It was such a pleasure to play Solo Violin at Polhawn Fort, for the wedding of Aimee and Callum. This is such a stunning venue to play at, and perfect for a winter wedding too, as the fairy lights, candles, and sumptuous flowers create a magical and cosy atmosphere! The acoustics are fantastic at the Fort too, and it is wonderful to hear the music from my violin fill the room.
The Bride made her Entry to a beautiful love song which I arranged for Solo Violin – ‘Yours’ by Ella Henderson. During the Signing of the Register, the lovely couple chose ‘Hedwig’s Theme’, from Harry Potter, and ‘Time of your Life’ by Green Day. Aimee chose the joyful and uplifting ‘Under the Sea’, from My Little Mermaid for the newlyweds to make their Exit to.
During the drinks reception, I played a selection of my arrangements of Rock, Pop and Film music, and I was delighted to receive a wonderful testimonial from Aimee:
Sue was incredible her music made us smile and fill our hearts with wonderful memories!
She was professional from start to finish and I only wished I could have adsorbed and spent more time with her as I was amazed by the music filling up the room.
It was very important to me that I had sue there playing on our special day, and I’m so glad I did. That was a little something special for me to have and hold within myself, music is everything, music is emotion and I felt it with sue playing.
The talent this woman has and her incredible attitude hand in hand makes her the best woman for the job.
Don’t ever hesitate on booking this lady because I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
Sue complimented our wedding day and we were honoured to have her play for us.
Thank you so much, Aimee & Callum
I have very much enjoyed playing solo violin for some events this year!
The stately grandeur of Bocconoc House was the setting for a lovely wedding, and the couple asked me to perform as the guests came out of the ceremony and mingled for drinks and canapés. It was a particularly blustery day, but sunny too, and I was able to find a corner in the courtyard which provided some shelter! I played a mix of well known classics, themes from films, and some arrangements of love songs. Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking out Loud’ is always a favourite and guests love to have a dance to it! The Bride very kindly presented me with a jar of jam as a thank you. It was a fun occasion!
Another solo gig was for a Jewish wedding which took place at St Ives Harbour Hotel. I always expect to be asked to play for smaller gatherings – but there were over 150 guests at this ceremony! I was delighted to be asked to perform some of my own original Cornish Celtic melodies, and this definitely was a way of bringing a very joyful Cornish theme to the ceremony! The bride made her entry to the gorgeous, haunting theme from the film ‘Ladies in Lavender’, which was filmed at Prussia Cove, Cornwall. Ruth was so pleased with my performance for her:
I just wanted to say thank you so much for playing at our wedding on Monday.
Our guests really enjoyed listening to you play as they took their seats. It helped create a lovely atmosphere. Your playing of ‘Ladies in Lavender’ during the procession was absolutely stunning. We’re so glad we booked you.
As the happy couple made their exit from the ceremony, they positively danced out to a performance of one of my original Cornish folk tunes! A truly memorable event!
The Classical Strings ensembles have had a fabulous summer, we have played at many weddings, and it’s been such a pleasure to help create some special memories with our music. We have met some wonderful people, and played at some amazing locations! Here are some more of the weddings we played at, and the special requests we played:
The Church of the Ascension in Plymouth was the setting for Rachel and Steve’s wedding. Rachel chose ‘Pachelbel’s Kanon’ for the bridesmaids to make their entry, followed by ‘You Raise Me Up’ for the Entry of the Bride. Having two pieces of music for the different processions was a lovely idea which worked well. We also played the hymns with Scott, the organist, and for the Signing of the Register we performed ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay. For the Exit of the happy couple, we played a special arrangement of Boyzone’s ‘Love Will Save the Day’.
After the ceremony, we went back to the family home and welcomed the Bridal Party with Mendelssohn’s ‘Wedding March’ before moving on to our rock, pop and film music.
Thank you to Classical Strings for your beautiful arrangements during the ceremony and reception in our garden. Your rendition of ‘Love Will Save The Day’ was breathtaking!
The Classical Strings Trio performed at St Luke’s Church in Tideford for a ceremony, which included arranging the strings to accompany the Bride’s sister, who sang Hayley Reinhardt’s version of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ during the Signing of the Register.
I wanted to say a big thank you for your contribution to our special day. The music was beautiful and it was exactly how I imagined it would be. You created a lovely atmosphere even when the weather was not in our favour and I greatly appreciated that. Your accompaniment to my sister’s song was just stunning.
The song was beautiful, and very moving! After the ceremony, we went back to the house and played for the guests, who enjoyed our music as they mingled with drinks and canapés.
Boconnoc House was the location for the Classical Strings Trio to perform for drinks following a wedding ceremony. The Bride’s mum chose a special arrangement of ‘Walking on Sunshine’ to welcome Harriette and Oliver to the reception.
There are plenty more weddings and events to tell you about – do stay tuned!
This summer has been incredibly hectic for The Classical Strings Quartet, and we have been performing some new special arrangements for weddings which I have created especially for the Bride and Groom. Here’s a quick overview of some of the weddings we have played at!
Polhawn Fort is a dramatic setting on the cliffs at Rame Head, and we have enjoyed performing there many times. One of our Grooms who was marrying his Bride there this summer requested film music for the majority of the time, as he himself works in the film industry. We began playing some popular classical pieces to start with, to welcome the guests as they arrived – the music sounded fabulous as the guests enjoyed drinks before the ceremony began.
The Bride made her Entry to the well known ‘Ave Maria’ by Schubert, which features a gorgeous cello solo. For the Signing of the Register, we performed the Feather Theme from Forrest Gump and for the couple to walk out we played a request from the Groom – my new arrangement of ‘Married Life’ from the film ‘Up’ This was a surprise for the Bride, and it was a very memorable moment!
As the guests mingled on the lawn, we entertained everyone with our selection of film music. This created a lovely contrast with the classical music earlier.
The Quartet also performed at a wedding at Knightor Winery, and our film music was also requested at this event too! Several of the guests enjoyed acting out scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean as we played the theme tune – this was a first I think, but very entertaining! The Bride’s special request was ‘It Must Be Love’ by Madness, which we played after the ceremony. During the Signing of the Register, we performed the popular ‘Make You Feel My Love’ made well known recently by Adele, followed by ‘One Day Like This’, by Elbow.
The Catholic church of St Augustine of Hippo at St Austell was a gorgeous place for us to play at. The light shining through the colours of the stained glass windows was beautiful as we performed our music. The Bride and Groom opted for our arrangements of pop and rocks songs as the guests arrived, and we all had tears in our eyes as the Bride made her Entry to my special arrangement of ‘Halo’ by Beyonce! During the Holy Communion we played the gentle ‘Pachelbel’s Kanon’ followed by ‘Married Life’ and ‘Moon River’ for the Signing of the Register. The Bride and Groom made their exit to ‘One Day Like This’. As the guests enjoyed cream teas and ice creams, we continued playing our rock and pop music, and later on we received some lovely feedback from the Groom:
Dear Sue,Ada and I wanted to email and say thank you so much to you and the rest of the string quartet for playing at our wedding last weekend. The music was perfect and created a really special atmosphere in the church which lots of our guests commented on.Thank you also for learning Halo, which made Ada’s entrance even more beautiful.
This summer has been such a busy season – particularly for The Classical Strings Trio and Quartet! Here is a quick overview of some of the weddings the Trio have played at to give you some musical inspiration for your own wedding or event…
The Trio have recently performed at St Winnow Church Lostwithiel, Fowey Hall Hotel, Knightor Winery and Pengenna Manor.
St Winnow church is in a beautiful location overlooking the River Fowey, and was the venue for a wedding ceremony recently. After welcoming the assembling guests with a selection of popular classics, the Bride made her Entry to Bach’s Air on the G String, and we played my arrangements of Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, followed by Le Onde by Einaudi for the Signing of the Register.
We moved on to the fabulous Fowey Hall Hotel for the reception, and as the Bride and Groom drew up in their car, we performed the Bride’s special request ‘Drunk in Love’ by Beyonce to greet them. This was a very memorable moment indeed, and we continued to entertain the guests with a mix of our pop, film and Celtic and Cornish melodies while they enjoyed their drinks reception.
Pengenna Manor is a stunning venue situated in a secluded valley on the North Coast. It was a scorching hot summer’s day, and was perfect for the ceremony outside which overlooked the countryside.
The Bride made her Entry to the popular ‘Pachelbel’s Kanon’, and for the Signing of the Register, our cellist performed an amazing rendition of Bach’s Prelude from the Solo Cello Suite in G. Albinoni’s Adagio from the Oboe Concerto was our next piece, and we played my arrangement of ‘Born To Run’ by Bruce Springsteen for the Bride and Groom to walk out to.
After entertaining the guests with some classic love songs such as ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ by Bill Withers we performed the Bride’s special arrangement of ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk to get the party started as the guests moved into the marquee for their wedding breakfast.
What a fabulous performance by Classical Strings! A great choice of music. Your performance was beautiful and moving…
Knightor Winery has been a venue which both the Trio and Quartet have played at recently. It’s a great venue set in the heart of the countryside near St Austell Bay.
The Groom was a huge fan of classical music, and opted for Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring for the Signing of the Register, followed by our special arrangement of ‘God Only Knows’ by the Beach Boys for the happy couple to walk out to.
Sue, thank you and your team for giving us such a professional sound which certainly for Clare and myself made the whole day complete.
That’s a quick overview – phew! Watch this space for what our Quartet have been up to!
Here at Classical Strings, we can cater for all your string ensemble requirements, and all our groups are equally busy again this year!
The Classical Strings Duo recently performed for a ceremony at The Bedruthan Hotel, at the Lanai – a gorgeous room overlooking the sea, which felt as though it was an extension of the beach!
The Bride chose ‘Pachelbel’s Kanon’ for her Entry, and ‘Rule the World’, ‘Come What May’, followed by the haunting Irish melody ‘Carolan’s Air’ completed a varied musical choice for the Signing of the Register. The Bride and Groom walked out together to a special arrangement of the upbeat song ‘Crossfire’ by Brandon Flowers.
We received fabulous praise from the guests, as well as great feedback from the staff at The Bedruthan Hotel on Twitter:
Amazing & memorable entertainment ladies. Was a joy to have you perform in our beautiful Lanai space.
The Eden Project was the setting for a wedding the other week with The Classical Strings Quartet. Again, this was a varied programme as requested by the Groom, and there was plenty of music to keep the guests entertained during the ceremony and also for the drinks reception afterwards.
The Groom opted for two special arrangements – the gorgeous ‘Clair de Lune’ by Debussy as a surprise for the Entry of the Bride, as well as the popular Beatles classic ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’. Another personal touch was having the entire wedding party sing along to my arrangement of ‘Stand By Me’ during the ceremony. It’s always such a pleasure to help create special musical memories during a wedding or event.
Trevenna is a unique barn wedding venue, set in the heart of the countryside at St Neot. The Classical Strings Trio performed here for a stylish outdoor ceremony, as well as for the drinks reception which followed.
The Bride opted for two special arrangements – ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit – which was performed as the guests took to their seats before the ceremony, followed by ‘I’m Kissing You’ by Des’ree from the film Romeo and Juliet as the Bride made her Entry. This was a very romantic start to the proceedings, and the two contrasting pieces worked really well together.
During the Signing of the Register we performed ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz, followed by ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars. The Bride and Groom walked out to ‘All You need is Love’ by the Beatles.
Next day, the Bride gave us a some lovely feedback:
You were all amazing yesterday, thank you so much for being part of our day. We had so many compliments on the lovely atmosphere you created and the ceremony music was beautiful!
It really is such a pleasure to be part of a special day, and create lasting musical memories which will last a lifetime.
When I first spoke to the Groom about his forthcoming wedding, he had a dream to have his favourite song performed during his wedding ceremony. He didn’t know whether it would be possible to achieve this, as the song was quite a complex Aria by Handel, ‘What Passion Cannot Music Raise and Quell’ from ‘Ode to St Cecilia’s Day’.
When I’m not playing the violin professionally, I also work as a composer and string arranger. This is a highly useful skill when it comes to creating a music performance at a wedding. Often there is little rehearsal time if we are working with a soloist – in this case, the singer was a friend of the Bride, and we met with her an hour before the wedding for a run through! In addition, the music has to be well balanced and arranged so that whatever the music is that I’m arranging, it has to work well when interpreted by strings. The performance has to be convincing whether it is to be performed by Solo Violin, Duo, Trio, or full String Quartet.The Groom originally thought he would book the String Duo, but in order to match the wide ranging orchestral sound of the Handel, he decided in the end to go for the full Quartet.
The wedding took place on a clear autumnal afternoon at St Hilary church, a gorgeous country church surrounded by trees. The church itself is famous for its array of beautiful artwork. We met the singer, and, to my surprise and delight, realised that we had also played for her wedding in the same church ten years ago! After a successful run through of the song, we then got ready to play to the guests as they assembled.
The Bride and Groom had requested a purely Classical feel to their ceremony, in contrast to the film music and love songs which we were to perform later on at the drinks reception. Our cellist gave a magnificent performance of Bach’s Prelude from the Solo Cello Suite in G for the Entry of the Bride. During the Signing of the Register, we performed the beautiful melodic Slow Movement from Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. As the Bride and Groom took to their seats for a pause, the moment came for us to perform the Handel Aria with the Bride’s friend Kate singing the soprano part. Our performance received a rapturous applause, and was a very special moment indeed during the ceremony.
We were delighted to receive this wonderful feedback the next day from George, our Groom:
Just back from a few days away and we’d very much like to thank you for playing so beautifully at our wedding. Please, if you could, extend a special thanks to your cellist for her rendition of the Bach cello suite Prélude – it was superb and got us off to the perfect start in the ceremony.
Equally importantly, we thought the Handel went extremely well too and it’s testament to your extraordinary professionalism that you were able to perform it so impressively with the smallest amount of time with the soloist. We were so pleased we were able to listen to it!
Classical Strings were everything I had hoped for and more!
It is always very special to be able to make someone’s musical dreams become a reality, and create a lasting memory that will stay with the Bridal party for years to come.
This year has been the busiest to date for solo violin bookings, and the occasions have been incredibly varied. Birthday parties, weddings, vow renewals, anniversaries and even funerals have been accommodated for – all that was missing this year was a marriage proposal – still time for that perhaps!
A solo violin can lend itself really easily to music of all styles, and can enhance a ceremony which has many guests as well as an occasion which has just a few people present.
For a ceremony in a church or hotel – outside as well as in – then the melodic sound of the violin carries well. Special arrangements have included ‘Fields of Gold’ for the Signing of the Register, the Celtic melody ‘Wild Rover’ for a surprise Anniversary celebration and even the Rock Ballad ‘Nothing Else Matters’ by Metallica for a married couple and their daughter to enjoy for an intimate Renewal of Vows.
The ever popular ‘Pachelbel’s Kanon’ has remained a firm favourite too!
‘I just wanted to thank you for playing at The Penventon Hotel yesterday for Mum and Dad’s golden wedding anniversary. They loved it and it was a pleasure to hear you play.’ Demelza, Parent’s Golden Wedding Anniversary
The range of musical styles are all encompassing on a violin, as any pop song you listen to will often have strings playing on the track to give the sound added depth. My own Celtic piece ‘The Homecoming’ is also very much requested – at weddings and funerals alike – as it seems to reflect the sentiment that we are all coming home to our loved ones after our own personal journeys in life.
‘Thank you Sue, your music was wonderful today at mums funeral. ‘Homecoming’ was a wonderful choice . Everyone I spoke with were overwhelmed. It made the day very special for us. xxx’ Claire, Ludgvan Church
If you book me to play solo violin at your special event, then special requests can be arranged quickly, and as a soloist I can fit easily into a small space if the room is tiny, such as a conservatory or a country church. It is always a pleasure for me to help make your event special.
The Summer season is always hectic, and the Classical Strings Duo have been especially busy this year performing new special arrangements of wedding songs for people getting married in Cornwall. Here’s a roundup of some of the Cornish weddings they have played at, and the mix of the cello and violin sounds were a real hit!
Gwel an Mor in Portreath was the setting for a wedding in June. The combination of the violin and cello sounds were perfect as there were well over one hundred guests present, but the depth of the cello and higher register of the violin playing the melody line enabled the music to carry around the venue easily.
The Bride chose ‘True Colours’ for her special arrangement as she walked down the aisle, and the gentle sounds of the violin melody over the deep bass notes of the cello created a gorgeous sound.
Another brand new wedding song arrangement made its debut at a wedding at Cornish Tipi Weddings in July. This is an amazing venue which always feels magical with its outdoor setting.
The Bride had requested a special arrangement of Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’. As the Duo performed, the swifts flew about, darting in and out of the trees, which added a special moment that no-one could possibly have planned!
We received a lovely card from Tamsin and Gareth:
Thank you so much for playing at our wedding – it added that magical touch! We loved the Metallica arrangement, and your music was perfect to walk down the aisle to!
Thanks again for making our day extra special!
The peaceful setting of Pentillie Castle, down at the Bathing Hut, is another fabulous location for a wedding ceremony. As the space inside is quite limited, the Duo were ideal to provide the musical entertainment, as only the Cellist needs to be seated, while the violinist can remain standing if needs be, to save on space.
The Bride chose our arrangement of ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars during the signing of the register, and it was wonderful to see everyone swaying in time to the music and enjoying themselves!
The luxurious surroundings of the St Ives Harbour Hotel was the setting for a latin themed wedding. Our Bride requested a special arrangement of ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ – as this is where she was from! Our cue to start playing this upbeat Bossa Nova classic was as soon as the Bride and Groom arrived at the hotel after getting married at a nearby church.
We received this great feedback from Anna, who was delighted with her special music arrangement:
It was lovely to have you play beautiful music on our special day. ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ sounded amazing!
If you are on a budget, or if your wedding is taking place in a particularly small venue, then the combination of the Violin and Cello is ideal!
The Classical Strings Quartet performed at the start of the Porthleven Festival, and gave a performance of Classical favourites interspersed with music inspired by the Cornish Landscape to a packed audience of VIP guests and music lovers at St Bartholomew’s Church.
Our brief was to provide an evening of music which would suit all musical tastes and ages, and which would compliment the theme of the concert, which was ‘Strings and Pimms for Music Lovers’!
At Classical Strings, our mission is always to deliver a programme of music which can reach out and delight a listener, no matter what their musical background. Our upbeat programme was selected to include a popular mix of well known favourites from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic period – as enjoyed by many listeners tuning in to Classic FM – alongside melodic contemporary works composed by Cornish Composer and Leader of the Classical Strings Quartet, Sue Aston, who also introduced the items on the programme to the audience.
Arrangements of Cornish Folk Songs alongside the traditional Irish tune ‘Drowsy Maggie’ were such a hit with the audience, that the Quartet were requested to play an encore. A lively performance of Bach’s well known ‘Badinerie’ completed the evening, and the Quartet enjoyed a rousing applause.
Our concert programme included many well known pieces of music exclusively arranged for our String Quartet by Sue Aston, and was as follows:
- Pachelbel’s Kanon in D Major
- Bach’s Double Violin Concerto
- Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni
- Mozart’s Divertimento in F Major
- Scenes from a Cornish Childhood, by Sue Aston
- Ladies in Lavender, by Nigel Hess
- Faure’s Pavane
- Panis Angelicus, by Franck
- Cornish Dances, by Ray Didcock
- Le Onde, by Einaudi
- The Homecoming, by Sue Aston
- Drowsy Maggie, trad. Irish
- Bach’s Badinerie