How to Choose the Right Ensemble
We all know music is an essential part of any decent event, function, gathering, reception, or party. Whether it’s adding some much-needed background ambience, or the main feature of the event, music adds an extra layer of depth that stimulates your senses. Here at String Musicians Australia, we firmly believe that an ensemble is one of the most versatile and powerful forms of classical music performance, and has the capacity to turn an event from an average get together to a wholesome and well-rounded social experience.
With that being said, organising and choosing the right type of music, the right performance, and the right genre, can add another dimension of complexity to whatever it is you’re hosting. What mood do I want my guests to feel with the ensemble in house? What space am I working with to accommodate the musicians? What time will the music be playing? Do I have to fit it around a ceremony or proceedings? All these questions would surely be playing on a host’s mind when thinking about their next function. Fortunately, with our band’s versatility also comes adaptability and flexibility. We are always committed to finding the right ensemble for you, no matter the function. In this handy guide, we’ll break down the selection process for an ensemble, showing how you might choose the right ensemble, and then show you how we can match you at each step of this process.
There are a few key points to weigh up when looking at this topic. Each of these factors is important in its own right, and you may choose to select your next ensemble performance based on one or many of these criteria. We just hope to open your eyes to all the opportunities we can fulfil with our amazing team of performers!
- The Venue or Location
Location, Location, Location. In terms of organisation as well as the overall atmosphere of whatever event you’re hosting, the location is everything. It can also impact what sorts of ensemble arrangements you’re capable of actually bringing in. Imagining a gorgeous, rocky location in Victoria’s Grampians mountains, for example, it would be hard if not impossible to get a harpist or a pianist to the site without some enormous fees to transport these heavy instruments. However, a violin duo or string quartet would be as easy as pie, arriving in the same way your guests could do so. If you’re somewhere more traditional, like a church or hall in the city, then larger, more complex arrangements become available, that is if it suits your budget and mood. If you’re outside, then you might need to consider the possibility of rain on the day, or have to cater for a shaded area for the performers.
We always recommend checking with your musicians first, and flagging the location to see what is feasible and what is not, as well as discussing any extra fees that might come up as a result of your choice of location. We’ll make our recommendations based on the information you give us, and then our string musicians can be on their way to your event, ready to amp up the good times!
- The Time of Day
Again, this is a logistical consideration, but also ties very heavily into the vision you have for what your event looks like. Have you always dreamed of having a live band soundtrack your birthday, as you stroll down the flower-lined isles during dusk? Then by all means, we should put our efforts behind making this happen! What about a beautiful daytime shindig at the beach for your corporate team? Maybe a cello soloist might be able to liven and soundtrack your team’s activities.
Whatever the case, it’s always worth considering this point in thinking about how you might choose your next ensemble, and again discussing it with your performers to make the event as good as it can be. The length of the event or how long you’d like our performers to play is also an important factor, where we recommend 1-2 hours minimum for each event.
- The Size of the Event
More of a logistical consideration than anything else, it’s important to match the amount of attendees to the size and headcount of your audience. It probably won’t go down so well – logistically or financially – to have a whole symphony orchestra for a baby shower, nor will you have a violin soloist there for your 1000 person team building exercise in a French château. Having said that, a string trio can fit into even the smallest of spaces, and soloists of any kind can cater to anywhere from 5 to 50 people.
We again offer our services in saying that whatever the headcount, we promise we can match our musicians and ensembles to meet your needs. Specific songs, moods, and feelings, we can match it all, making sure that each and every one of the guests you’ve hosted are enjoying themselves.
- The Proceedings
By this, we’re referring to whether there is some form of official ceremony or event to happen at your next event. It could be anything from speeches at a birthday party, corporate awards, or dinner time, through to officiating, pallbearing proceedings at a funeral, or fireworks at a celebratory event. We perform live music during all stages of an event, from guest arrival through to processional and exit times, but again it’s crucial to have a think about your vision for the event. Once you’re sure of what you want to see (or hear), start up a dialogue with us so we can figure out how to slot ourselves and our musicians in.
Possibly the least exciting, but most important topic when it comes to event or function planning. While live classical musicians may seem beyond your budget at first, we are certain we’ll have a variety of solutions to make your dreams come true. This element can also tie in really well with the time of day or proceedings of the event as well. Maybe instead of hiring our ensembles to perform all day and night, you just need an hour of live music prior to an official event while your guests are getting seated or settled. Maybe you just want some background music for an intimate cocktail hour, or maybe you would like our musicians to open up and conclude a function, making sure guests leave on a high.
Whatever the case, it’s always best to be straightforward and honest with yourself about what your budget is, before confirming this with the musicians. Again, we are positive we can deliver exactly whatever it is you’ve been envisioning, while staying within a price range that you feel comfortable with. Whether it’s big or small, long or short, we’ll be able to match your wallet up with our sounds, to make sure the event is spot on.
We hope this guide has given you a good overview of the various factors that come into play when selecting musicians or an ensemble for your next event. Here at String Musicians Australia, we are a string quartet booking agency operated by professional musicians, all of which operate at the highest standards. We put client-care and musicianship at the core of our organisation, and we always go above and beyond to make sure our service meets your needs with love, passion, and energy that can really make an event special.
If you’re thinking about your next event and have an ensemble in mind, please do contact us today and start up a dialogue, either by visiting our website or by calling 1300 997 923. We’re positive we can match your event up with the perfect arrangement, and turn it into a timeless memory!