Videotaping Allows Tempe Community to Safely Enjoy a Movie Music & Broadway Musicals Concert During the Pandemic

With all the restrictions on gathering because of COVID-19 closing down concerts in and around the Phoenix area since the beginning of the year, our clients are starting to get creative about how to entertain their audiences.

Last week, we recorded a live video performance of movie music and Broadway musicals music for a senior community in Tempe. We have played for this community quite a few times and always have a wonderful experience with their audiences. Most of the time we play concerts in their ballroom, but we have also played Christmas music in their lobby and Valentine’s Day music for a dinner celebrating couples married for 50 or more years.

This time, it was a little different because of the pandemic and restrictions for outside entertainers. When we arrived at the gate, we had our temperatures taken before we could even enter the property. Once we were let in, we weren’t allowed to enter through the main entrance of the community. Instead, we entered through a special entrance going straight into the ballroom where we were to record.

The AV Specialist had the set-up all ready to go for us when we arrived! He had 2 side cameras placed beside our chairs on the stage and a third camera directly in front of us. Additionally, he had a mic placed at the right height for the guitar sound hole and a mic in front of the embouchure hole of the flute, where the majority of the sound is produced. Finally, a small digital recorder was put between both the flute and guitar, near the floor, to capture a mix for the two instruments.

We played the concert just as we would have if there was an audience – straight through with no breaks for an hour. Alex talked about the pieces we were about to play and described some of the background of the songs, song writers and famous singers of the songs. We played many well-known movie and Broadway musicals songs including:

  • Baby Elephant Walk – Hatari!, Henry Mancini
  • Edelweiss – Sound of Music, Richard Rodgers
  • I Don’t Know How to Love Him Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • In Dreams – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Howard Shore
  • Lara’s Theme – Doctor Zhivago, Maurice Jarre
  • Love Story – Love Story, Francis Lai
  • Memory Cats, Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Moon River – Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Henry Mancini
  • Music of the Night, Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • My Favorite Things – Sound of Music, Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II
  • My Funny Valentine – Babes in Arms, Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
  • Speak Softly Love – Love Theme from The Godfather, Nino Rota
  • Till There Was You – The Music Man, Meredith Willson

While we really miss playing for live audiences, we’re glad that we’re able to do something for our fans even if we can’t be there with them in person. After the AV Specialist finalizes the audio and video of our performance, this concert will be played twice within the community on their closed circuit TV.

We sure hope next time we’re back in Tempe at this community we’re able to share our passion for this music with our audience in person!

Customized Church Music for Catholic Mass in Scottsdale

While we don’t play a lot of religious services in churches, the ones we do are always really special.

We recently got contacted by one of our favorite clients about playing flute and guitar music a Catholic mass service in celebration of her mother’s 80th birthday. In the past we have played music for a Catholic/Jewish wedding at a golf course in Scottsdale for this client as well as a Divine Mercy Celebration in Mesa, Arizona.

As always, this clients knew exactly what kind of music she would like to help celebrate her mother’s birthday at St Maria Goretti Roman Catholic Church in Scottsdale. She requested the following music:

Entrance of the priest: “How Great Thou Art”, a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and a poem written by Carl Boberg (1859–1940) in 1885.

Holy Communion: “Altisimo Senor” (Most High Lord) – have music but need chords written in

After the homily: “Ave Maria” composed by Franz Schubert in 1825 as part of his Op. 52, a setting of seven songs from Walter Scott’s popular narrative poem The Lady of the Lake, loosely translated into German.

After Holy Communion: “Pescador de Hombre” (“Lord, You Have Come”) by Cesareo Gabarian

Alleluia Mode VI, a plainchant alleluia setting sometimes known as the Threefold Alleluia. The original source is unknown.

 

Ave Maria and How Great Thou Art are standard in our repertoire and Pescador de Hombre we had played before, but we had to arrange Altisimo Senor and Alleluia Mode VI for flute and guitar. We were able to easily arrange these.

The mass was attended by a small number of the birthday girl’s family and friends. Everyone wore masks inside the church and the church did a wonderful job of cleaning and keeping parishioners distanced from one another.

We got there early and played some gentle classical music as guests arrived since we just couldn’t wait to play in that beautiful setting. The mass was concluded by the woman of honor and her son making emotional speeches to the guest while they caught the moment on video. After the service, the family took photos inside the church and then they made a special request. They requested that we play “How Great Thou Art” one more time so that they could sing along. It was such a touching moment as the whole family joined hands and sung with such emotion.

We were so honored to add the musical backdrop of this special birthday celebration.

Our First Live Music Performance in Scottsdale Since the Pandemic

We had quite an adventure on Friday with our first gig back since COVID!
The gig was at a lovely community in north Scottsdale whom we play for several times each year. We normally play in their beautiful sitting room off the lobby. It has a piano, “piano bar”, couches and lounge chairs. It’s really beautiful, and we love playing there. The residents get to sit up close eating hors d’oeuvres and drinking wine for happy hour, and we chat with them throughout the performance, with no microphones. The residents are so appreciative and tend to have a lot of knowledge about music, so it’s really fun interacting with them.
Last year we also played a special event for them around Valentine’s Day – a Red Dress fundraiser for the American Heart Association in the courtyard with catering and everyone all dressed up. It was at sunset and they had those big stand-up heaters to keep everyone comfortable. It was such a beautiful event. We had people making requests and dancing right in front of us even! It was so sweet.
Anyway, in the beginning of the pandemic, the activities director at this community got promoted so when I tried to contact her to confirm our upcoming performance, she said we needed to talk to someone new after she got settled in. When we did hear from her, she said what we expected – no outsiders in the community because of COVID restrictions. She did make an interesting suggestion; she asked if we would be willing to play outside and put our amp inside where the audience could sit. We hadn’t considered it before, but it seemed worth trying, especially given that our options were NO gigs. We figured by the end of September it shouldn’t be too hot.
Two weeks before the concert, we contacted the activities director to confirm again. By then, we figured the whole thing was off, like every one of our other performances have been in the last few months due to the pandemic. The activities director actually agreed she COULD have us come on Friday if we still wanted to play outside with the residents inside.
We talked it over, and we decided, what the heck?  We were quite concerned about the heat. It had been around 103 every day and was supposed to be the same on Friday. It’s very difficult to play the flute if you’re sweating at all because either the flute slips off your lip to the wrong place so the air stream doesn’t hit the edge of the embouchure hole to make a sound, or the flute gets kind of stuck on your lip so you can’t move it to the correct position. Plus the wood on the guitar gets quite hot and the instrument is difficult to keep in tune. On top of that, there were the audio challenges with the amp in a different room than us.
So, we packed up all the equipment we owned, lots of water and headed over. When we got there, we were greeted outside by staff members working a desk. We had to fill out a COVID symptoms form and they took our temperatures. We both passed and were cleared to go inside.
We dragged our chairs, stands, equipment, amp, etc. through the main building into the large dining room where we were told to speak with the manager about where to set up. The greeter said we would be in the big room, so we were hopeful that maybe we’d be inside after all! When we spoke to the manager, he said he actually didn’t know where we’d be, but said we’d be outside for sure. We asked if we could play in the courtyard in the shade rather than on the west side of the building in the sun. He said he didn’t see why not, so we were in luck! We began setting up in the shade and he opened the large sliding doors. The cool air was rushing out on us and it was really quite nice! What a relief!
Then the activities director showed up and said we would have to set up on the west side, in the sun, after because of COVID restrictions. So, we packed up our equipment again and hauled it across the building to set up on the other side. She gave us 2 umbrellas and a small fan to try to help.
With the audience indoors watching through the glass doors and no separate PA system for a mic, we wouldn’t be able to speak with the audience. That meant probably twice the playing as usual and no breaks between the songs, but we had expected that. So, we dove in. The first half hour went okay. We could hear audience members hooting and clapping in appreciation after each song, but it was very odd because we could barely see people inside with the window glare. After about 30 minutes, it started getting more uncomfortable with the heat. The sun was getting lower in the sky and it was directly on our backs. It was 105.
Eeking out every bit of focus we could, we actually both played shockingly well. The hour came to close finally, not a second too soon. We packed up as quickly as we could and as we were about to walk inside to leave the way we came in, she told us, no, we were to walk along the “path” outside to exit. The “path” turned out to actually be a long skinny planter box with bushes every few feet.  We were pretty shocked, but just wanted to get to our air conditioned cars ASAP. We dragged all our stuff through the planter, back to our cars, and finally with the AC cranked and bottles of water, the ordeal was over.
That was our memorable first gig since the pandemic. It was a difficult day, but seeing how much the audience members appreciated having live music after so many months of loneliness and silence made it all worth it!

Outdoor wedding music at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale

Outdoor weddings always seem to have more challenges than indoor weddings, but the wedding we played at Mountain Shadows Resort in Scottsdale this month was certainly one of those challenges!

As the date got closer and closer, we noticed that the day was projected for rain. Not the days before or the days after, but just the Saturday of the wedding! We connected with the wedding planner, Bernadette from Desert Whim Event Design & Planning, and she said she would let us know by 1:00 the day of the wedding whether the couple wanted to go ahead with the outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour or whether it would be moved.

Of course, we thought for sure the weather forecasters would be wrong, but the morning of the wedding, it was pouring down rain. We heard nothing from Bernadette but we assumed for sure that the wedding would be moved inside. When we finally talked to her, she surprised us by relaying that the bride still wanted to go ahead with the ceremony outside, although she resigned herself to an indoor cocktail hour.

We really didn’t want to let the bride down, so we scrambled to make arrangements. Laura contacted Woodwinds by Germann in Phoenix to see about renting a student flute for the ceremony so she wouldn’t have to take her professional flute out in the weather. They said they could have a flute ready for her to rent but it would need to be repaired first. So, with the go-ahead, he began the repair and Laura raced to North Scottsdale where the shop was to pick up the flute.

There was also the question about an umbrella or tent for us to be under so that our instruments and sound equipment was ruined by the rain. We got that figured out and hoped for the best.

When we got there, it wasn’t actively raining, but it was still cloudy. We waited indoors as long as possible but then it started clearing up about 30 minutes before the ceremony, so we brought out our instruments and equipment and began to set up. Although it was windy and there was a fast last minute push to get set up after the rain, all was ready by 3:45 when the prelude music was to begin. There was a large number of guests for this outdoor wedding, so we ended up setting up behind them, near the sound system for the officiant.

We played classical music for the prelude music as the large number of guests arrived and once the 4 bridesmaids and groomsmen arrived, we played Canon in D by Pachelbel as their wedding party’s processional. The processional was long and slow, so we got to play through the Canon completely and even repeat the fast part 3 times!

The bride entered to the traditional Bridal Chorus by Richard Wagner (“Here Comes the Bride”). At the Mountain Shadows Resort in Scottsdale, the bride gets a nice long processional, so we were able to play through all of the Bridal Chorus. It was a very quick ceremony which concluded with the new couple’s recessional to the traditional music of Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn.

While it was a bit windy which can be a challenge, the outdoor ceremony music turned out fine and before we knew it, we moved inside for the cocktail hour. Inside, we played classic love songs as the newly married couple got their pictures taken and the guests ate appetizers, had drinks, and prepared for dinner.

Glad this outdoor wedding ended up turning out well!

Music for Wedding Vow Renewal on Valentine’s Day in Sun City

We were so honored when one of the retirement communities in Sun City we play at regularly asked us to be a part of the vow renewal for their residents this Valentine’s Day.

To prepare for the celebration, the planners asked nine couples who would be renewing their vows what they considered “their song”. This is what they said:

  • Let’s Face the Music and Dance, a song written in 1936 by Irving Berlin for the film Follow the Fleet, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire
  • The Second Time Around, a song with words by Sammy Cahnand music by Jimmy Van Heusen. It was introduced in the 1960 film High Time, sung by Bing Crosby with Henry Mancini conducting his orchestra, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
  • New York, New York, the theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977), composed by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb. It was written for and performed in the film by Liza Minnelli.
  • Lara’s Theme, the name given to a leitmotif written for the film Doctor Zhivago (1965) by composer Maurice Jarre. The leitmotif became the basis of the song “Somewhere, My Love”. In 1967, “Somewhere, My Love” won Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Chorus, and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
  • True Love, a popularsong written by Cole Porter and published in 1956. The song was introduced by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in the musical film High Society. “True Love” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
  • I’ll see you in my dreams, written by Isham Jones, with lyrics by Gus Kahn, and published in 1924. Originally recorded by Isham Jones and the Ray Miller Orchestra, it charted for 16 weeks during 1925, spending seven weeks at number one.
  • Woman in love, a song performed by Barbra Streisand and taken from her 1980 album, Guilty. The song was written by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, who received the 1980 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.

The vow renewal ceremony was held in a large ballroom. We began prelude music of love songs at 3:30 as guests arrived. Around 4:00, the 9 couples who were there to renew their vows entered as we played True Love. The couples were dressed formally, with ladies in formal gowns and men in tuxedos and suits. They took their seats on each side of the arbor covered in flowers.

The officiant welcomed everyone and then gave each couple a chance to come under the arbor to renew their vows. Each lady and man got a chance to tell their story to the guests or read a letter to their spouse. After they each had a chance to speak, the couples said their “I Do’s” and then kissed.

The ceremony took about an hour to get through all of the couples and then they moved on to the cocktail hour and dinner. We moved to another section of the ballroom for this portion of the event. We set up besides the dance floor, in front of the 4-piece band that would be playing for dancing after dinner. As the couples drank their cocktails, ate shrimp cocktail, salads and their main dishes, we played more classical love songs. Some couples even got up to dance, which was very sweet.

Before we knew it, dinner was over and it was time for the dance band to begin. But we were so glad to have been able to add the musical backdrop for such a touching celebration.

Live Music for Valentine’s Day Ladies Luncheon: The McCormick in Scottsdale

The day before Valentine’s Day, 2020, we had the pleasure of playing live music for a ladies luncheon at The McCormick in Scottsdale. We played in a private room, the McDowell room, which was beautiful, looking out on the little lake behind it. It was also very live, which is fun for the musicians!

The luncheon was hosted for clients and guests of a wealth management company.

We played classical music as guests arrived, and then continued with soft classical music and jazz music  as background music while guests at their salads and main courses. For desert, we played more of a performance while guests listened. We even played a special song as the guests were doing their little word scramble game for 2 minutes, “As Time Goes By” by Herman Hupfeld, written in 1931. This song became famous when it was featured in the 1942 Warner Bros. film Casablanca.

To give you a better idea of how this event was planned, see the schedule of events below.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

XXXXX Advisors

14th Annual Valentine’s Day Ladies Luncheon

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The McCormick Scottsdale

7421 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253 – (480) 948-5050

Main contact – Debby Gatz, Director of Catering, (480) 367-2407

11:00  Coordinator Arrives: McCormick setting up: menus, name badges,  game sheets/pencils, center pieces, roses in two vases

SoSco Flute & Guitar Duo, Arrives, (480) 788-2331, begins playing at ~11:45 AM

Laura Strickland, flute and Alex Mack, guitar. Provide 2 chairs without arms; space no smaller than 8’x8’

12:15 PM   Lunch service will commence with salad

Owner, introduction

  • Welcome Clients and Guests – a little bit about luncheon for ladies
  • Share a little bit about the company
  • Introduce staff and spouses
  • Location of restrooms
  • Enjoy the background music provided by SoSco Flute & Guitar Duo during lunch and after dessert, they will share a small music performance following dessert

1:00 PM  Dessert is served

  • While the word scramble to be passed out upside down with pencils, mention (Passed out at each table)
    • Word scramble will be timed 3 minutes
    • Winner with the most at each table gets the floral centerpiece

1:15 PM  SoSco Flute & Guitar Duo presentation (20-30 minutes)

Transition to SoSco Flute & Guitar Duo music (20-30 minutes)

1:45 PM Wrap Up

  • Following music – We hope you enjoyed the flute and guitar played by Alex and Laura of SoSco Flute & Guitar Duo.
  • Ask everyone to take:
    • Heart shaped glass for each guest to take home.
    • Rose on way out of the door.
    • Advise everyone that the tip for the valet parking attendant has been taken care of by the company
    • Thank the waiters/waitresses of The McCormick Scottsdale.
    • Thank clients and guests for coming.
    • Please have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

This was such a wonderfully planned, classy event and we were honored to provide the entertainment for these ladies.

If you’re looking for entertainment for your private event, please contact us at Alex-Laura@SoScoDuo.com.

Romantic Music for February, the Month of Love

With Valentine’s Day coming up in the month of February, we have a very busy month ahead. Some of the performances we’re looking forward to most this month are:

  • Vow renewal celebration. For this event, we will be playing traditional wedding music for a vow renewal ceremony at an adult community in Sun City. We will play classical music for the prelude music, then the Bridal Chorus by Richard Wagner for the brides. We will also play the traditional wedding march at the end of the ceremony. After the wedding ceremony is complete, we will play romantic love songs as background music for the cocktail hour and then for the dinner reception. Should be a lovely, sentimental Valentine’s Day.
  • Ladies Luncheon. Also this month, we will be playing background music for the ladies of a wealth management company in Scottsdale. The event is being held in a private room at The McCormick Scottsdale. This is a special event to benefit The American Heart Association. This is part of the Go Red for Women campaign, the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.
  • Sweetheart Dinner. This is a celebration of couples who have been married for 50 year or more to the same person. The event is taking place at an adult community in Tempe. The celebration includes, social time, a special game for guests and then the dinner where we will be playing romantic love songs.
  • Red Dress Fundraiser. We will be playing background music for a Red Dress Fundraiser
  • February is the month of love, so we will be playing several weddings including one at The Wright House in Mesa and at Mountain Shadows in Scottsdale.

Some our favorite romantic music to play at these special events and others that celebrate love, include:

  • Love Me Tender recorded by Elvis Presley
  • As Time Goes By featured in Casablanca
  • Some Day My Prince Will Come as heard in Disney’s Snow White
  • Love Story originally sung by Andy Williams
  • Unforgettable as made popular by Nat King Cole
  • The Nearness of You by Hoagy Carmichael
  • Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Happy Together by the Turtles
  • And I Love Her by Paul McCartney of The Beatles
  • All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera
  • Speak Softly My Love from The Godfather as made popular by Andy Williams
  • One Hand, One Heart from Westside Story

Our favorite venues to perform outdoor live wedding music

We’re lucky to be wedding musicians who live in Arizona because there are so many stunning wedding venues and such a long outdoor wedding season.

The Sonoran Desert and the picturesque mountains surrounding the valley of the Sun is a dramatic background to local couples as well as those planning a destination wedding. There are many features of the Phoenix metropolitan area that make it such a desirable location for a wedding:

  • Easily accessibly to Sky Harbor airport
  • Long outdoor wedding season – the weather is lovely for outdoor wedding about 9 months a year with very little chance of rain during these months
  • Dramatic sunsets
  • Comfortable temperatures days and evenings, so perfect for outdoor wedding ceremonies, cocktail hour and even dinner receptions
  • Stunning scenery for both locals and those flying in for destination weddings

Many of the couples we have played for opt to have outdoor weddings, so we thought we’d start by reviewing a few of our favorite venues where we’ve music for wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours and dinner receptions.

Troon North Weddings

We love this wedding venue because it’s surrounded by panoramic mountain views, towering saguaros and many desert flowers. The outdoor wedding ceremony site is near the golf course with equally bright green grass, a raised stage with boulders behind it and even an intimate stone fireplace on the side! We played behind the guests on a special paved pad made for the musicians.

Cocktail hour was held on the outside patio attached to the club house. As the sun set, we played outdoors and guests enjoyed drinks, appetizers and the music. The weather was perfect and with the little white lights strung above, it was a truly lovely wedding celebration.

Desert Botanical Garden Weddings

We have played for wedding ceremonies and cocktail hours several times at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. One of the neat things about getting married at the Garden is that couples can choose from a variety of different wedding ceremony and cocktail hour sites.

No matter what site a couple chooses, the Desert Botanical Garden is always a great choice. The location is amid the Papago Buttes, a setting like no other. Couples can choose from open-air pavilions, scenic courtyards, intimate gardens and historic locations. Part of the enjoyment is the ambiance of just walking through the garden to get to the wedding site. So many fascinating plants and such a romantic setting!

Copperwynd Resort Weddings

One of the most breathtaking wedding locations we’ve played at was at Copperwynd Resort in Fountain Hills, AZ. CopperWynd Resort, in the middle of the McDowell Mountains, has one of the most unique and romantic outdoor wedding venues. The resort is located high on a ridge of the McDowell Mountains. The grounds highlights the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and Four Peaks mountain range. This venue provides a dramatic backdrop for rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours and receptions.

When we played the wedding there, the wedding ceremony was held on the Event Lawn. What a memorable wedding, with the Four Peaks mountain range and desert terrain as the backdrop for the ceremony. It was also a memorable wedding because the couple included their little dogs in the ceremony! So much fun!

The cocktail hour was in the Sonoran View Room with tall windows overlooking the mountain vistas. This room has an amazing view of the lush lawns and the mountains in the distance. The temperature was perfect with the open windows and the temperature-controlled room with the food and drinks.

There are so many spectacular wedding venues around the Phoenix area, and we look forward to visiting some other ones this year too – Mountain Shadows weddings, McCormick Ranch Golf Club weddings, the Wright House weddings, JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa weddings and more!

Live Music for your Phoenix Christmas Holiday Party

The easiest way to add cheer to your holiday party is to include live music. Live music can bring a festive mood as well as a classy atmosphere to your celebration. Live holiday music is much more affordable than you may think, and certainly much more memorable than prerecorded music. During the holidays, we do have a minimum fee, but we have plenty of music to play for parties up to 4 hours long!

Private Christmas Holiday Parties in Your Home
We are often hired to play more personal, intimate Christmas holiday parties in private homes. Whether the hosts are looking to set a more festive or more elegant mood, our flute and guitar music is the perfect addition. Depending upon the number of guests, home layout, time of day and preference of our clients, we are open to either playing outdoors or indoors. Also, depending up the size of the space and the number of guests, we can play either with or without amplification.

Private Christmas Holiday Parties at an Event Venue or Restaurant
Clients who want to take their private party out of the home to an event venue have also hired us to play Christmas holiday music. In those cases, we just need to make sure that the event venue allows live music. Some restaurants, for example, allow customers to bring their own live musicians depending upon their space restrictions. The good part of hiring our flute and guitar duo for your Christmas holiday party is that our instruments are not terribly loud, so we can adjust the volume to suit the needs of our clients without disrupting other guests at the same venue.

Company Christmas Holiday Parties
Many companies hold office Christmas holiday parties to celebrate the season and reward employees for their hard work throughout the year. Our flute and guitar duo has been hired to play both in-office parties as well as off-site parties. For those opting for an in-office party, live music is that much more important because it helps transform the work space into something special, transforming the holiday party into an event significantly more memorable than a typical day at work. For office parties, we are hired to play during the cocktail hour, dinner or reception.

Styles of Christmas Holiday Music
If you’re interested in hiring SoSco Flute & Guitar Duo to play for your Christmas holiday party, you can choose from a variety of styles of music in our repertoire, or we can play a mix of styles. We play a wide range of holiday music including traditional and folk Christmas songs, Golden Age and Jazzy Christmas songs, Christmas songs from movies and secular holiday music.

Traditional and Folk Christmas Songs
These are the Christmas songs that can be found in church hymnals. Many of these songs were composed between the 1500s and the1800s or perhaps even earlier. These types of traditional Christmas songs that we play include “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” “Silent Night”, and “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen”.

Golden Age and Jazzy Christmas Songs
These are easy listening, harmonic songs sung by the famous singers of the 1930s-1960s including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, and many more legends. Songs we play in this style include “White Christmas,” “A Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” “Silver Bells,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Christmas Songs in Movies/ Secular Holiday Songs
Many Christmas songs we think came from the movies were not originally composed for the movies, but were made famous by being placed in the movie, like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. These songs often refer to winter Santa Claus and other commercial aspect of Christmas. Kids and adults alike enjoy the nostalgia of hearing these songs during the holiday season.

Whatever your holiday favorites are, chances are, we play them. Contact us today to inquire about availability for your holiday party!

5 Popular Types of Wedding Bands Requested in Phoenix

If you feel overwhelmed by the task of deciding on wedding bands for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and/or dinner reception, here is a quick and easy outline of the 5 most popular types of wedding musicians that we are seeing couples in the Phoenix area are selecting.

String Quartet

A string quartet is a classic favorite for wedding bands because it brings all the traditional sentiments of a romantic wedding. A string quartet, as its name describes, is made up of four string instrument players – two violins, one viola (sounds a little lower in pitch than the violin) and one cello (the lowest pitched of the three instruments). This traditional, full sounding ensemble adds pure elegance to the standard wedding music repertoire including Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” the “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn, and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.”

Classical or Spanish Guitar

While a solo guitar is not technically a “wedding band” because it’s only one instrument, it’s still a very popular choice when couples are looking for live music of some kind. The Spanish or classical guitar are some of the most romantic and versatile of all instruments. This is one reason it is often selected to play for wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours and/or wedding receptions. If you have very limited space and a small wedding, choosing a soloist to play is an excellent choice. A solo guitar can add intimacy to a small wedding without overwhelming it with too much sound.

Harp

Harp music is considered a “celestial instrument” that brings grace and romance to a wedding ceremony, cocktail hour or dinner reception. Like the classical guitar, the harp can bring a lush, full sound with just one instrument. But given that, a harp is large, difficult to move and time-consuming to tune, so rates for harpists can be high. While a well-trained harpist can play a variety of styles, it’s really not very convincing playing other styles besides classical music.

Piano

The piano is a well-loved instrument by many couples who grow up having taken piano lessons and enjoying the sound of the piano. With all the music written and arranged for the piano, many couples request a piano for their wedding music. Piano can be an excellent choice as a “wedding band”, but at times, it’s impractical or even impossible. It’s very difficult to move a piano outdoors and with all the outside weddings taking place in Phoenix, this makes the piano a very challenging choice for most couples.

Flute and guitar

While the flute and guitar is one of the more unusual wedding bands, it is becoming more common and requested as couples come the discover that with the proper experience and knowledge of contemporary and classical music, a flute and guitar duo can offer a wide variety of music for wedding –  a tasteful blend of jazz standards, show tunes, contemporary selections, jazz, as well as classical music. A flute and guitar duo, depending upon their training and experience, can be more flexible in playing different styles than a string ensemble, harp or solo guitar. The sound of a flute and guitar duo possesses the same kind of sophistication for traditional wedding and classical music but is more suited to other styles of music than other ensemble. Since there are only two musicians, the flute and guitar duo has a comparable sound to a larger ensemble but is more economical than hiring a string quartet. A flute and guitar duo has a uniqueness in sound, combining the fullness of the guitar and the lyricism of the flute. The ensemble can convincingly play the same Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” the “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn, and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” just like a string quartet as well as more contemporary wedding favorites such as “A Thousand Years”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “You Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story.

While there are a lot of choices for couples looking to hire wedding bands for their wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours and/or dinner receptions, it’s important to consider the factors of style, space and location when deciding on string quartet, classical or Spanish guitar, harp, piano, flute and guitar duo or any other live musical ensemble. No matter what ensemble you choose, hiring live musicians will guarantee that your wedding will have an intimate, unique and memorable feel.