Why a string quartet?
You can't beat the elegance and lush sound of a string quartet. An historical outgrowth of the vocal tradition of four part harmony, which divides voices into soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, the string quartet has the capacity to convey the huge scope of human emotions. The violins sing the soprano and alto lines, the slightly larger viola carries the rich tenor line, and the 'cello provides the depth and bass of the group.
What about the Violin/Cello duo?
The violin/'cello duo is especially suitable for small spaces and is an excellent option for a more intimate affair and a tighter budget. Though the Duo performs all the standard wedding literature, much of the contemporary popular literature that has been arranged for the quartet does not work for the duo.
How do we secure the services of the quartet or the duo?
We will send you a contract which you will return with 50% of the fee to reserve the day. The remaining half will be due one week prior to your event.
How far in advance do we need to book your group?
We recommend booking us several months in advance, as spring, summer, and fall weekends do fill up. However, last minute engagements do happen, and if we are available, we are happy to oblige. We also have to work around a busy symphony schedule in Richmond and Williamsburg, so our availablity is dependent on their schedules too.
What if I want to include a trumpeter or a singer? Does your group find one for me?
Yes, we work with several excellent trumpeters and vocalists. They state their own fee, which we add on to your price. We are also happy to work with your chosen trumpeter or singer.
How many pieces do I need to choose?
One for the seating of the mothers and grandmothers, one for the wedding party, one for the bridal processional, and one for the recessional. Sometimes there is also special music during the ceremony for lighting of a unity candle. We are happy to assist you in all of these choices.
Do we need to meet in person to choose the music?
It is not necessary to meet in person. We can address all the details by phone and email, but if you prefer meeting in person, we are happy to oblige.
How do the musicians dress?
Normally, men wear tuxedos, women formal black. However, if that's not formal enough, the men can wear tails, and if it is too formal, they can wear a suit and tie. If white and black is preferred for the women, we are happy to honor your request.
I don't know anything about classical music. How will I choose my processionals?
First, we advise you to do a lot of listening to see what you like and what you don't like. You may find that you are more drawn to fanfare type music, or to softer more lovely music. Our repertoire page offers you the opportunity to hear audio clips of the Silverleaf String Quartet performing many of the more commonly used pieces. After you have listened, you may know exactly what you like - or you may have some ideas, but aren't sure - or you may simply want help. Wherever you are in the process, you will contact us and either tell us what you want, or ask for help or advice. We enjoy helping you put together a wedding with music you love, creating the character you want, and making the wedding uniquely yours.
Can I incorporate more contemporary and popular music?
Certainly! We have a collection of many popular tunes which we play at receptions, and on occasion they are incorporated into the ceremony itself. These arrangements usually need the full string quartet.
What if the song I want isn't on your repertoire list?
A good number of our pieces have been added to our list by special request. We are happy to honor your request if a string quartet arrangement can be found or created. However, depending on the amount of work involved in locating or arranging, purchasing, and rehearsing the piece, a fee will probably be charged on an individual basis.
When do you start playing for a wedding?
We begin playing prelude music about 30 minutes prior to the ceremony.
What about choosing the prelude music?
It is not necessary for you to choose the prelude music unless you have specific requests. Through much experience we choose from a wide repertoire to suit the mood of the occasion, and also based on your processional and recessional choices.
Do you play for receptions?
Sure! We have an extensive collection of popular music to add to our classical collection of everything from Beatles to tangos, and from contemporary pop to Broadway musicals.