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Frequently Asked Questions – Leeds String Ensemble

Your questions answered

How can we book you?

Please contact us via the submission form on our website and we will send you a full quotation including availability, fees and a booking form. To complete a booking please fill in the booking form, email it to us and make your deposit payment to any of the payment methods at the bottom of your quotation which you received. We shall then respond with a booking confirmation and the ways in which you can choose your music. Your balance payment is due no later than 14 days prior to performance by bank transfer. You may pay at an earlier point if you wish.

What type of dress do you wear?

We will normally be very well dressed as is required for formal occasions. We can however dress in brighter more summer colours if requested.

Does a string quartet play at the wedding ceremony?

We normally perform for twenty minutes at your pre-ceremony as your guests arrive, then during your walk down the aisle, the signing of the register, and when you exit from the room. After this you will want some background music for around ten minutes as guests leave. Other ceremonies need additional music depending upon your requirements. We can tailor ourselves to your needs.

Will you perform at more than one venue?

Yes we will travel between more than one venue. If needed this would be done within the total time period that you book us for.

Can we perform at a drinks reception and a wedding breakfast?

Yes, of course. We can perform at your reception as your guests arrive, for pre-reception drinks, and as the reception itself is underway.

Can we have music which is not on your repertoire lists?

Simply put, yes. If we can obtain it for free we will, however if not it would require a professional arrangement. There would be an arrangement fee charged by the professional arranger for this service, and we would normally require around one month’s notice. Please contact us for further details on this.

Will you perform outside, and do you have any requirements?

If requested we would be delighted to perform outside. The British weather however presents its own unique set of challenges at all times of the year. Being a professional quartet/ ensemble we perform using expensive instruments which can have a combined value of £100,000 or more. The instruments, sheet music, stands and musicians must be protected from wind, UV rays (Sun) and rain, making outside cover required. A marquee, awning, large umbrella, extended canopy or the inside of a doorway are acceptable. To perform under a tree is not acceptable cover. Level ground, protection from high winds, adequate lighting and four chairs without arms are also necessary. For string players in normal playing attire (orchestral dress), the normal ambient outside performance temperature undercover is between 18°C and 26°C. Outside of these temperature parameters, additional heating or cooling or may be required. Cooling may come in the form of a natural breeze, fan, or even an air-conditioning unit. Heating may come in the form of a heater. The decision whether to perform outside will be made by the musicians at the time of performance and you agree that their decision will be final. Performances may be moved indoors due to weather conditions. We do not supply cover, cooling or heating equipment of any kind. Supplying these is the responsibility of the hirer.

How long can we book you for?

As a general rule there is no maximum length, however the normal length for a booking is between one and a half and five hours.

Can you also perform as a trio?

Yes, we can. Please see our string trio repertoire on the repertoire page of our website. A trio consists of a violin, viola & cello. It is also cheaper than a full quartet, and can fit into a smaller area.

Can I choose the music I want?

Yes, you can choose any piece from our repertoire list, or we can assist you. Most couples like to a few pieces especially for the wedding ceremony and then leave the rest to us. You can however pick all of them if you wish. If you would like a piece that we don’t have, we can have it arranged for you for a small extra fee.

Why do prices vary between string quartets?

Pricing is set using a number of factors. One corresponds to the level of professionalism and experience, while another is the music repertoire on offer. We offer a unique service, with a huge music repertoire containing over 3420 pieces from Vivaldi to Lady Gaga, containing the largest collection in Oxfordshire to choose from. Underlying this experience is our many years of national and international concert performances as individual musicians. Our highly professional approach is evident from the point we quote you, to the end of our performance. We pride ourselves in our confident and capable manner in any venue from churches, to hotels, to garden parties.

Do you take breaks?

We generally take a 10 minute break per hour during a function of 2 hours or more. We are happy to coordinate our breaks with your function’s itinerary, so please let us know when speeches are likely to occur for example. In a wedding ceremony booking breaks for the musicians are built in to the service. The musicians will stay in position throughout the ceremony.

How do you time the music for our wedding ceremony?

Easy, we arrive early to speak to your priest or registrar. They give us a nod or cue of some order as you arrive, and we start playing during your entrance. After this, cues happen during the signing of the register and your exit.

What instruments do you have in a Trio or Quartet?

Trio combination – 1 violin, 1 viola, 1 cello.
Quartet combination – 2 violins 1 viola 1 cello.

Do you play at events other than weddings?

Yes. We are regularly performers at parties, company events, product launches anniversaries, business dinners and trade shows.