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What makes Elegant Ensembles unique in North Carolina in regards to music?- Click
We provide music of diverse styles and ensemble sizes. Instrumentation for ensembles include, the violin, viola, cello, string bass, flute, trumpet, oboe, piano, guitar and harp. You can hire a solo musician, duo, trio, quartet, quintet, or small chamber orchestra. Read our "Why Hire" list to understand all that we've put into making our performing service unique.
What types of events do you perform for? - Click
Elegant Ensembles is prepared to perform for weddings, receptions, cocktail hours, rehearsal dinners, private parties, and corporate events.
Do we sign a contract to engage your services? - Click
Yes, Elegant Ensembles does have a performance contract that helps both parties understand and lay out what is needed and expected for the event. If you would like to book a date, we will mail you a contract and after it is returned with the deposit, we will reserve your date and time.
What if one of the musicians is unable to attend the ceremony for some unforeseen reason? - Click
Elegant Ensembles works with a number of member musicians in the area. If the contracted musician is unable to attend, all efforts will be made to replace them with another Elegant Ensembles professional in the area. To date, we have never had a situation where this was necessary.
What is your experience with wedding planning? - Click
The founder of Elegant Ensembles, Mark Snow, has over 15 years of experience planning and managing special events. He has a degree in Music Industry and has over 25 years of performance experience on his primary instrument, the viola. He has performed and arranged for large and small services over this course of time. Some notable services have included providing music for the wedding of a state senator, dinner parties for the chancellor of a major university, and performances at dinners and receptions at the High Point furniture market.
Will we meet with the musicians before our event? - Click
We offer unlimited phone and email consultations for no additional charge to assist you in planning the music for your event. If you wish, you may also schedule a time to meet with Mark to discuss the needs of the event. If necessary, the leader of the ensemble can be contracted to advise at the rehearsal. Please inquire if you think you will need someone for the rehearsal.
Will the musicians play outdoors? - Click
The musicians will play outdoors provided that the weather conditions are acceptable. Unsatisfactory conditions include temperatures under 60 degrees, rain or excessive humidity, excessive wind, and any other conditions that either impede the musiciansâ€™ ability perform or put their instruments or themselves in danger of being harmed. The instruments must also be protected from direct sunlight by a tent or another mutually agreed upon source of shade. You should have an alternative indoor location available in the event of weather complications. Generally speaking, we rarely have a problem with performing due to weather as there is either a place for shade or the ceremony has been moved indoors due to inclement or chilly temperatures.
What if Elegant Ensembles does not have a certain musical piece listed that I want played at my event? - Click
For the most part, music selections are limited to that which is contained in our current extensive repertoire. A detailed list is available here. Music selections outside of our repertoire and other special arrangements may require an additional arranging/preparation fee of $75-$100 per song. In some cases, there is no fee at all as it depends on the complexity of the piece requested and we can add this to our quote so you'll know up front. If we feel a certain piece will not work for the selected ensemble, we will let you know.
Will any of the musicians be students? - Click
We do not hire student level performers. All of the Elegant Ensembels musicians are professional, degreed, classically trained musicians who perform locally in orchestras and other ensembles and have years of experience performing at weddings.
What will the musicians wear? - Click
Our standard attire for weddings and formal events is tuxedo for men and formal but conservative black for women. For less formal events, men may wear a jacket and tie. Rarely, we do get requests for more casual dress. You can select the dress preference with your SamePage account.
When will the musicians arrive for my event? - Click
The musicians will usually arrive 30 minutes prior to start time. The setup time for a classical group is minimal. The musicians we hire are very responsible and often arrive early to see where the location is but usually donâ€™t enter until 15-30 minutes before start time.
What is the setup time for the musicians and should we take that into account when deciding on the hiring time? - Click
The setup time is minimal. It may take less than 5 minutes. The only possible delays are if there is a question about where we should set up or if the chairs are not provided by the venue as requested. Things run very smoothly if you discuss the location of the group ahead of time. The musicians should be in an area with adequate space and light, out of the way of guests/wedding party/wait staff. They should be in a position to see the as much of the processional route as possible in the case of a ceremony.
Do the musicians require a source of electricity? - Click
Generally, no. As long as there is adequate lighting provided, no source of electricity is needed.
Do you need amplification? - Click
Generally, no. We do have a P.A. system that is available for a 125.00 rental fee if you feel the ensemble will be overpowered by some other sound, ie. water fountain, talking, etc. This is usually not necessary at indoor events. This system can also be used in the event you have a vocalist requiring a mic.
If you have a wedding coordinator, he/she will take care of letting us know when everyone is ready. In addition, you can detail out exactly what to watch for next to each music selection in the SamePage tool. This helps to keep everyone informed as to how many moms to seat, last words by officiant, etc. Some times a clergy person or Justice of the Peace might let us know when everyone is ready. It is a good idea to assign the job to someone not in the wedding party to let us know when everyone is ready to begin the seating/procession.
How will the musicians know when to change pieces during the ceremony? - Click
Good cues! We will inquire as to the number of mothers, bridesmaids, etc. and will change pieces when it is appropriate. Occasionally, a wedding coordinator will cue us for each change. We have played over 500 weddings and are used to how things flow. Please make sure to inform us of any special circumstances for your event.
How long before the ceremony should the prelude music begin? - Click
You should hire the musicians to begin playing between 15-30 minutes prior to start time depending on your preference and when you think guests will arrive at the location.
Where should the musicians be located during a ceremony or event? - Click
The musicians should be in an area with adequate space and light, out of the way of guests/wedding party/wait staff. They should be in a position to see the as much of the processional route as possible in the case of a ceremony. Please consult your church/venue for specific restrictions. For example, some churches do not want musicians at the altar. It is best to discuss any concerns with us. We often assess the situation upon arrival and find the best location.
Our family member or friend is a singer and we would like you to accompany him/her during the ceremony. Is this possible? - Click
It is possible. It is important that we make sure we have music that works for the selected ensemble that is the same arrangement and in the same key as the one the singer is accustomed to. You would need to send us a copy of the music for us to assess whether or not it will work as is. If the piece will need some arranging, this may require an extra fee. If the style is inappropriate for the ensemble, we will let you know. Also-it is recommended and sometimes required that you set up a rehearsal for the singer and musicians on the day of the event prior to the contracted start time. If we are going to accompany someone we are unfamiliar with, it is important for the musicians to hear how the singer is interpreting the song and for the singer to get used to performing with the ensemble. The musicians will be paid for rehearsal time as well.
Do you use a contract for booking events? - Click
Yes, Elegant Ensembles does have a performance contract that helps both parties understand and lay out what is needed and expected. If you would like to book a date, we can mail you a contract and after it is returned with the deposit, we will reserve your date and time.
Do you take credit cards? - Click
We accept cash or checks and we can setup an online payment for you using a verified payment processor to process Visa or MC payments. There is a small fee of 3% for online payments. Checks should be made payable to Elegant Ensembles.
Should we tip the musicians? - Click
It is not required, but the musicians certainly appreciate a tip for good service and music.
What ensemble do you recommend? - Click
Your choice of course depends on your personal taste. However, we recommend the trio comprised of violin or flute, viola, and cello. This combination is very flexible and provides a brilliant and rich sound at an affordable price. This ensemble size is featured on our website in a number or recordings and videos. Read our "Choosing an ensemble size" page.
Do you provide announcements as would a DJ ? - Click
No, the musicians do not make announcements. Often the venue will have a P.A. system with microphone and they may be able to make announcements for you.
Is it necessary for the musicians to be in contact with the clergy person/Justice of the Peace prior to the event day? - Click
No. We will work out all details when we arrive prior to the event.
I would like to hire Elegant Ensembles. What should I do next? - Click
Email or call us or click >> here. <<