Erie Entertainment – Consider Our Great Music Scene!

When you are looking for entertainment in Erie, PA, consider listening to some great music.

There are a ton of venues that book great musicians and we also have a lot of support from our community. Many private organizations and government venues in Erie, PA work very hard to book music acts for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors.

The nice thing is there is something for everyone.

Whether you like rock, blues, contemporary music, jazz, R&B, hip hop, country, hard core, metal, or most any other kind of music, you can find it in Erie, PA.

The amount of musical talent in this area is STAGGERING. Most any night of the week you go out, you will find several great musicians and bands working hard to entertain you.

We have family oriented outdoor venues, bars with mellow happy hours, all the way to the club type of late night bars that you can dance and party all night in.

Bottom line? Erie music entertainment is tremendous. There is definitely always something going on, no matter what the season (except for outdoor music in the heart of winter!).

If you are coming to Erie, PA, or you live here, you owe it yourself to go out and check out some live music.

Some of the places to see great music include (but are not limited to): Sherlocks, Doc Holliday’s, Sluggers, Oasis, Sandbar, P.I. Downs and Casino, BW Saloon, Lakeview Hotel, Plymouth, Cousins, Bullshooters, Jammin’ Vine, Sidelines plus the great sunset concert series on Presque Isle, Celebrate Erie, Downtown Erie Bud Light Block Parties, and much much more!

Also, if you feel really brave, we always have a willing karaoke DJ or someone running an open mic night, ready, willing and able to hand you the microphone so you can have your own 15 minutes of fame.

Make sure and consider the Erie Music Scene when you are looking for entertainment in Erie, PA!

Live Music – The Power of Passion

Music is said to be the food of the soul. There is nothing more persuasive and pleasing than good music. Soothing music heals the mind. No entertainment is complete without music. Playing of your favorite music and songs instantly changes your tension filled mind to a more relaxed and serene state of mind.

Though people can listen to songs and music on stereo systems and walkmans, however, they do not think twice before lining up for live music concerts the reason – passion. It is the power of passion that attracts them to see the stars perform in person and live. Nothing beats it.

Live music is also preferred at parties and events. Live music entertainment consists of classical music, Jazz, Swing, World music, period music of 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and the 90’s and performed by artists who haven’t made it big. Classical music consists of quintet, quartet, trio, duo and solo. Performances of live music can be given on any instrument as a piano, guitar, keyboard, cello, harpoon, flute, trumpet, saxophone and the jazz set.

Whether it is a birthday party, wedding reception, a private party or a corporate party, live music is a must if you are not hiring a DJ to mix songs for you. Even if there is a DJ, live music is not a bad idea. Almost every city and town in the US has bands that perform live music. The choice of songs and music may be limited with a live music performance, but it is the limited selected songs and music, which makes the band endearing to people. DJs would charge 25% – 50% of what a live music performing band charges. However, the allure of live music is something that is irresistible if one can afford it. Some live music performing bands capture and reproduce the tone of music that were not recorded properly by the unsophisticated recording machines of the 50’s and the 60’s.

A DJ can mix songs to provide you the ultimate music entertainment. What needs to be done though is that you should give the DJ a list of your preferred song long before the event. That gives the DJ time to arrange the CDs for you. The variety of music becomes enhanced when a DJ plays CDs. A sudden request from the guest also may be honored by the DJ and the song may be played. Most DJs come prepared with a number of CDs to meet immediate requests.

The success of any event depends on the music entertainment. If the guests hear the music they enjoy your party will be a success.

Musicals and Musical Theater

Musical theater, or “a musical,” as it’s come to be called, is one of the best forms of entertainment ever devised, in my opinion. You can get it all in there – you can have comedy and/or drama, music, songs, and dance all rolled up into one production on stage, on a movie screen, or even on a television screen.

You are told a wonderful and compelling story (drama) or you are made to laugh until you roll in the aisles (comedy). But above all, the whole story is told with more than just words or pictures.

“The Black Crook” is recognized as the first musical, and it’s what gave America the right to claim having created the musical entertainment genre. The play was based on the novel by Charles M. Barras. “The Black Crook” opened on September 12, 1866, and ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. It was performed at the at the 3,200-seat Niblo’s Garden on Broadway, New York City. There have been countless “revivals” of “The Black Crook” over the years.

Musicals are presented as big-budget, high-end extravaganzas on Broadway stages and in smaller-budget off-Broadway theaters. They’re presented in big-budget movies and in not-so-extravagant low-budget films. They’re presented by professionals, by amateur community theater groups, and by high school drama departments. Even kindergarten classes stage musicals starring vegetables and animals.

Musicals are generally profitable, no matter what venue they are presented in. Leave it to corporate America to find a cash cow. Today, Broadway musicals are most often corporate-sponsored. Musicals are making a comeback on television today, as well.

There are even musicals that have been created for the Internet! The best example is “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” about a low-rent super-villain played by Neil Patrick Harris.

Concerts as Entertainment

I doubt anybody would argue the point that concerts could be called anything other than part of the “entertainment industry.”

The definition of “concert” is: a live performance, usually of music, before an audience. You’ll notice that the definition doesn’t specify what kind of music or the venue of the performance. That’s because there are concerts that feature music from classical to rap, and every genre in between.

Concerts are held in wonderful old theaters and concert halls that were built especially for the performance of music and have positively amazing acoustics. Concerts are also held outdoors in open-air venues where there are no acoustics at all. And we’ve all attended a junior high school band concert that was held in the school auditorium, gym, or cafeteria, where the acoustics are absolutely atrocious with sound bouncing around everywhere.

Nevertheless, no matter what kind of music or what the venue of the performance, a concert is entertainment. Although I must point out that sometimes audiences are drawn to concerts and are willing to pay dearly for tickets to concerts not just to hear the music being performed. Sometimes the audience is drawn to a concert because of the venue (Woodstock), the performers (famous singers or musicians), or because it is their duty as a parent to attend no matter how bad the music might be.

Famous singers and musicians often go on concert tours. The same concert is performed, but each night the performance occurs in a different city. Particularly in the rock and roll, pop, or rap genres, concert tours are very popular avenues to allow fans the opportunity to see their favorite singers and musicians perform. Ticket sales for concert tour performances usually represent a large percentage of the profits made by record companies, managers, and producers.

Home Audio Amplifiers – 7 Expert Tips to Improve Your Home Entertainment Sound

How would you like to have a home music system that sounds so fantastic you would think the performers are playing in your home right in front of you? Choosing just the right home audio amplifiers can make a dramatic musical difference in how well your home theater and home music system will sound.

Use these expert home audio tips for selecting your home entertainment and music system components and you’ll create an exceptional sounding home audio experience without having to spend a small fortune.

Here’s how to get the best value with your home entertainment music system

o Your largest investment after your HDTV should be in your home audio amplifiers, not your speakers

o Specific brands of AV receivers are known for having exceptional music fidelity

o You need a specific minimum power capability to achieve great audio sound

o Why you want a 2 channel stereo music system

o Stereo music and home theater surround sound need completely different power amplifiers

o AV receiver vs separate audio power amplifier components

o What makes up the heart of your home theater and music system sound?

The problem is that you have so many choices and there are so many brands available to choose from that it’s very difficult to know where to start. If you shop at your local electronics stores these days, you probably won’t find an expert in home audio entertainment who is knowledgeable enough to really help you. Most online forums and review sites are largely too biased.

The biggest difference between a good sounding home music system and having a fantastic sounding home entertainment system is the synergy of your components. Basically, how well all the separate pieces sound together like your speakers; your AV receiver, your home audio amplifiers, DVD/ blu-ray players, game consoles, ipod, DAC and so forth.

The heart of your entire music entertainment system will be the home audio amplifiers that you are using. Home audio amplifiers are like the engine of your car. They are a major factor in the musical synergy that you will hear throughout your home entertainment system. Your second biggest investment after your HDTV should be in your home audio amplifiers, not your speakers.

Select your audio amplifiers based on what you are most interested in for your home entertainment. Do you primarily want to listen to stereo music (2 channels) or do you want your music system to be part of your home theater movie system 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system?

In general, the most realistic live performance music sound that you can experience in your home will be listening through amplifiers which are 2 channels stereo only.

If you want the best value in stereo music choose a stereo integrated amplifier with a power per channel of at least 75 watts to 150 watts into 8 ohms. If your budget is higher, you will hear the best stereo music using a separate stereo power amplifier or individual mono power amplifiers and a matching stereo preamplifier together. Home audio amplifiers with at least 250 watts per channel will give you the best deep bass and overall warmth and sound stage depth and width from your music listening.

If your main interest is enjoying a home theater surround sound movie experience or playing video games and not just listening to music, you will need a home audio system with 5.1 or 7.1 multi-channel capabilities to experience fantastic sound in your home.

You will find the best values in home theater amplifiers by choosing a multi-channel AV (audio/video) receiver. You have many choices in selecting an AV receiver. They all have about the same features today but only a few have the higher level of hi fidelity sound that will create musical synergy for you. Choose an AV receiver that has at least 120 watts per channel for all channels. Marantz makes some of the best sounding AV receivers that you can buy and Marantz quality is first class.

When budget is not a concern, you will hear the most incredible sounding home theater systems using separate muti-channel high power home audio amplifiers with a matching audio video processor/preamp. You’ll want to consider multi-channel home audio amplifiers with at least 150 watts to 350 watts per channel. Some of the top brands in this category are from: Marantz, Krell, Paragon, Lexicon and Mcintosh to name a few. For a significant step up from an AV receiver, separates like the Marantz AV8003 and MM8003 are both affordable and have outstanding musical sound quality making an excellent value for a first class home theater and home audio system.

Just remember, when putting together your home theater entertainment system or home audio music system, the heart of your sound system will come from the quality of the home audio amplifiers that you are using.

Gary L. Goldsmith is a life long music audiophile with an extensive background of more than 40 years experience in electronics including state of the art digital and analog audio and video home entertainment systems. He consults, designs and installs home entertainment and music systems as a hobby.

Music for Corporate Entertainment

For many years I have supplied music for and played in bands that provide music for corporate entertainment. Clients have included Audi, The Evening Standard, Sainsburys, P.C. World, Safeways, Large corporate clients at Henley and Ascot, I.T.V. and H.M. Treasury. Because of this experience I felt it would be relevant in putting down some pointers in helping clients choose the right kind of music for their particular corporate entertainment.

Interestingly enough, most corporate hospitality entertainment work tends to require music as an ingredient to a larger recipe. What I mean by this is a great deal of corporate events are offering a multi service package. Typically an organization may be putting on an evenings entertainment to thank its workforce for a particularly successful year. They may be offering music, food, comedy, a close up magician, a casino and a caricaturist. The corporate client organizing needs to decide what part the music has to play in the days/evenings entertainment.

Questions he or she needs to ask are:

Is the music specifically for entertainment or is the music for background listening?

Do we need one style of music early on in the proceedings and then a change of style later in the days/ evenings entertainment?

Do you expect the corporate clients to be networking and discussing business or are they just there for a good time?

What overall atmosphere do you want to project with the event?

Is there going to be a change of location for the music as the entertainment event unfolds?

Different styles of music bands lend themselves to different corporate hospitality situations. Below are a number of typical corporate hospitality events with music suggestions for suitable music entertainment.

Corporate entertainment model 1.

Evening reception with dinner and speeches.

In a situation such as this you will typically need music from the outset as part of the meet and greet of the corporate evening. A four-piece swing or Latin group is ideal with a larger ensemble for particularly large gatherings. A professional outfit can pitch the music at just the right decibel level so your guests can talk and enjoy the entertainment without it encroaching on conversations. The musicians would typically be dressed in Lounge Suits or Tuxedos (or the female equivalent) to mirror what the guests are wearing themselves. The music portrays an atmosphere of sophistication, which again hopefully reflects the evenings overall ambience.

It is rare for corporate clients to want to dance especially as clients there relationship is business not pleasure! In most cases it is more important that the band is flexible in when it is needed over the course of the evening i.e. At the top of the night for the reception, a smaller version of the band (The pianist maybe for the dinner), stopping for speeches and then after the speeches to play until other entertainment is put on for the corporate clients. In this situation give the band a clear idea of how you expect the evening to go. What to wear, when they will be needed, when they need to get their instruments in the building and be set up, when breaks will be required, let them know if it is convenient or not to feed them and then finally how they can leave when finished so as not to disrupt the rest of the entertainment.

Corporate entertainment model 2.

Company Party.

Still corporate entertainment, still corporate hospitality but a totally different set of requirements for the music. Ask yourself these questions: Are your work force the type of workforce who will want to dance at some point in the proceedings? If they are, then a professional band with flexibility is essential. My experience is that people of all ages will join together to dance to music from the sixties and seventies. Whatever background music you require earlier in the day/evening be it Latin, Swing, Rat Pack or Lounge, if you are hoping to provide entertainment that will get people dancing remember this fact. Sixties and Seventies. For some inexplicable reason this is the music that gets people up on their feet.

When choosing your music ask the band if they can cover this part of the corporate entertainment requirement. Get samples of their music if need be. There is nothing worse than an ill equipped band struggling through alien repertoire. However good the band is, if they do not play the right repertoire, the right style of music then the corporate entertainment will fall on deaf ears.

Let me at this point provide a caveat. Your workforce work together They are not always going to be the best of friends however professional their relationships are at work. Answer truthfully, will they really want to dance together or is it asking too much? I would say that in all the years of providing music for this kind of corporate entertainment / hospitality , as long as the music is right, the workforce tended to dance 30 or 40% of the time. It could be said that a workforce who will enjoy each others company in this way is a reflection on the talent of senior management to create a happy team!

Corporate entertainment model 3.

Company Fun Day.

These come in two types. The type to entertain your own workforce or the type to entertain prospective clients. Both types of corporate entertainment require music that is fun. This means that the music must be perceived as fun and the band must be perceived as fun. In both cases Jolly Dixieland Jazz or the summer sounds of Latin music are most suitable.

Ask yourself these questions: does the band need to be mobile? Meaning do you want the music to move around the site at various points in the proceedings? If so then the jolly jazz route is most suitable. A good professional outfit of four or five players can play acoustically and move around a site as directed.

If the band can be static and close to electrical power then either Jolly Jazz or Latin Music is suitable.

Is the event outdoors or indoors and do you have provision for bad weather? This is England, never trust to luck, assume the worst! Any band that needs power cannot play in the rain for health and safety reasons. At the first hint of inclement weather a band will have to breakdown their equipment. Build this situation into your corporate entertainment music decisions.

How do you want the band to dress? It is a fun day after all! In the past I and my musicians have dressed as Elvis, Cavemen, Circus Clowns, in fact all manner of characters in the name of corporate entertainment and corporate hospitality. Good bands will have suitable outfits for most situations but don`t hesitate in providing something off the wall for a special event. Most professional players have a strange urge to jump into such costumes at the earliest possibility! As someone who has played at a nudist camp and for a toga party, both dressed accordingly, take my word for it!

To draw this article together let me say this. Choose the right kind of music for the event. Brief the band accordingly but make sure you have a professional and flexible outfit, things can change over the course of the event and you want to make sure the band are both co-operative and able to fulfill your needs. Don`t hesitate to ask the band for any special requirements you have. Do it in plenty of time so they have time to prepare.

The corporate entertainment and hospitality you offer to your guests reflects directly onto your company. The music and musicians must be the type who are aware of this. Dont go for second best just to save a small amount of money. You need a well prepared, well dressed band who are both polite and charming to your guests. They need to play the right kind of music for the event in order to help make the day or evenings corporate entertainment a resounding success!

Opera Music – The First Operas

Opera is a very old form of musical entertainment. The word opera is from the Italian language and translates to mean work or labor. Classical opera is a musical production that combines a musical score with a libretto (dramatic work or written storyline). An opera combines many different elements including acting, singing, dancing, costumes and music.

The very first opera is often considered to be Dafne. Jacopo Peri composed this production with contributions from Giulio Caccini. Ottavio Rinuccini wrote the libretto. It made its debut as a private event in 1597, in Florence at the Plazzo Corsdi. The concept behind the production was to bring alive the classic Greek tragedy. Many of the early operas take their story lines and ideas from Greek literature. Although, this dramatic work was to begin a completely new form of musical genre, the musical score has virtually disappeared.

Dafne was actually not written for an orchestra but for a much smaller ensemble. It composed for lute, archlute, harpsichord, viol and triple flute. The libretto written was the story of the god Apollo falling deeply in love with the nymph Dafne.

Peri and Rinuccini’s showing of Dafne was a huge success and was so well liked that they were asked to write a second work using the same format. Their second joint effort was to a commissioned piece to celebrate the marriage of Henri IV and Marie de Medici. This musical creation was entitled L’Euridice.

L’Euridice was preformed for the first time in 1600. Peri himself preformed the lead role in this production. The story of this opera is once again Greek in origin. It revolves around the god Orpheus and his search for his beloved Euridice. Euridice, who is actually a nymph, was taken to the underworld and Orpheus is trying to get her back.

These two operas were the first time that audiences were introduced to the recitative. There are many times during a performance where a cast member has to convey what they are thinking or feeling to the audience. Rather than trying to set this portion of the production to a song, the actor is given the liberty to sing but uses an almost conversational tone. There is usually music in the background, but the words are not set to it. The other major differences are that in a song there are normally choruses and repeating portions. This does not happen in the recitative. The emphasis here is to move the action of the play forward.

These two productions would herald the beginning of a completely new form of art. Like all art forms, there are many variations of opera. Through the years, opera has changed and evolved greatly. Both the composers and the writers take many liberties to make their productions more appealing to the audience.

Making Sure The Wedding Music Is Just Right

There are many different aspects of a wedding that could prove disastrous as one of the most special days of a married couple’s life unfolds. While some women struggle into their wedding dress, frown at wilted flowers, and wince at the late caterer, the type of wedding music and DJ selected are also important details of a wedding. After the vows have been exchanged, guests usually retire to a reception where cake, dancing, toasts, and congratulations take place. What type of music will you be shaking a leg to? Below you will find a few aspects of wedding music planning to consider for when the big day arrives.

During a wedding reception, there are certain songs or moments that are considered traditional. If you wish to uphold this type of tradition, you will probably benefit more from directing the DJ or band as to which songs you prefer. While some couples allow a DJ or band to run wild with their selection of music, others are more restricting and lay out a plan they wish their hired musicians or disc jockey to follow.

Perhaps, the bride and groom are dead-set on sharing their first dance as man and wife to “their song.” Some brides have a specific song in mind when it comes time for the father-daughter dance. As the groom removes the garter and proceeds to toss it into the crowd, music is often played. Seductive or burlesque tunes work well for this type of scene, while some couples have sided with humorous jingles, such as the Miss America theme as the bride tosses her wedding bouquet into the air.

The reception is not only a time to dance the night away or cut into the cake, but it is also the moment when meals are served and families sit down to give their best wishes to bride and groom. Background or dinner music is sometimes used to create a mood, where live bands hold a reputation for drumming up a satisfying collection of easy-going music.

As bride and groom take to the dance floor to join their family and friends, what sort of tunes will they be cutting a rug to? Today, the traditional slow songs and dance hits have evolved into a free-for-all as classical ballroom, swing, country, pop, rock-n-roll, hip-hop, R&B, salsa, tango, and even show tunes decorate the air. To make sure that all parties are happy, pairing a list of “must-have songs” and giving the DJ room to experiment and “do his or her thing” is recommended to create a well-rounded wedding reception.

Choosing Musical Entertainment for a Wedding

Usually, a wedding DJ is selected to provide the musical entertainment for the reception, while other couples hire a band to fulfill their needs. To make sure your wedding musical needs are satisfied, choosing a random name out of the Yellow Pages is highly discouraged, Selecting the proper disc jockey to complete the job takes time to sort out, meaning you should probably conduct a handful of interviews.

When meeting with a potential DJ, you will probably receive an initial vibe. Confidence and liveliness is key, especially if you want someone who knows how to get the party started. DJs that are full of ideas and have been in the business for a while are prime candidates. It is important to inquire about their experience, their age, and a list of commonly played wedding tunes. Can the DJ provide live wedding singers, musicians or any other specialty services? Do they possess any videotapes on past wedding receptions? Can they furnish letters of recommendations or references?

Also, when choosing a DJ, it is important to know that their duties are not just about presenting the music. They should also know how to handle an assortment of announcing responsibilities, such as introducing the bridal party, the first dance, the father and bride dance, the cutting of the cake, and beyond.

Wedding Reception Music – Hitting The Right Note

Thinking about your wedding reception music? A good choice of musical entertainment for your guests is one way to make your reception go with a swing!

Let’s face it — there are just so many aspects to planning a wedding that all too often choices of entertainment for the reception come way down the list. But if you’re going to hire special equipment or book a band or a DJ, it’s worth thinking about what you need well in advance to avoid disappointment.

So what choices are available to serenade the bride and groom along with their friends and families?

A live band for the after-ceremony part of the day has always been a popular choice. Whether it’s an afternoon reception or an evening party, live musicians add a touch of classy magic to almost any event. It’s not the cheapest option, however, and it’s important to choose a group that you know will deliver the type of music that appeals to you. That’s one reason why it’s a good idea to hear the players perform before you decide to hire them — or at the very least, get some references from others whose opinions you trust.

On the other hand, if the bride and groom have a favorite selection of songs or tunes that are special to them, they might prefer to avail themselves of the services of a DJ for their wedding. A professional DJ is likely to be able to meet a wide range of musical requests and may not be as expensive to hire as a band of players. But every DJ has their individual style, so this is another instance in which it’s advisable to sample their services or get feedback from others who have previously employed them.

For many couples, however, the costs of hiring a band or DJ may prove prohibitive. Fortunately, budget-conscious wedding planners nowadays have the option of borrowing or renting a PA system which they can use to play their own song selections from a music system or portable player. This is also a versatile choice, as it can also provide amplification for wedding speeches from the father of the bride, the groom, the best man or other members of the wedding party, should it be needed.

This do-it-yourself option is an economical way to allow couples freedom of choice in their wedding dance music. But if there’s a music system to be operated, it’s important that they have help from friends or family and that a trustworthy person be put in charge of the task. The bride and groom will likely be busy enough with their guests!

Music is an important element in setting the mood and tone of any celebration. Whatever the theme that’s chosen, there are likely to be songs or tunes that are special to the couple getting married and which help create the right atmosphere.

Entertainment Ideas For Your Event

So you have spent hundreds, maybe thousands on finding the ideal venue for your evening event. You have decided on the menu for the dinner, worked out who is sitting where and sent out the invitations. You want to make your party stand out from the rest so, apart from a raffle and getting the local covers band in, what can you do in terms of entertainment to make things go swimmingly?

I don’t want to advise on musical entertainment as your choice in music is almost certainly completely different to mine! This article will concentrate on things you probably haven’t considered. Many event planners are fans of interactive entertainment that takes place during the meal itself.

A close up or table magician can mix with your guests, wowing them with incredible sleight of hand tricks. Tables laugh and clap as they find that someone’s watch has disappeared from their wrist only to reappear on the arm of the magician! In the era of David Blaine and Derren Brown magic is a popular and contemporary form of entertainment that works perfectly in this environment.

How about a caricaturist? They will go round and take about five minutes to knock up black and white sketches of willing diners. Caricature artists are generally highly skilled and their pictures are of the highest quality. You can sometimes have the caricatures drawn on paper branded with your logo so your guests will remember the event long after it’s over. For something a little different from a caricaturist you could get a silhouette artist – they cut perfect likenesses of their subjects from black card. A classy alternative!

If you like the idea of seeing people’s reactions when they think you have invited Jack Nicholson, Angelina Jolie or Madonna to your party then you could consider hiring one or more lookalikes. The quality of lookalikes you can get vary massively from terrible to people who look more like the celebrity in question than they do. Make sure you get to see good quality pictures of the lookalike to decide and speak to the agency to make sure you can get someone that is also able to interact with people in character. No good if your Paris Hilton speaks in a broad Scottish accent.

If you have the budget and the right kind of crowd you could splash out on an after-dinner speaker. Depending on what you can afford you will find that speaker bureaus and entertainment agencies have masses of choices. From TV celebrities to lesser known but still fantastic comedians. A speaker is a good choice if you think your crowd will sit and listen for twenty minutes. If they will be drinking all night then perhaps just settle on a disco for the after dinner entertainment.

If you are organising a big event and are planning on having different types of entertainment then you could go through an entertainment agency. But, if you fancy saving money then speak to your friends, surf the web and source the entertainers yourself. You will find a huge choice out there.

Good luck for the big night!

Essential Advice For Choosing Your Wedding Music

Musical entertainment can enhance any special event, for instance, ceremony and reception piano music sets the mood and will reflect your joyful celebrations. Special music, if done correctly, has the ability to provide you with a lifetime of memories of your rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, reception and dancing. Keep in mind that your own personal requests, whether performed by vocal performer, solo musician, string quartet, function band or DJ are extremely important in ensuring a successful event.

Musical options for a wedding ceremony may include: traditional organ music, harps and flutes, soloists, string quartets, as well as alternative musical arrangements.

A Master of Ceremonies or a band leader can lead and direct the reception entertainment. Bands can feature any music you choose, from oldies to top 40 – and maybe some rock ‘n roll. Remember that if your budget is tight, a DJ can provide music whilst using digital tracks and CD’s. Quality DJ’s are generally extremely flexible in accommodating special requests and will dovetail these into their own tried and tested repertoire.

During the reception, when would you want to include live music? The options available include playing during the: arrival line up, wedding meal, at the end of the speeches or during the cutting of the cake. It goes without saying that you will want to have music during the first dance and throughout the latter part of the evening reception.

What additional advice can we offer on hiring musical entertainment for your special day?

Firstly, we recommend finding out where your band, string quartet or DJ performs – and personally visit them prior to booking. Listen to their demos and tracks online or even better during a live performance. Remember to find out how long your band have been playing together and how experienced they are at playing at weddings. Hearing your entertainers play live music will help you select the best choice of songs for your special event.

From experience, we recommend ensuring that your chosen band does not drink while they perform. Drunken musicians will ruin any event quicker than anything else – and the memories will leave you with a hangover that will last for years. Also ensure that your band has ‘back up’ musicians in case of illness or indeed for any unforseen reason.

It’s essential that you arrange an agreed arrival and start-up time with the band leader and make sure you get a contract specifying exactly the amount of time you will be getting for your fee. it’s also important that you’re comfortable with your bands deposit and final balance policy – and that you have everything printed and mutually signed in a written agreement.

Run through your musical requests with the band leader well before the special event. This will ensure that everything will go like clockwork on your wedding day. Plus it’s essential to work out the timings exactly and blend the music in with the ceremonial and other events that will happen in quick succession on your big day.

Organizing your wedding day entertainment is frequently an activity that most brides and grooms leave to the last minute. Yet it’s potentially the service that can cause the most problems if organized incorrectly. Most good bands and ensembles are booked months in advance – particularly during popular summer Saturdays. From experience, we recommend contacting and reviewing at least three different styles of music before you make a final decision on the type of entertainment you want for your wedding. Once you’ve chosen your personal style of entertainment, get three quotes from different bands and ensembles in that sector. Read testimonials, listen to tracks, and if possible visit a venue locally to hear them playing live.

Remember, preparation is the key to delivering quality entertainment on your wedding day. Get organized, do your homework and deal with the finer details well in advance. By doing this, the chances are that your special music will sound great when it matters most.

Anthony Coogan provides classical and popular music for weddings and special events throughout the UK. For the last 20 years he’s played the violin in ensembles and with Scotland’s Ceilidh Band. String Quartets Live came about through his classical music contact and knowledge of the wedding entertainment sector.