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Public Performances Summer 2017

Classical Strings have been hugely in demand this summer, not only for weddings, but also for public performances and corporate events!

The Classical Strings Quartet recently performed at the opening of a new car showroom for Hawkins Motors in Penryn. Our mix of popular classics and contemporary rock, pop and film music created a great vibe for the event, and we have been asked to play at forthcoming launches around Cornwall! We were delighted to be featured in their corporate video which showcased the event!

The stunning Atlantic Hotel in Newquay asked our Trio to perform at their event – ‘Strings by the Sea with Laurent – Perrier’. We put on a concert for people to enjoy while they sampled canapés and drank champagne, while taking in the amazing sea view. This was such a memorable evening, and we received a standing ovation!

One of our most ambitious commissions to date took place at Yummy Scrummy Bakery in Par, who asked us to create a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ themed concert for people to enjoy while they dined by candlelight. The Classical Strings Quartet teamed up with our singer, Maria Heseltine, and as well as our exclusive music arrangements, we finished off with proms favourites, ‘Jerusalem’,  ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’. The audience sang along, while waving union flags enthusiastically! Another fantastic event that we were very honoured to create.

Solo Violin Wedding Performances

solo violin cornwall weddings

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:

Hi Sue,

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!

Sue Aston

More Summer Weddings!

String Quartet Cornwall Weddings
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.

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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!

Classical Strings in action this Summer Season!

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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!

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All our String Ensembles are a Hit!

string quartet cornwall

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.

The genteel setting of Scorrier House

Scorrier House Cornwall

The magnificent Scorrier House could well be the location for a BBC Costume Drama – an elegant setting for the wedding of Sarah and Jack.

The Classical Strings Trio set up outside near to the gazebo in the pool garden to welcome guests arriving for the ceremony. Our mix of popular classical melodies and modern love songs were enjoyed by all, as friends and family took to their seats.

The Bride chose the ever popular Pachelbel’s Kanon to make her Entry, followed by ‘I’m Yours by Jason Mraz and Ho Hey by The Lumineers for the Signing of the Register. Marry You by Bruno Mars was a joyful piece of music for the Bride and Groom to exit to.

Our Trio then set up on the terrace next to the conservatory to entertain the guests during the drinks reception. The Bride had requested our exclusive arrangements of modern love songs and film music for the guests to enjoy.

As the guests prepared to make their way into dinner, we moved into one of the grand drawing rooms near to the sweeping staircase to welcome people inside. Our selection of Celtic melodies rounded off the set perfectly!

‘Classical Strings were everything I had hoped for… and more!’

St Hilary Church Cornwall

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.

A Solo Violin for all Occasions

kitley-solo-violin

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.

‘I have to just take the time to thank you for the beautiful music you played at my wedding on Saturday, not one person hasn’t commented on how talented you were.’ Sharon, Wedding at Kitley House Hotel

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.

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