is nice. In this sample, we’ve combined jazz and classical influences for the gorgeous piece Pavane pour une enfante defunte by Maurice Ravel. Ravel has been one of my very favorite composers since I was a kid in youth symphony. This Pavane (which is a stylized dance) is mysterious and elegant and totally great for weddings or really any time you want to enjoy beautiful music!
I would be remiss not to send a huge shout out to Rick Whitehead of Bass is Loaded DJ service. He recorded all of the song samples you are hearing on this post at the wedding. This AMAZING wedding professional single handedly and wirelessly made the ceremony and reception sound wonderful. He was so helpful and did not miss a single detail—even attending the rehearsal to help with the minor last minute details. I have seen Rick at multiple weddings in the last few years and cannot recommend his work highly enough!!!
Effesenden Music is well known for our emphasis on playing music that reflects our brides and grooms own unique style. Rather than applying a “one size fits all approach,” every single wedding we play has it’s own unique musical plan. We love arranging popular music for our musicians to perform but we also have great respect for the timeless beauty of traditional wedding pieces such as Canon in D, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and more and enjoy presenting authentic, quality renditions of these great Classical works.
This blog post features samples from two weddings we played during the summer of 2011. On a related note, click the link below if you’d like to see a list of our current songs for classical string trio and quartet.
The second wedding was an indoor ceremony at the beloved Old Church in Southwest Portland, Oregon featuring our string trio. I especially enjoyed this wedding because there were a number of Romantic period and slightly lesser known Classical works along with some more traditional Baroque.
Many of our brides and grooms who are planning to use strings look for guidance on whether to opt for string trio or quartet. The difference is that the quartet includes 2 violins, viola and cello whereas the trio is either violin, viola and cello or 2 violins and cello. The quartet has greater richness and a slightly larger repertoire but the two ensembles are very similar in what they offer.
For comparison, I’ve included a recording of our string trio playing an excerpt from Canon in D.
If you’re like most couples, you’re probably making a lot of decisions like this in the planning—“Option A offers just a little bit more but Option B is really nice and saves a bit on the cost.” My best advice is to work with an ensemble whose music you can tell is high quality and then choose the length of reservation and ensemble size based on your budget. Maybe you could get an 8-piece band of amateur string players for the same price as a high quality string quartet but quantity doesn’t mean better!
I really do love learning so much new music. In the past 9 years, I have arranged and played almost every style of music from Catholic masses to Kanye West to Old Crow Medicine Show! Sometimes though it’s lovely to return to one’s roots.
Our July 31st bride and groom chose a violin and guitar duo and requested a number of hymns in the mix with other styles of music including Classical and Classic Rock. Since my public playing of the violin really began as a child playing hymns in a small country church, the opportunity to revisit sacred music was so special. Even better, I was joined again by guitarist Nate Macy who I began playing music with almost 15 years ago while we were in college.
Jordan and Janae’s ceremony was held at a venue that was new to me—the Riverview Restaurant’s Waterfall Estate. The weather was perfect and our setup under the gazebo for ceremony and cocktail hour offered just enough protection from the breeze and sun. After the cocktail hour, the guests moved inside for the dinner and reception. Nate and I continued to play for another hour inside and then spent the rest of the evening facilitating the couple’s i-pod playlist on our sound system.
This was just a gorgeous wedding—the bride and groom are obviously well loved by their family and friends and there were a number of couples in the room approaching their 50th wedding anniversary!
Hope you enjoy listening to a few of the songs we played—please pardon some rumbling wind and the crows “singing” in the background toward the end of Amazing Grace. Too bad it couldn’t have been a bird with a slightly more elegant voice! I guess at least this way you won’t question whether this is really recorded live.
Many people mistakenly believe that unless they are wealthy enough to hire Elton John and his piano to be delivered to their ceremony site, that live music will limit them to a range of classical songs that mean nothing to them. When they hold up that option (boring…possibly expensive music they don’t recognize) against having their deejay play a recording of Ben Harper or Etta James, it is easy to see why some would conclude music to be as gratuitous a luxury as hiring in a flock of live swans to waddle through the reception.
If you are choosing an ensemble whose repertoire consists almost entirely of Classical music, and you don’t really LIKE classical music, than yes, it probably isn’t worth it. If however, you choose an ensemble with a versatile repertoire and the ability to add songs of your choosing to the playlist, than all of a sudden you’ve upped the style and sophistication of your event 100 fold.
In a nutshell, here are 5 reasons to go live for your ceremony (and beyond)
Live music is better for timing your processional. Maybe your flowergirl gets distracted down the aisle. Maybe you have 9 bridesmaids…or 2. The average recorded song is about 3 minutes and 30 seconds in length. The average length of processional is 1 to 1.5 minutes. A deejay can fade or start in the middle of a song but live musicians can arrange the song to fit exactly with what is actually happening in the moment.
Live music is more interesting than recorded music for you and your guests to enjoy. Anyone who has ever been to a concert knows this! Why would you fork out $75 or more to see your favorite artist from the nosebleed section of a stadium if listening to an mp3 on your earbuds were more enthralling?
Live music is cross generational. By having a range of music played by an ensemble such as a string quartet, you offer a style of music that anyone from your friends to your elderly grandparents will enjoy.
However brief your ceremony may be, the moment you begin walking down that aisle will stay with you forever. The song that is played will remind you every time you hear it in the future so choose carefully and make sure it’s done well!
Live music is more appropriate for outdoor weddings. As you are surrounded by nature, the sounds of birds singing and wind rustling the leaves, how much more organic and appropriate is a beautiful violin than a big black speaker? Very.
The most important…in fact, the only ingredient necessary to have an amazing wedding celebration is the love that you and your partner share. As you think of the elements that will go into reflecting that love, live music is one very special option that can help express the happiness that you feel! For more information and ideas for live music, check out sample live music on the Effesenden Music website!
When I got married, Andy and I had close friends and family perform our music. Every song was personal and meaningful to us. While friends teased “Aren’t you going to play the violin at your own wedding?” I left the playing in the capable hands of others but I DID do all of the arranging of the music. Between grad school exams and juries, I was writing out the music that would be played. My own enjoyable experience planning music was part of what motivated me to start Effesenden Music.
I wanted to approach Effesenden Music like I was doing music for a friend. I wanted to help people have meaningful music that reflected their unique style as a couple. Many of the musicians who played for my wedding celebration almost 9 years ago are still an integral part of the current Effesenden roster of musicians.
With most wedding and event ensembles, you either hire a specific local celebrity musician to come and do his thing OR you hire a booking service that contracts musicians from professional institutions like the ballet orchestra to come and perform at your wedding. In many cases, these musicians see your music for the first time at the wedding itself or they play from a regular program of material performed at every wedding. They may have never even met one another until moments before your processional.
Effesenden wedding music is very different. I start by getting to know you and your style. Then I work on developing the playlist that when your friends and family hear, they are going to say “Oh that is SO them!” From your end that involves exploring our current song lists as well as thinking about other songs that might be the perfect melody to add. From my end, that means helping you choose the instrumentation that is going to sound great playing those songs and then arranging and preparing the song selections so that they are specifically tailored to your event. I help you balance the creativity and stylistic concepts with other considerations like budget and venue logistics. I walk you through everything, just like I would my friends.
Besides running Effesenden Music, I am also an active touring musician in other capacities, so I am not always the violinist who performs those songs at your wedding. I do however shepherd every single step of the process and I can promise that any musician who plays for Effesenden Music is someone that I would without hesitation have play (or maybe did) have play at my own wedding.
With my extensive contacts, I can bring together the right people for the type of music and the type of event whether that’s classical, jazz, fiddle or eclectic.
There are plenty of good musicians out there but if you are looking for personalized attention, I hope that you will give us a call!
The same attention to detail, personalized professional service, and variety of musical choices that have made Effesenden Music a must have for Pacific Northwest weddings proves valuable in the business community for events such as:
• Background ambiance for Business Dinners & Socials • Music for holiday parties and open house events • Lobby music for conference registrants • Special music for fundraising events • Headliner music for benefit concerts for charitable organizations
To listen to samples of Effesenden Music’s diverse, violin centered Classical, Jazz and Acoustic music, click here.
“I appreciate your professionalism, dedication and art. It truly added to the ambiance of our event. I have been doing these events for 30+ years now, I believe beyond a doubt this event was one my best, and Effesenden Music contributed to that wonderful and meaningful success. –Ed Bonnot LTD Projects/WRCS Manager, Intel
“We absolutely loved you guys, it was exactly what we wanted for our event.” —Dana Devoe, Senior Event Manager, Fidelity Meetings & Client Events
Recent Clients Include: Intel UBS Adventist Medical Center OHSU Portland Art Museum Vibe of Portland Bravo! Wedding and Events Faith in Action Compassion First Transitions Global SMART LVNA Hospice Troon Winery Oak Knoll Winery Duck Pond Winery Pioneer Place Shopping Center OSU Board of Trustees Building Champions Lawrence Gallery YPO Southern California
For pricing and availability, please contact Effesenden Music.