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How to Select Top Classical Musicians For Your South Florida Wedding Ceremony

Sep 3, 2008
South Florida wedding ceremonies are performed against a steady backdrop of exotic locales, including beaches, yachts, historic buildings, city and tropical locations. And the right classical music can really set the stage for a romantic, memorable wedding ceremony.

Talent notwithstanding, there is more to performing wedding ceremony music than a musically talented performance. While there may be many superbly talented musicians in our schools and conservatories, performing a wedding ceremony requires professionalism and a musical timing that many students have yet to attain.

Classical Musicians

Classical musicians always add an air of romance and tradition to any wedding ceremony. There are several different musical styles of classical music you may want to consider in selecting music for your South Florida wedding ceremony. Pieces such as "Canon in D Major" by Pachelbel is arguably the most popular processional music for weddings.

A harpist with a flute player, (referred to as a "flautist") are among the most popular instrumentation, often with the addition of a cellist. String quartets, trios, Woodwind quintets and brass choirs are sometimes used for dramatic effect.

Band Musicians Offer Flexibility

Many ceremonies are also performed by the keyboardist and woodwind player from the band that will play dance music at the reception. These musicians can perform classical pieces using orchestral sounds, in addition to the flautist. They can then switch to jazz piano and sax for the cocktail hour, in contrast to the ceremony music. It can also be more cost effective to use the band musicians at the ceremony.

As your guests arrive, "prelude" music is often played to set the stage and create the atmosphere for the ceremony about to take place. It is important for the musicians to set the tone, as well as be sensitive to the crowd and the venue.

Timing Is Everything

In performing music during the wedding procession, the musicians must be able to time the music's tempo, start, ending, as well as be able to go into a "holding pattern" if necessary to accommodate the length and pace of the ceremony processional.

They must also be able to create a musically dramatic moment upon the entrance of the bride. This moment is amongst the most memorable at any wedding ceremony, and must be well-executed for maximum effect.

The recessional, or trip back down the aisle at the conclusion of the ceremony is a time for celebration, and this should be reflected in the musical selection. You may opt for a traditional piece by Mendelssohn, or perhaps an upbeat Jewish piece in the case of a temple wedding.

Can You Hear Me Now?

Depending on the size of the crowd, as well as the setting (indoors or outdoors for example), the musicians may be required to amplify their instruments to be heard. Many harpists have an elaborate system of contact microphones installed on their instruments, while many violinists and cellists use a clip-on microphone strategically placed.

When making a decision on hiring a wedding orchestra in South Florida for your wedding ceremony, keep in mind they generally have a two hour minimum, so more than likely they'll be performing at your cocktail hour as well. You may want to make sure the classical musicians can play a variety of popular songs, including jazz standards, ethnic melodies, and show tunes. Amplification is a must for the acoustic instruments to be heard over the noise of people chatting and eating.

South Florida wedding musicians can be auditioned via audio CD, or from a website if the audio quality is good. It is very difficult to go to someone else's wedding ceremony to hear them in person, so recommendations by music companies or wedding planners can be helpful in your decision. Be aware that sometimes these wedding professionals may make a commission on their recommendations, so educate yourself as to the reputation of the person you're taking advice from.

Selecting the best South Florida wedding music for your ceremony can be fun and exciting, and should always include professionals in the industry to assist in making the right choice for your needs and desires. Having wonderfully talented musicians perform for your ceremony can create a magical experience you and your guests will long remember.
About the Author
Manhattan Music, a South Florida wedding band specializes in fun, sophisticated dance music to energize your crowd. Head over to www.ManhattanMusic.com for more info and videos. Contact us for an appointment to discuss your musical needs. 954-561-5615.
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