Music for Special Occasions

There are a vast array of special occasions that we play for:- parties, anniversaries, christenings, fund raising, society functions........... the list is endless. There are few  rules about what kind of music should be played and when. The most important thing is to have the music you enjoy.

Below are some notes on the characteristics of different kinds of music group, for you to consider in addition to your liking for their kind of music.

<String Quartet> ~ <Harp> ~ <Classical Guitar> ~ <Soprano> ~ <Folk & Ceilidh> ~ <Jazz> ~ <Organising the Occasion>

STRING QUARTET OR FLUTE & STRING QUARTET

4 Repertoire Baroque, classical, romantic, light, shows, films, light jazz arranged for quartet or smaller ensemble
4 Ambience Civilised atmosphere - mostly formal, or Palm Court, or Lounge music
4 Appropriate venue size Anything from the a room in a private house to a concert hall. Great flexibility.
4 Appropriate audience  size We have played for events with 2 guests, to 300 people
4 Amplification None
4 Set up time 15 minutes
4 Playing outside Yes, shelter from the elements needed.
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HARP

4 Repertoire Concert harp is Baroque, classical, romantic, light music. Occasionally with vocals, particularly with the Celtic Harp.
4 Ambience Civilised atmosphere - mostly formal, or Palm Court, or Lounge music
4 Appropriate venue size Large private house room / medium hotel room to the hall of a stately home
4 Appropriate audience  size 2 to 80 guests
4 Amplification None
4 Set up time 30 minutes. Good access required
4 Playing outside Sometimes, good  shelter from the elements essential.
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CLASSICAL GUITAR

4 Repertoire Baroque, classical, romantic guitar music
4 Ambience Civilised atmosphere - mostly period, or intimate romantic
4 Appropriate venue size Anything from the a room in a private house to large hotel room, or medium room in a stately home.
4 Appropriate audience  size We have played for dinner parties of 2 guests, to 60 people
4 Amplification None
4 Set up time 15 minutes
4 Playing outside Yes, shelter from the elements needed, and good acoustics.
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FOLK, CEILIDH, BARN DANCE BANDS

4 Repertoire Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh, American, Scandinavian, Eastern European folk
4 Ambience Ceilidhs: - A wonderful evening, where everyone gets involved and has a thoroughly good time. Suitable for all ages. Folk music /singing:- informal background music, or pub atmosphere, or period music, depending on the group.
4 Appropriate venue size For un-amplified music to listen to, a small room upwards to any size of venue with amplification. For a Ceilidh, a small village hall with 40 guests, to a large hall with 350 dancers.
4 Appropriate audience  size Music to listen to - any size. Ceilidh - 40 to 350
4 Amplification None for very small venues with good acoustics, but normally amplified
4 Set up time 45 minutes with amplification
4 Playing outside Normally, no, but can do with adequate shelter from the elements.
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JAZZ BANDS

4 Repertoire Any period of jazz from the 1920s to the present day, Dixieland, Swing, Rhythm & Blues, Blue Note, Jazz/ Fusion/ Funk, Latin Jazz & Bossa Nova
4 Ambience Widely varying, from boisterous to smokey lounge jazz, from fun to anguish.
4 Appropriate venue size Any size, depending on size of music group.
4 Appropriate audience  size Any number
4 Amplification Yes
4 Set up time 30-45 minutes
4 Playing outside Normally, no, but can do with adequate shelter from the elements.
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SOPRANO

4 Repertoire Baroque, classical, romantic, light, shows, light jazz soprano repertoire
4 Ambience Special musical interludes
4 Appropriate venue size Large room in a private house to hall in a stately home, to a church, good acoustics necessary.
4 Appropriate audience  size We have played for dinner parties of 6 guests, to 300 people in a Cathedral
4 Amplification None. NOTE: some form of accompaniment is required
4 Set up time 10 minutes
4 Playing outside Normally, no.
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Don't forget the influence of the venue on the success of your event. The acoustics of the venue and number of guests influence the kind of music group that is appropriate, and the location of the musicians who are playing un-amplified instruments [string quartets, harpists, etc]. [Jazz & Folk bands are normally amplified, and can artificially compensate for bad acoustics to some extent].