2017

I am a little late to cheer in the new year… after all we just celebrated Valentine’s Day!  An IMPORTANT one for folks in the wedding industry!  Did you have a good holiday?

In December I had the privilege of touring with the Celtic Trio for the 8th consecutive season.  This year we were joined by the talented Seattle based multi-instrumentalist, Eric Miller.

In music as with any field, you have your ups and downs… and then sometimes there are just those experiences that leave you totally inspired and reinvigorated.  This tour was one such adventure for me.

This crew is working on a new album and I just got back from Camano Island where I spent two days working on string parts to blend with flutes, whistles, vocals, all kinds of keyboard goodness and more.  It was a TRUE blessing as it is any time I get to create music with good people who are passionate about their craft.

Thanks for your continued interest in my musical journey and I hope that you find something here of interest whether it is inspiration for your wedding music or encouragement to another violinist looking for ways to channel creative energy.

Welcome and I hope to keep in touch a little better this year.

Celtic Trio 2017 Corvallis Concert

 

Prelude on the Mountain

Yesterday was a cooker but we had a great time playing at the Resort at the Mountain.  This beautiful couple gave us a lot of liberty in our musical selections, we knew that the general vibe they wanted was classical music for prelude and pop and bluegrass for the cocktail hour.  I opted to enlist our string trio with guitar and was greatly aided by the musical talents of Erin Green (viola), Dylan Rieck (cello) and Nate Macy (guitar).

This type of ensemble is probably my favorite to write for because of the wide range of styles it can accommodate. I love to write string harmonies and it’s great working with Erin and Dylan because they can also improvise and add their own touches to the music. BTW, Dylan is new to the Pacific Northwest–we just shipped him in from that great musical mecca Austin!  He’s a lovely player and wonderful person.  And you should check out his site:  www.dylanrieck.com.

 

 

Hello Beyoncé!

I am late to the game I suppose.  This song has been out since 2011 and nearly 180 million people love it on Youtube but that’s one of the lovely things about this little company of mine is that I’m forever being introduced to new feel good songs.  Today, for a cheery Friday pick me up, I give you “Love on Top.”  I’m nearly done with a string trio arrangement for a couple’s recessional next Month.  It’s SUCH a fantastic choice I must say.

A Little Pop Strings For You Today

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.

Enjoy!

Effesenden Music Updated Repertoire

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!

CLASSICAL QUARTET PLAYING ROCK & POP

  1. All My Life (KC & Jo Jo)
  2. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  3. Are You Gonna Be My Girl? (Jet)
  4. Augusta (Theme song from PGA Masters)
  5. Back in Black (AC/DC)
  6. Beautiful Day (U2)
  7. Big Me (Foo Fighters)
  8. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  9. Blitzkrieg Bop (The Ramones)
  10. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
  11. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  12. Breathe Me (Sia)
  13. California Dreamin’ (the Mamas and the Papas)
  14. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (Frankie Valli)
  15. Carolina on My Mind (James Taylor)
  16. Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  17. Clocks (Coldplay)
  18. Con Te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye) (Pavaratti)
  19. Digital Love (Daft Punk)
  20. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
  21. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  22. Every Day is Like Sunday (Morrissey)
  23. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  24. Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead)
  25. Flashing Lights (Kanye West)
  26. From This Moment (Shania Twain)
  27. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  28. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  29. Every Day is Like Sunday (Morrissey)
  30. Gone Gone Gone (Philip Phillips)
  31. Good Life (Kanye West)
  32. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)
  33. Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac)
  34. Hallelujah (Leonard Kohn)
  35. Harder Better Faster Stronger (Daft Punk)
  36. Here Comes Your Man (The Pixies)
  37. Here There & Everywhere (Beatles)
  38. Hey Ya (Outkast)
  39. How It Ends (Devotchka)
  40. I Want to Rock & Roll All Night (KISS)
  41. If I Fell (Beatles)
  42. I’ll Stand By You (Carrie Underwood)
  43. In My Life (Beatles)
  44. Just Like Heaven (the Cure)
  45. Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
  46. Karma Chameleon (Culture Club)
  47. Kids (MGMT)
  48. Linus & Lucy (Peanuts)
  49. LIve Forever (Oasis)
  50. Love Song (the Cure)
  51. Love Story (Taylor Swift)
  52. Lovers in Japan (Coldplay)
  53. Marching Bands of Manhattan (Death Cab)
  54. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Elton John)
  55. Moon River (Henry Mancini)
  56. My Girl (Temptations/Michael Jackson)
  57. Nobody Does it Better (Carly Simon)
  58. One More Time (Daft Punk)
  59. One & Only (Adele)
  60. Pretty Flowers (Dolly Parton & Steve Martin)
  61. Rocket Man (Elton John)
  62. Roxanne (the Police)
  63. Say Yes (Elliott Smith)
  64. Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon)
  65. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) Beyonce
  66. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  67. Someone Great (LCD Soundsystem)
  68. Something (Beatles)
  69. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  70. Starlight (Muse)
  71. Staralfur (Sigor Ros)
  72. Such Great Heights (the Postal Service)
  73. Sugar We’re Goin’ Down (Fallout Boy)
  74. Sugaree (Grateful Dead)
  75. Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
  76. Sweetest Taboo (Sade)
  77. Thank You (Dido)
  78. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  79. The Rose (Bette Midler)
  80. Theme from Final Fantasy
  81. Time to Pretend (MGMT)
  82. Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)
  83. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  84. Watermark (Enya)
  85. Wedding Song (There is Love)
  86. Where the Streets Have No Name (U2)
  87. White Wedding (Billy Idol)
  88. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  89. World at Large (Modest Mouse)
  90. You Make Lovin’ Fun (Fleetwood Mac)
  91. You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
  92. Your Love is King (Sade)
  93. Your Song (Elton John)

WORLD MUSIC, JAZZ, MOVIE THEMES

  1. At Last  (Etta James)
  2. Be Thou My Vision (Irish Hymn)
  3. Bicycle Built for Two
  4. Come What May (Moulan Rouge)
  5. Emma Theme (Emma)
  6. Heliotrope (Joplin)
  7. The Kiss  (Last of the Mohicans)
  8. La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf)
  9. Let Me Call You Sweetheart
  10. Meant to Be (Timer)
  11. Now We Are Free (Gladiator)
  12. Pavane (Orlando)
  13. She (Knotting Hill)
  14. Shine on Harvest Moon
  15. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  16. Storybook Love (The Princess Bride)
  17. Tango Music: Csardas
  18. Tango Music:  Fandango in D Minor
  19. Tango Music:  Rhumba
  20. Tango Music:  Serenata in G
  21. Tango Music:  “Chromatique” in D Minor
  22. Wedding Processional (The Sound of Music)
  23. You Made Me Love You
  24. Your Song (Moulan Rouge)

****END OF CLASSICAL ENSEMBLE SECTION ****

ACOUSTIC ENSEMBLES PLAYING CLASSIC ROCK

  1. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  2. And I Love Her (Beatles)
  3. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  4. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey…Glee)
  5. Here, There & Everywhere (Beatles)
  6. In My Life (Beatles)
  7. Jump Jive & Wail (Big Bad Voodoo Daddies)
  8. Have I Told You Lately
  9. How Sweet it is (James Taylor & Marvin Gaye)
  10. Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear (Elvis)
  11. The Longest Time (Billy Joel)
  12. Love is All Around (The Troggs)–from the movie Love Actually
  13. Moondance  (Van Morrison)
  14. Mustang Sally
  15. My Girl (Jackson Five)
  16. Take a Chance on Me (ABBA)
  17. This Time Tomorrow (the Kinks)
  18. Time After Time (Cindy Lauper)
  19. To Make You Feel My Love (Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Adelle)
  20. True Companion (Mark Kohn)
  21. Oh Darlin’ (Beatles)
  22. Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll
  23. Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
  24. Rock around the Clock
  25. So Happy Together
  26. Stand By Me
  27. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  28. With a Little Help From My Friends (the Beatles)
  29. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
  30. You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
  31. You’re My Best Friend (Queen)
  32. Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)

FOLK & ACOUSTIC

  1. 3×5 (John Mayer)
  2. Babylon (David Gray)
  3. Better Together (Jack Johnson)
  4. The Blower’s Daughter (Damien Rice)
  5. Breathe Me (Sia)
  6. Come on Get Higher (Matt Nathanson)
  7. Copperline (James Taylor)
  8. Dance Me to the End of Love (The Civil Wars)
  9. Daughters (John Mayer)
  10. Divine Romance (Phil Wickham)
  11. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  12. Fields of Gold (Sting)
  13. For Baby For Bobbie (John Denver)
  14. Hey There Delilah (Plain White T’s)
  15. Lullaby (Billy Joel)
  16. More Than Life
  17. Out of the Woods (Nickel Creek)
  18. Walking After You (Foo Fighters)
  19. When You Say Nothing at All (Alison Krauss)
  20. You’re Beautiful (James Blunt)

POP & ROCK

  1. Accidentally in Love (Counting Crows)
  2. Beautiful Day (U2)
  3. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  4. Brighter than Sunshine (Aqualung—from A Lot Like Love)
  5. Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  6. Clocks (Coldplay)
  7. Ice Cream (Sarah Maclachlan)
  8. Life in Technicolor (Coldplay)
  9. Lover Lay Down (Dave Matthews Band)
  10. Love of My Life (Dave Matthews Band/Santana)
  11. Lovers in Japan (Coldplay)
  12. One (U2)
  13. The Scientist (Coldplay)
  14. Up and Away (Dave Matthews Band)
  15. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  16. Wonderwall (Oasis & Ryan Adams)

Country

  1. Bless the Broken Road (Rascal Flatts)
  2. Cowboy Take Me Away (Dixie Chicks)
  3. Easy Silence (Dixie Chicks)
  4. I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)
  5. Love Song (Taylor Swift)
  6. Lullaby (Dixie Chicks)
  7. Making Memories of Us (Keith Urban)

Bluegrass/Celtic/Scottish Fiddle

  1. 1B
  2. After the Battle of Aughrim
  3. Ashokan Farwell (from Ken Burns documentary on Civil War)
  4. The Atholl Highlanders/Johnnie Cope
  5. Banish Misfortune
  6. Be Thou My Vision
  7. Big Country
  8. Blacksmith
  9. Bonaparte Crossing the Rockies
  10. The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter
  11. Butterfly’s Day Out
  12. Caldedonia
  13. Charlie is My Darling
  14. Da White Wife
  15. Devil’s Dream
  16. The Geese in the Bog/Jig of Slurs
  17. Irish Medley
  18. Lover’s Waltz (from the movie Legends of the Fall)
  19. Midnight on the Water
  20. My Love is Like a Red Red Rose
  21. Red River Valley
  22. Second Time Around
  23. Short Trip Home
  24. Sliding Down
  25. Star of the County Down
  26. Vagabond Waltz
  27. Wedding Jig
  28. Wedding Song

SACRED

  1. 1.     All Creatures of Our God and King
  2. 2.     Amazing Grace
  3. 3.     Ave Maria
  4. 4.     Be Thou My Vision
  5. 5.     Brethren We Have Met to Worship
  6. 6.     Come Thou Fount
  7. 7.     Divine Romance (Phil Wickham)
  8. 8.     For the Beauty of the Earth
  9. 9.     Here I Am Lord
  10. 10.   Here I Am to Worship
  11. 11.   Holy Holy Holy
  12. 12.   Holy is the Lord
  13. 13.   How Can I Repay
  14. 14.   How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
  15. 15.   How Great is Our God
  16. 16.   I Have Loved You
  17. 17.   I Will Be Here
  18. 18.   I’ll Fly Away
  19. 19.   Joyful Joyful
  20. 20.   The Lord’s Prayer
  21. 21.   The Time is Now (Phil Wickham)
  22. 22.   Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
  23. 23.   On Eagle’s Wings
  24. 24.   Prayer of St. Francis
  25. 25.   Psalm 128 O Blessed Are Those
  26. 26.   Psalm 145 The Lord is Compassionate
  27. 27.   Servant Song
  28. 28.   You Are Mine
  29. 29.   Your Love is Extravagant

CASABLANCA/FRANK SINATRA/CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

  1. A Kiss to Build a Dream On
  2. All of You
  3. As Time Goes By
  4. At Last
  5. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
  6. But Beautiful
  7. Cheek to Cheek
  8. Come Fly With Me
  9. Days of Wine and Roses
  10. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
  11. Dream a Little Dream
  12. East of the Sun
  13. Embraceable You
  14. Fascination
  15. Fly Me to the Moon
  16. How High the Moon
  17. I’ve Got the World on a String
  18. If I Were a Bell
  19. In a Sentimental Mood
  20. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  21. It Had to Be You
  22. Moon River
  23. My Baby Just Cares for Me
  24. My Favorite Things
  25. My Funny Valentine
  26. My One and Only Love
  27. My Romance
  28. Night and Day
  29. Night in Tunisia
  30. On the Sunny Side of the Street
  31. One Fine Day
  32. Our Love is Here to Stay
  33. Round Midnight
  34. So This is Love
  35. Some Enchanted Evening
  36. Someday My Prince Will Come
  37. Someone to Watch Over Me
  38. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  39. Summertime
  40. Take Five
  41. The Best is Yet to Come
  42. The Way You Look Tonight
  43. Unforgettable
  44. What a Diff’rence a Day Made
  45. What a Wonderful World
  46. When I Fall In Love
  47. Where or When
  48. You are So Beautiful

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

  1. Angel Eyes (Jim Brickman)
  2. Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)
  3. Don’t Know Why (Norah Jones)
  4. I Will Be Here (Steven Curtis Chapman)
  5. The Love of My Life (Jim Brickman/ Michael W. Smith)
  6. Over the Rainbow
  7. Over the Valley (Pink Martini)
  8. The Prayer (Josh Groban)
  9. Time to Say Goodbye/Con Te Partiro (Andrea Bocelli)
  10. Unchained Melody
  11. Valentine (Martina McBride)
  12. You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban)
  13. Your Song (Elton John)

WORLD/ INTERNATIONAL VIBE/ JAZZ VIOLIN

  1. All Blues (Miles Davis)
  2. Autumn Leaves (Stephane Grapelli)
  3. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
  4. Besame Mucho
  5. Black Orpheus
  6. Caravan
  7. Chan Chan (Buena Vista Social Club)
  8. Charade
  9. Cinama Paradiso (Ennio Marracone)
  10. Corcovado (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  11. Girl From Ipanema (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  12. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  13. Kiss Waltz (Johann Strauss)
  14. La Vie en Rose (Edith Piaf)
  15. Lakme (Flower Duet) (Delibes)
  16. Misty
  17. Moon River
  18. Nature Boy
  19. Night & Day
  20. Nuages
  21. Pavane (Faure)
  22. Pavane (Ravel)
  23. Summertime

MOVIE THEMES

  1. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella)
  2. All I Ask of You (Phantom of the Opera)
  3. Brighter than Sunshine (A Lot Like Love)
  4. Cavatina (the Dqeer Hunter)
  5. Come What May (Moulin Rouge)
  6. The Eternal Vow (Crouching Dragon Hidden Tiger)
  7. The Falls (The Mission)
  8. The Kiss (from the Last of the Mohicas)
  9. John Dunbar Theme (Dances with Wolves)
  10. The Kiss (Last of the Mohicans)
  11. Kisses and Cake (PS I Love You)
  12. Love is All Around (Love Actually)
  13. Lovers Waltz (Legends of the Fall)
  14. My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)
  15. Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler on the Roof)
  16. Theme from the Naked Gun (The Naked Gun)
  17. Think of Me (Phantom of the Opera)
  18. When I Fall in Love (Sleepless in Seattle)
  19. When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio)
  20. Your Song (Moulin Rouge)

CLASSICAL

  1. Air on the G String (Bach)
  2. Airioso (Bach)
  3. Appalachian Spring—excerpts (Copeland)
  4. Aria (Handel)
  5. Aria from Xerxes (Handel)
  6. Ave Maria (Bach)
  7. Bach Cello Suite (only ensembles with cello)
  8. Bist du Bei Mir (Bach)
  9. Brandenburg Concertos No 3–First & Third Movements (Bach)
  10. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (Wagner)
  11. Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  12. Claire de Lune (Debussy)
  13. Entrance of the Queen of Sheba (Handel
  14. Flower Duet from Lakme (Delibes)
  15. The Four Seasons Spring—Allegros 1 & 3 (Vivaldi)
  16. Hornpipe (Purcell)
  17. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  18. Liebestraum (Liszt)
  19. Meditation from Thais
  20. Minuet (Boccherini)
  21. Minuet in G (Beethoven)
  22. Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
  23. Pavane (Faure)
  24. Pavane (Ravel)
  25. Rondeau (Mauret)
  26. Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
  27. Theme from Borodin String Quartet
  28. Theme from Jupiter from The Planets (Holst)
  29. Theme from New World Symphony (Dvorak)
  30. Theme from Ravel String Quartet
  31. Traumerie from Kindercenen Op 15 (Schumann)
  32. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
  33. Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
  34. Wachet Auf (Bach)


May 20th Acoustic Concert with Wendy Goodwin & Friends

Effesenden Musicians Perform for Acoustic Christmas

WHEN:  Sunday, May 20th, 2012  6:00 p.m.

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.

WHO:
Wendy Goodwin—Violin/Vocals
Aaron Pruitt—Piano/Vocals
Nate Macy—Guitar/Vocals
Jacob Jolliff—Mandolin
Nolan Staples—Bass
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!

Effesenden Music’s Current Repertoire

We want you to have creative control over the music that is played at your wedding!  Effesenden Music has an extensive repertoire in a wide range of styles for you to choose from.  The songs range from traditional favorites like Canon in D to movie themes, fiddle tunes, jazz, oldies and our signature sound:  string quartet arrangements of popular music like U2, Coldplay and Kings of Leon.  We also offer options for you to choose anywhere from 6 to 12 new songs that we arrange just for your day.  Our list is constantly growing so if you don’t see what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to ask!

Our Classical Repertoire is designed for the traditional String Trio (2 Violins and Cello) or String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola and Cello.)

Our Acoustic Repertoire is designed for ensembles containing either guitar and strings or piano and strings.  The following are some of our most popular pieces.  For a complete list of our current music, please contact us about your day.

CLASSICAL QUARTET PLAYING ROCK & POP

  1. All My Life (KC & Jo Jo)
  2. Are You Gonna Be My Girl? (Jet)
  3. Augusta (Theme song from PGA Masters)
  4. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  5. Back in Black (AC/DC)
  6. Beautiful Day (U2)
  7. Big Me (Foo Fighters)
  8. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  9. Blitzkrieg Bop (The Ramones)
  10. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
  11. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  12. Breathe Me (Sia)
  13. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (Frankie Valli)
  14. Clocks (Coldplay)
  15. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
  16. Fake Plastic Trees (Radiohead)
  17. Flashing Lights (Kanye West)
  18. From This Moment (Shania Twain)
  19. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  20. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  21. Good Life (Kanye West)
  22. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)
  23. Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac)
  24. Hallelujah (Leonard Kohn)
  25. Here Comes Your Man (The Cure)
  26. Here There & Everywhere (Beatles)
  27. Hey Ya (Outkast)
  28. How It Ends (Devotchka)
  29. I Want to Rock & Roll All Night (KISS)
  30. If I Fell (Beatles)
  31. I’ll Stand By You (Carrie Underwood)
  32. In My Life (Beatles)
  33. Karma Chameleon (Culture Club)
  34. Kids (MGMT)
  35. Linus & Lucy (Peanuts)
  36. Love Song (the Cure)
  37. Love Story (Taylor Swift)
  38. Lovers in Japan (Coldplay)
  39. Marching Bands of Manhattan (Death Cab)
  40. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Elton John)
  41. Moon River (Henry Mancini)
  42. My Girl (Temptations/Michael Jackson)
  43. One & Only (Adele)
  44. Rocket Man (Elton John)
  45. Roxanne (the Police)
  46. Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon)
  47. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  48. Something (Beatles)
  49. Starlight (Muse)
  50. Such Great Heights (the Postal Service)
  51. Sugar We’re Goin’ Down (Fallout Boy)
  52. Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
  53. Sweetest Tabu (Sade)
  54. Thank You (Dido)
  55. Time to Pretend (MGMT)
  56. Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)
  57. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  58. Where the Streets Have No Name (U2)
  59. White Wedding (Billy Idol)
  60. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  61. World at Large (Modest Mouse)
  62. You Make Lovin’ Fun (Fleetwood Mac)
  63. You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
  64. Your Love is King (Sade)
  65. Your Song (Elton John)            

CLASSICAL-Baroque & Classic Era (Traditional, Elegant Classical Music)

  1. Air on the G String (Bach)
  2. Airioso (Bach)
  3. Ave Maria (Bach)
  4. Bist du Bei Mir (Bach)
  5. Badinerie from Suite #2 in B Minor (Bach)
  6. Brandenburg Concertos No 3–First & Third Movements (Bach)
  7. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  8. Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
  9. Wachet Auf (Bach)
  10. Minuet in G (Beethoven)
  11. Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
  12. Te Deum (Charpentier)
  13. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
  14. Concerto Grosso No. 10 in A Minor (Corelli)
  15. Aria (Handel)
  16. Aria from Xerxes (Handel)
  17. Chamber Suite in D (Handel)
  18. Entrance of the Queen of Sheba (Handel)
  19. Sarabande from Suite #4 in D Minor (Handel)
  20. Water Music Suite in D & Suite in F (Handel)
  21. Presto from String Quartet in F Op 74 (Haydn)
  22. Divertimento No 1 in D Major (Mozart)
  23. Divertimento No 2 in Bb Major (Mozart)
  24. Divertimento No 3 in F Major (Mozart)
  25. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart)
  26. Rondeau (Mauret)
  27. Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  28. Hornpipe (Purcell)
  29. Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
  30. Concerto For Two Violins (Vivaldi)
  31. Concerto Grosso in D Minor Op. 3 (Vivaldi)
  32. Concerto Grosso No. 1 (Vivaldi)
  33. Concerto in D Minor (Vivaldi)
  34. The Four Seasons Spring—Allegros 1 & 3 (Vivaldi)

CLASSICAL –Romantic, Impressionist, Nationalist & 20th Century Era
(Romantic, Lush, Dramatic & Expressive Melodies)

  1. Carmen Entracte (Bizet)
  2. La Troupe (Bizet)
  3. Excerpts from Polovetsian Dance from Prince Igor (Borodin)
  4. Theme from First Symphony (Brahms)
  5. Appalachian Spring—excerpts (Copeland)
  6. Claire de Lune (Debussy)
  7. Divertissement Pizzicati from Sylvia (Delibes)
  8. Flower Duet from Lakme (Delibes)
  9. Apres un Reve (Faure)
  10. Berceuse from “Dolly” Suite, Op. 56 (Faure)
  11. Andaluza (Granados)
  12. Holberg Suite for String Orchestra (Grieg)
  13. I Love Thee (Grieg)
  14. Theme from Jupiter from The Planets (Holst)
  15. Berecuse (Ilyinski)
  16. Waltz from the Waves of the Blue Danube (Ivanovici)
  17. Liebestraum (Liszt)
  18. To a Wild Rose (MacDowell)
  19. Scherzo from Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn)
  20. Wedding March from Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn)
  21. Adagio from Octet in F Major Op. 166 (Schubert)
  22. Andante from String Quartet in A Minor Op. 29 (Schubert)
  23. Ave Maria (Schubert)
  24. Moment Musical from Op. 94 (Schubert)
  25. Traumerie from Kindercenen Op 15 (Schumann)
  26. The Swan (Le Cygne) (Saint’Saens)
  27. Theme from Finlandia (Sibelius)
  28. Czardas from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky)
  29. Dance of the Swans from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky)
  30. Scene (Pas de deux) from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky)
  31. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (Wagner)

WORLD MUSIC, JAZZ, MOVIE THEMES

  1. At Last  (Etta James)
  2. Be Thou My Vision (Irish Hymn)
  3. Bicycle Built for Two
  4. Come What May (Moulan Rouge)
  5. Emma Theme (Emma)
  6. Heliotrope (Joplin)
  7. The Kiss  (Last of the Mohicans)
  8. La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf)
  9. Let Me Call You Sweetheart
  10. Meant to Be (Timer)
  11. Now We Are Free (Gladiator)
  12. Pavane (Orlando)
  13. She (Knotting Hill)
  14. Shine on Harvest Moon
  15. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  16. Storybook Love (The Princess Bride)
  17. Tango Music: Csardas
  18. Tango Music:  Fandango in D Minor
  19. Tango Music:  Rhumba
  20. Tango Music:  Serenata in G
  21. Tango Music:  “Chromatique” in D Minor
  22. Wedding Processional (The Sound of Music)
  23. You Made Me Love You
  24. Your Song (Moulan Rouge)

END OF CLASSICAL STRINGS SECTION

ACOUSTIC  ENSEMBLE MUSIC

CLASSIC ROCK

  1. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  2. And I Love Her (Beatles)
  3. The Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  4. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey…Glee)
  5. Here, There & Everywhere (Beatles)
  6. In My Life (Beatles)
  7. Jump Jive & Wail (Big Bad Voodoo Daddies)
  8. Have I Told You Lately
  9. How Sweet it is (James Taylor & Marvin Gaye)
  10. Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear (Elvis)
  11. The Longest Time (Billy Joel)
  12. Love is All Around (The Troggs)–from the movie Love Actually
  13. Moondance  (Van Morrison)
  14. Mustang Sally
  15. My Girl (Jackson Five)
  16. Take a Chance on Me (ABBA)
  17. Time After Time (Cindy Lauper)
  18. To Make You Feel My Love (Billy Joel, Garth Brooks, Adelle)
  19. True Companion (Mark Kohn)
  20. Oh Darlin’ (Beatles)
  21. Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll
  22. Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
  23. Rock around the Clock
  24. So Happy Together
  25. Stand By Me
  26. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  27. With a Little Help From My Friends (the Beatles)
  28. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
  29. You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
  30. You’re My Best Friend (Queen)
  31. Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)

FOLK & ACOUSTIC

  1. 3×5 (John Mayer)
  2. Babylon (David Gray)
  3. Better Together (Jack Johnson)
  4. The Blower’s Daughter (Damien Rice)
  5. Breathe Me (Sia)
  6. Come on Get Higher (Matt Nathanson)
  7. Daughters (John Mayer)
  8. Divine Romance (Phil Wickham)
  9. Everlong (Foo Fighters)
  10. Fields of Gold (Sting)
  11. For Baby For Bobbie (John Denver)
  12. Hey There Delilah (Plain White T’s)
  13. Lullaby (Billy Joel)
  14. More Than Life
  15. Out of the Woods (Nickel Creek)
  16. Walking After You (Foo Fighters)
  17. When You Say Nothing at All (Alison Krauss)
  18. You’re Beautiful (James Blunt)

POP & ROCK

  1. Accidentally in Love (Counting Crows)
  2. Beautiful Day (U2)
  3. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  4. Brighter than Sunshine (Aqualung—from A Lot Like Love)
  5. Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  6. Clocks (Coldplay)
  7. Ice Cream (Sarah Maclachlan)
  8. Life in Technicolor (Coldplay)
  9. Lover Lay Down (Dave Matthews Band)
  10. Love of My Life (Dave Matthews Band/Santana)
  11. Lovers in Japan (Coldplay)
  12. One (U2)
  13. The Scientist (Coldplay)
  14. Up and Away (Dave Matthews Band)
  15. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  16. Wonderwall (Oasis & Ryan Adams)

Country

  1. Bless the Broken Road (Rascal Flatts)
  2. Cowboy Take Me Away (Dixie Chicks)
  3. Easy Silence (Dixie Chicks)
  4. I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)
  5. Love Song (Taylor Swift)
  6. Lullaby (Dixie Chicks)
  7. Making Memories of Us (Keith Urban)

Bluegrass/Celtic/Scottish Fiddle

  1. 1B
  2. After the Battle of Aughrim
  3. Ashokan Farwell (from Ken Burns documentary on Civil War)
  4. The Atholl Highlanders/Johnnie Cope
  5. Banish Misfortune
  6. Be Thou My Vision
  7. Big Country
  8. Blacksmith
  9. Bonaparte Crossing the Rockies
  10. The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter
  11. Butterfly’s Day Out
  12. Caldedonia
  13. Charlie is My Darling
  14. Da White Wife
  15. Devil’s Dream
  16. The Geese in the Bog/Jig of Slurs
  17. Irish Medley
  18. Lover’s Waltz (from the movie Legends of the Fall)
  19. Midnight on the Water
  20. My Love is Like a Red Red Rose
  21. Red River Valley
  22. Second Time Around
  23. Short Trip Home
  24. Sliding Down
  25. Star of the County Down
  26. Vagabond Waltz
  27. Wedding Jig
  28. Wedding Song

SACRED

  1.      All Creatures of Our God and King
  2.      Amazing Grace
  3.      Ave Maria
  4.      Be Thou My Vision
  5.      Brethren We Have Met to Worship
  6.      Come Thou Fount
  7.      Divine Romance (Phil Wickham)
  8.      For the Beauty of the Earth
  9.      Here I Am Lord
  10.     Here I Am to Worship
  11.     Holy Holy Holy
  12.     Holy is the Lord
  13.     How Can I Repay
  14.     How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
  15.     How Great is Our God
  16.     I Have Loved You
  17.     I Will Be Here
  18.     I’ll Fly Away
  19.     Joyful Joyful
  20.    The Lord’s Prayer
  21.    They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love   
  22.    The Time is Now (Phil Wickham)
  23.    Mass of Creation (Marty Haugen)
  24.    On Eagle’s Wings
  25.    Psalm 128 O Blessed Are Those
  26.    Psalm 145 The Lord is Compassionate
  27.    Servant Song
  28.    You Are Mine
  29.    Your Love is Extravagant

CASABLANCA/FRANK SINATRA/CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

  1. A Kiss to Build a Dream On
  2. All of You
  3. As Time Goes By
  4. At Last
  5. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
  6. But Beautiful
  7. Cheek to Cheek
  8. Come Fly With Me
  9. Days of Wine and Roses
  10. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
  11. Dream a Little Dream
  12. East of the Sun
  13. Embraceable You
  14. Fascination
  15. Fly Me to the Moon
  16. How High the Moon
  17. I’ve Got the World on a String
  18. If I Were a Bell
  19. In a Sentimental Mood
  20. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  21. It Had to Be You
  22. Moon River
  23. My Baby Just Cares for Me
  24. My Favorite Things
  25. My Funny Valentine
  26. My One and Only Love
  27. My Romance
  28. Night and Day
  29. Night in Tunisia
  30. On the Sunny Side of the Street
  31. One Fine Day
  32. Our Love is Here to Stay
  33. Round Midnight
  34. So This is Love
  35. Some Enchanted Evening
  36. Someday My Prince Will Come
  37. Someone to Watch Over Me
  38. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  39. Summertime
  40. Take Five
  41. The Best is Yet to Come
  42. The Way You Look Tonight
  43. Unforgettable
  44. What a Diff’rence a Day Made
  45. What a Wonderful World
  46. When I Fall In Love
  47. Where or When
  48. You are So Beautiful

ADULT CONTEMPORARY

  1. Angel Eyes (Jim Brickman)
  2. Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)
  3. Don’t Know Why (Norah Jones)
  4. I Will Be Here (Steven Curtis Chapman)
  5. The Love of My Life (Jim Brickman/ Michael W. Smith)
  6. Over the Rainbow
  7. The Prayer (Josh Groban)
  8. Time to Say Goodbye/Con Te Partiro (Andrea Bocelli)
  9. Unchained Melody
  10. Valentine (Martina McBride)
  11. You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban)
  12. Your Song (Elton John)

WORLD/ INTERNATIONAL VIBE/ JAZZ VIOLIN

  1. All Blues (Miles Davis)
  2. Autumn Leaves (Stephane Grapelli)
  3. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
  4. Besame Mucho
  5. Black Orpheus
  6. Caravan
  7. Chan Chan (Buena Vista Social Club)
  8. Charade
  9. Cinama Paradiso (Ennio Marracone)
  10. Corcovado (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  11. Girl From Ipanema (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
  12. It Don’t Mean a Thing
  13. Kiss Waltz (Johann Strauss)
  14. La Vie en Rose (Edith Piaf)
  15. Lakme (Flower Duet) (Delibes)
  16. Misty
  17. Moon River
  18. Nature Boy
  19. Night & Day
  20. Nuages
  21. Pavane (Faure)
  22. Pavane (Ravel)
  23. Summertime

MOVIE THEMES

  1. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella)
  2. All I Ask of You (Phantom of the Opera)
  3. Brighter than Sunshine (A Lot Like Love)
  4. Cavatina (the Dqeer Hunter)
  5. Come What May (Moulin Rouge)
  6. The Eternal Vow (Crouching Dragon Hidden Tiger)
  7. The Falls (The Mission)
  8. The Kiss (from the Last of the Mohicas)
  9. John Dunbar Theme (Dances with Wolves)
  10. The Kiss (Last of the Mohicans)
  11. Kisses and Cake (PS I Love You)
  12. Love is All Around (Love Actually)
  13. Lovers Waltz (Legends of the Fall)
  14. My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)
  15. Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler on the Roof)
  16. Think of Me (Phantom of the Opera)
  17. When I Fall in Love (Sleepless in Seattle)
  18. When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio)
  19. Your Song (Moulin Rouge)

ENSEMBLES WITH VOCALIST

Most of the other selections can be done either instrumentally or with vocals.  The following 2 sections of songs can be performed in one of our groups with a vocalist.

ROCK & FOLK (with vocal groups only)

  1. Beautiful Wreck (Shawn Mullins)
  2. Everything (Lifehouse)
  3. Kind and Generous (Natalie Merchant)
  4. Kiss Me (Six Pents None the Richer)
  5. Lucky (Colbie Calliat/Jason Mraz)
  6. Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond)
  7. Sweet Home Alabama (Leonard Skynrd)
  8. Vienna (Billy Joel)
  9. Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show)

COUNTRY (with vocal groups only)

  1. April Showers (Sugarland)
  2. Fishin’ in the Dark (NItty Gritty Dirt Band)
  3. The Fox (Nickel Creek)
  4. If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (Alabama)
  5. Jackson (Johnny Cash)
  6. Meet in the Middle (Diamond Rio)
  7. My Little Girl (Tim McGraw)
  8. My Wish (Rascal Flatts)
  9. Your Everything (Keith Urban)

PROCESSIONALS & RECESSIONALS (popular)

  1. All You Need is Love (Beatles)
  2. Angel Eyes (Jim Brickman)
  3. At Last
  4. Bittersweet Symphony (Verve Pipe)
  5. Book of Love (Peter Gabriel)
  6. Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
  7. In My Life (Beatles)
  8. In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)
  9. It Had to Be You
  10. Life in Technicolor (Coldplay)
  11. Over the Rainbow (IZ)
  12. Sliding Down (Edgar Meyer)
  13. Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  14. What a Wonderful World
  15. With a Little Help From My Friends (Beatles)

ETHEREAL, DREAMY  PROCESSIONALS

  1. Claire de Lune (Debussy)
  2. Entr’acte to Act III from Carmen (Bizet)
  3. Girl with the Flaxen Hair (Debussy)
  4. Meditation from Thais (Massanet)
  5. Nocturne from String Quartet No. 2 (Borodin)
  6. O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)
  7. Pavane Pour une infante defunte (Ravel)
  8. Reverie (Debussy)
  9. Sheherazade (Theme from Part 3) Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  10. Sleeping Beauty’s Pavane (Ravel)
  11. The Swan from Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saens)
  12. Theme from New World Symphony 2ndMovement (Dvorak)
  13. Theme from Polovetzian Dance from Prince Igor (Borodin)
  14. Symphony No 5 2ndMovement theme (Tchaikovsky)
  15. Theme from Lakme (Flower Duet) (Delibes)
  16. Theme from Romeo & Juliet Ballet (Tchaikovsky)

TRADITIONAL PROCESSIONALS
(in order of popularity)

  1. Canon in D “Pachelbel’s Canon” (Pachelbel)
  2. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin “Here Comes the Bride” (Wagner)
  3. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
  4. Spring from the Four Seasons—Allegro 1 (Vivaldi)
  5. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  6. Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
  7. Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
  8. Wachet Auf (Bach)

STATELY ELEGANT PROCESSIONAL

  1. Air from Water Music (Handel)
  2. Air on the G String (Bach)
  3. Airioso (Bach)
  4. Appalachian Spring “Simple Gifts” Theme (Copland)
  5. Andante Cantabile from String Quartet No. 1 Op 11 (Tchaikovsky)
  6. Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart)
  7. Bist Du Bei Mir (Bach)
  8. Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin “Here Comes the Bride” (Wagner)
  9. Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  10. Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel (Umperdinck)
  11. Finlandia Theme (Sibelius)
  12. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  13. Jupiter Choral Theme from The Planets (Holst)
  14. Lascia Chio PIanga from Rinaldo (Handel)
  15. Pictures at an Exhibition Promenade (Musorgsky)
  16. Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
  17. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)

RECESSIONALS (Acoustic Groups)

  1. 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky)
  2. Brandenburg Concerto No 3 Mvmt 1 (Bach)
  3. Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Vivaldi)
  4. Hallelujah Chorus (Handel)
  5. Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel)
  6. Hopak (Musorgsky)
  7. Kiss Waltz (Strauss)
  8. March from the Nutcracker (Tchaikvosky)
  9. Minuet (Boccherini)
  10. Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
  11. Peter and the Wolf Opening Theme (Prokofiev)
  12. Spring from the Four Seasons–Allegro movement 1 (Vivaldi)
  13. Spring from the Four Seasons–Allegro movement 3 (Vivaldi)
  14. Sonata for Violin and Piano 4thMovement Theme (Franck)
  15. Wedding March from Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mendelssohn)

Acoustic Quartet Survives Record Heat to Create Beautiful Wedding Music

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.

Flower Duet from Lakme (Acoustic Quartet) Live –featuring violin & cello with guitar & piano accompaniment

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!

Pavane pour une infante defunte (Acoustic Quartet) Live

Effesenden Music Piano

 

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!!!

http://www.bassisloaded.com/

Quality Live Ceremony Music: How to Find It?

For almost 9 years now I have conversed with couples about their wedding music.  Over steaming cups of coffee illuminating their joyous faces, they look into my eyes and ask “ I was wondering… well… what I’m really hoping is to walk down the aisle to Canon in D. Can you play that?”  I’m always both happy and a little sad over this interchange:  happy because yes—we can and do play Canon in D with passion.  Sad because I know that the fact that we do play the song doesn’t really tell this bride about our ensemble:  because any musician playing for wedding ceremonies better have the most popular selection of the past two centuries hot on their fingertips…in reality these brides aren’t learning as much as they might think about their options.  So what questions really do distinguish one company from another?  Here are 3 points of discussion to ask  the band leader & company owner that will separate passionate professionals from the musical vultures looking for a quick buck at your expense.

1.  What is your musical background?  Tell me about the other members of the ensemble.  How do you go about adding new musicians to your ranks?

2.  What types of music do you play?  What instruments/combination of instruments do you offer?

3.   Where do you get your music?  Do you do special requests for songs?  Do you arrange the music specifically for your group or do you play off of music from other sources?

As you listen to the answers to these questions, you should be able to tell whether the people have well thought out answers or if they are scrambling to make themselves sound competent.  Beware the person who just gives a blanket yes without explanation and if money is a factor in your decision, be sure and clarify what additional costs might be involved in the various offerings.  Many groups will arrange music but additional fees above the listed price may be involved.

While photos, flashy advertisements and even referrals are handy, you are hiring these musicians to play live music, so there is really nothing you can do that is as important as listening to samples of their music.  I am simply amazed how many times I field calls from brides who want to know how much we charge without having heard our music.  Most companies have audio samples on their websites as well as a CD they can send you to listen to.  Don’t worry if you don’t see a sample of the actual song you want to have played—most musicians try to give a sampling of the various types and styles of music they specialize in—so for example, if you hear a Beatles tune, chances are pretty high that you could have a great rendition of the Beach Boys.  You can also request things like “I’d love to have a fast version of Canon in D” or “I’d like Ave Maria with vocals instead of instrumental.”

Wedding advice columns often tell brides to listen to the musicians performing live before booking.  It certainly doesn’t hurt, but keep in mind that the repertoire and even the conduct of an ensemble in a concert setting is going to be different from how they will be at your wedding.  To cut right to the point, your wedding is about you and your relationship. Everything—music included should be aimed at drawing attention towards that.  Imagine Lady Gaga performing at your wedding ceremony—while just perfect for millions of screaming fans in a stadium, it would be beyond awkward to have someone in a meat dress singing as you walked down the aisle!  The music and the musicians should play in a way that focuses on you.

The bottom line is that you should not be intimidated about the process of finding great live music.  Just because you might not play an instrument yourself does not mean you can’t tell whether something is beautiful. . .and you certainly can tell if you are being treated with courtesy and professionalism.  Live music in the right hands will add the perfect soundtrack to the visual beauty and joy of your day!

Heavy Metal and Doulas

The work week of a certain violinist began and ended at polar extremes!

Monday:  6 hour studio recording session with my quartet for the heavy metal band Alesana’s forthcoming release. . . later that evening a meeting with a really cool bride about her upcoming August wedding for which I’ll be arranging some Keane and Adelle tunes for string quartet.

Friday:  Jazz violin and vocals with guitar and bass by Nate Macy & Nolan Staples for the Mama Baby Haiti charity event aboard the Portland Spirit:  a room filled with midwives, doulas and those who love them gathered together to support the efforts to provide birthing services and pediatric care to mothers and children in Haiti.

For myself and many of my friends who make music for a living, there is rarely a “normal” week… and if there is, we often find ourselves wondering if we’re doing something wrong!  In all of the hubbub of going and coming, I’m trying to learn to just take each moment as it comes and invest fully–even if tomorrow may find me playing a totally different style in a different place with different shoes!