As classically trained musicians working and living in the Vail Valley, we were thrilled to meet each other in 2005. Since this time, we have played together extensively throughout the Vail Valley. Following are some of our frequent venues:
The Beaver Creek Chapel The Vilar Center at Beaver Creek The Vail Interfaith Chapel The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Donovan Pavilion Larkspur (Golden Peak) Lazy J. Ranch The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera
Red Sky Ranch The Sonnenalp
Spruce Saddle at Beaver Creek
Terra Bistro Vail Golf Course (Clubhouse/wedding island) Vail's Memorial Park Vail's Wedding Deck The Ritz Carlton in Bachelor Gulch
The Westin Riverfront
The Lodge at Vail
While we specialize in wedding ceremonies, we also play for corporate events, private parties, and engagements.
We have extensive musical training, teach music privately, and love to live and play in the mountains!
Outdoor Wedding Tips
While outdoor weddings can be breathtakingly gorgeous, mountain weddings can also be extremely difficult due to the erratic summer weather. Following are a few tips and considerations for an outdoor wedding in the Vail area:
1. July is the rainiest month of the year. Plan on beautiful sunny mornings and afternoon showers. If you survive after 1:00 pm without getting wet - the heavens have smiled upon you. June and August are also iffy regarding afternoon showers, but not to the extent of July. 2. Cover your musicians! Unless you can predict the weather and guarantee no sweltering sun, no music whipping wind, afternoon rain, or hail storms, you should provide covering your musicians. Generally an over-sized umbrella or a pop up tent is sufficient. While thousands of dollars are spent in the creation of a perfect wedding, consider that one of the most focal parts of your wedding involves setting the mood with prelude, marching down the aisle, and the celebration of the union as a couple is presented for the first time. These moments beg for perfection. While the musical costs may be insignificant in comparison with the costs of the reception, dinners etc, consider that for such important life events, you want your musicians to be playing at their best, not worrying about a raindrop ruining their expensive instrument. 3. Make back up plans. While summer outdoor weddings are spectacular in the Vail Valley, make sure that you have a back up plan. If the weather threatens, consider that neither you nor your guests will really want to sit outside in freezing wind or rain for 30-60 minutes. 4. Call it early. If the weather does look threatening, make the call early. If moving the ceremony indoors is an option, make the decision early in the day so that your florist and other wedding service providers aren't scrambling at the last minute to make your venue spectacular. With so many other things to think about, a last minute change of venue can throw off timing, and add undue stress to such a momentous occasion. 5. Mountain top. Many of our clients choose to ride the gondola to the top of Vail Mountain to photograph the wedding party prior to the actual ceremony. While in theory a fantastic idea, be aware that summer storms move in quickly. As such, Vail is very pro-active in keeping their guests safe. If there is any chance of lightning, all access to and from the mountaintop will cease until the storm dissipates. In other words, you may get caught on top of the mountain for several hours.
Best wishes as you plan your upcoming wedding, and may all of your skies be blue!
Due to a re-location, The Vail Valley String Quartet is closing it's doors. We wish to thank all of our clients, and vendors with whom we have worked for the opportunities we've had to play a small part in your special memories, and to share our music with you.
If you have stumbled upon this site in your search for wedding musicians, we recommend contacting groups from Aspen or Denver, as there are no longer any professional local string groups in the Vail Valley area.
This evening, I realized that we haven't posted for quite a while. Never fear - we are still here!
Honestly, as the ski season wraps up (even though we still got snow today) we always experience a bit of a lull...in theory, the snow begins to melt, and we see lots of mud - the post ski season is known as 'mud season', and the entire valley seems to wipe it's brow and let out a collective sigh with the close of the ski mountain.
While it may seem that we hit a lull, this can often be one of our busiest times... hidden behind the seeming quiet, we've been busily receiving contracts, booking, putting together timelines and playlists, and working with our clients to make sure that everything is 'perfect' for their quickly approaching wedding day.
We are VERY excited to play for our first wedding of the 2011 Summer wedding season next week on June 4th - and kick off a season full of beautiful music and blissful unions.
Today we played for a wedding at the Vail Interfaith Chapel.
This was a very fun wedding for us to play as the couple asked if our trio could include a harpist. We were able to meet a local harpist, and were very excited for the opportunity to include her in a trio - consisting of a violin, a cello, and the harp.
We began our prelude with a request by the couple for Bach/Gounod's 'Ave Maria', then played Bach's 'Air', and then Telemann's 'Presto'.
We began the ceremony music with Bach's 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' as the parents, groomsmen, and the officiator entered.
The bridesmaids entered to Pachelbel's 'Canon', followed by the bride's entrance to Clarke's 'Trumpet Voluntary'.
After the ceremony, we played Mendelssohn's 'Wedding March' as the wedding party exited back down the aisle, followed by Handel's 'La Rejouissance', Mouret's 'Rondeau', Schubert's 'Andante', and ended with Bach's 'Arioso'.
We enjoyed performing for this beautiful wedding, and are thrilled to have added a harpist to our ceremony musicians.
Today we had the opportunity to play for a wedding at the Beaver Creek Chapel.
It was great to see all of the guests and family for this wedding who came from all over the world.
We began our prelude music with contemporary pieces, eventually working our way into the classical genre just before the ceremony.
We began with The Beatles' 'I Want to Hold Your Hand', followed by John Denver's 'Annies Song', Cohen's 'Hallelujah', Ungar's 'Ashokan Farewell', and Titanic movie's love theme, 'My Heart Will Go On'.
We then eased into the classical genre with Puccini's 'O Mio Babino Caro', followed by Beethoven's 'Pathetique', Handel's 'Allegro' and 'Andante' from the Water Music, 'Winter' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and finished up with Bach's 'Arioso'.
The wedding party entered to Bach's ' Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' and the mothers then lit the unity candles.
We were very excited to play the bride's processional piece 'I had a Farm in Africa', which was a custom arrangement from the movie, 'Out of Africa'.
After a beautiful ceremony, the couple exited down the aisle to one of our favorite celebratory recessionals, 'La Rejouissance' by Handel. As guests exited and awaited their their shuttles to the reception, we played Clarke's 'Trumpet Voluntary', Santori's 'Con Te Partiro', Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida', the Beatles' 'Here Comes the Sun', and ended with the bride's special request, 'New York, New York'.
On February 24, we had the opportunity partner with the Four Seasons and other local vendors in sponsoring a 'Wedding/Event Planner Luncheon and Spa Event' at Vail's new Four Seasons hotel.
Several wedding and event planners traveled to Vail from Denver and various locales as The Four Seasons introduced their property and amenities to their guests. The wedding and event planners enjoyed property tours, spa treatments, cocktails, lunches, linen displays, photos, floral arrangements, cake tastings, and of course - an opportunity to hear the Vail Valley String Quartet & Trio perform, as the sponsors showcased our industries.
We performed as a cello and viola duo outside of the ballroom as the guests arrived and enjoyed pre-luncheon cocktails and socializing.
We started off with the ever upbeat and peppy, 'Presto' by Telemann, followed by Bach's 'March in D Major', then one of our all time favorite Traditional Irish melodies, 'Be Thou My Vision', Handel's 'Largo' from Xerxes, and Bach's 'My Heart Ever Faithful'. We threw in a contemporary piece which we often perform for ceremonies - John Denver's 'Annie's Song', then went back into the classical genre with Schubert's 'Andante', and then we played an excerpt from the quintessential wedding piece, Pachelbel's 'Canon', followed by one of our favorite recessional pieces, Handel's celebratory 'La Rejouissance', and then his 'Air' and 'Allegro' from the Water Music. For the last piece, we switched back into the contemporary genre and finished up with Coldplay's 'Fix You'.
Following the cocktail hour, we enjoyed meeting and getting to know many of Denver's wedding planners - some we have worked with previously, and some were new accquaintances.
We are excited to have been a sponsor for this fun event, and look forward to working with many of our new friends in the upcoming future!
On December 11, 2010 we had the opportunity to play as a trio for a wedding ceremony at The Westin at the base of Beaver Creek.
We began the prelude music with Handel's 'La Rejouissance', Bach's 'My Heart Ever Faithful', the traditional 'Simple Gifts', Handel's 'Allegro' from the Water Music, Clarke's 'Trumpet Voluntary', the Beatles' 'Here Comes the Sun', Delibes' 'Flower Song', Schubert's 'Andante', 'Andante' from Handel's Water Music, Puccini's 'O Mio Babbino Caro', Vivaldi's 'Winter', Handel's 'Hornpipe', and Mozart's 'Romanza'.
As the wedding ceremony began, we played Bach's 'Air' as the family members and maid of honor entered.
The bride entered to Bach's 'Arioso', and during the candle lighting portion of the ceremony we played Cohen/Buckley's 'Hallelujah'.
As the couple was pronounced man and wife and exited down the aisle, we played Handel's 'Entrance of the Queen of Sheba', and Mouret's 'Rondeau'.
It was a lovely wedding and our pleasure to play for such a momentous occasion.
This past weekend we had a violin duo which played for a wedding at Saddleridge Restaurant in Beaver Creek.
It was a beautiful venue, and this was our first time playing here!
The ceremony was held upstairs, and the wedding party actually ascended up the stairs rather than down.
For this wedding a violin duo performed. As we planned the playlist with the bride, she indicated that she didn't want much of the traditional wedding pre-ceremony music that was slow and solemn. She wanted mainly lively and upbeat pieces.
We began with Mozart's 'Menuetto', Bach's 'Gigue from Suite #3', 'March in D', Rondeau from Orchestral Suite #2'. These were follwed by Gossec's 'Tambourin', Handel's 'La Rejouissance', Loeillet's 'Allegro', Mozart's 'Rondo alla Turca', Vivaldi's Danza Pastorale' from his Violin Concerto, Telemann's 'Vivace' and 'Presto'.
The bridal party then ascended the steps to Bach's 'Air', and the bride entered to Pachelbel's 'Canon'.
After the wedding ceremony ended, we played Clarke's 'Trumpet Voluntary' for the recessional, followed by Handel's 'Hornpipe' from the Water Music.
Afterwards, we moved downstairs and played various selections during the cocktail hour.
We had the opportunity to play for a second wedding on December 10th - this one at the Vail Interfaith Chapel. The roads had iced over and there were many accidents and road closures... we counted ourselves lucky that we made it to the chapel!
While we play for many weddings and events, it is amazing how different each one is. Every now and then we hear part of a couple's romance story - this wedding was one of them.
As we worked together planning the music, the bride shared some of their story with us. This couple originally met in high school but later on went their separate ways. After many years their romance was rekindled, and their romance came to fruition last night as they were married.
When we began discussing the playlist with the bride, only one song mattered to her. She asked us to play whatever we would like to play for everything else. This was a complete shock to us, because we don't generally play what 'we' want, we play whatever our clients ask.
Apparently, the song 'Keeper of the Stars' by John Michael Montgomery had been this couple's song back in high school, and they wanted it to be part of their ceremony. So, we put together a custom strings arrangement of this piece and then put together a mix of classical and contemporary for their prelude music borrowing some of the pieces from the wedding we'd played for previously that day.
Our prelude consisted of Bach's 'My Heart Ever Faithful', Elvis' 'Can't Help Falling in Love With You', Silvestri's 'Feather Theme', Mozart's 'Menuetto' from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Delibes' 'Flower Song', Telemann's 'Presto', Horner's 'The Wedding', Puccini's 'O Mio Babbino Caro', and John Denver's 'Annie's Song'.
The wedding party entered to Bach's 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring', and the bride entered to the traditional Wagner's 'Bridal March'.
While we had discussed playing 'Keeper of the Stars' as part of the processional, the bride and groom really wanted to be able to hear and enjoy this piece. We decided to use this piece for the unity candle. After the candles were lit, they spent a few moments with each other just listening to this song which was so important to them.
As the ceremony ended, we played Handel's 'La Rejouissance' for the recessional as they headed back down the aisle, followed by Handel's 'Hornpipe'.
While we don't normally blog about the flowers and decor of our venues, we wanted to give a shout out to Sweet Pea Designs who did the floral work for this wedding. They created one of the most exquisite arches we've ever seen. At approximately 6 1/2 feet, it was made with pine garlands, red berries, white orchids, flowers, and bows, and laced with white lights. It was absolutely breathtaking.
We had the opportunity to play for a beautiful wedding ceremony on December 10, in the Beaver Creek Chapel.
Because this wedding began a little earlier in the day and it wasn't dark out yet, it was beautiful to see the snow gently floating down outside through the windows as a backdrop to the ceremony.
We began with 20 minutes of prelude which consisted of Bach's 'My heart ever faithful', Elvis' 'Can't Help Falling in Love with You', Coldplay's 'Viva la Vida', Mozart's 'Menuetto' from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik'.
The mothers and family members were seated to John Denver's 'Annie's Song', and then the bridal procession entered to a custom arrangement of Keith Urban's 'Only You Can Love Me This Way'. The bride then entered to Pachebel's classic - 'Canon'.
After the couple was presented to their friends and family as husband and wife, we played Beethoven's 'Ode To Joy' as the exited down the aisle.
Today our cellist is providing the music for a funeral at the Olinger Hampden Chapel in Denver.
Our cellist will play 15 minutes of prelude which will be a mix of religious and classical pieces, then a solo piece 'O Divine Redeemer' during the service, and will follow up the service with another 10-15 minutes of postlude.
Our condolences go out to the family in this time of sorrow.
We had the pleasure this afternoon and evening of playing for a wedding at the Vail Interfaith Chapel, and then for the reception at The Lodge at Vail.
We enjoyed working with this family as they have a great appreciation for classical music and the musical selections were very important to them. They helped pick almost all of the music for the prelude and ceremony with just a few extra pieces added in for extra time/cushioning in case it was needed.
We began with Bach's "Air", Handel's "Allegro" from the Water Music, Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro", Handel's "Largo", Vivaldi's "Autumn" from the Four Seasons, Schumann's "Traumerei", Bach's "Arioso", Lizt's "Liebstraum", Beethoven's "Pathetique", Schubert's "Andante", and we then finished up with Mozart's "Romanza".
The wedding party entered to Handel's "Air" from the Water Music, and the bride entered to Vivaldi's "Winter" - a very appropriate piece as the mountains were just beginning to fill with snow outside.
During the ceremony we were asked to play Franck's "Panis Angelicus", and Delibes' "Flower Music".
As the couple was presented to the audience, we played a new piece, Mendelssohn's "War march of the Priests" which despite the ominous title is a very stately and celebratory piece which worked great for the recessional. We continued to play Handel's "La Rejouissance" from the Fireworks Music, and finally Tartini's "Cantabile".
After the ceremony was finished, we headed to the Lodge at Vail to set up and play for the later reception. Prior to dinner, we played as family members and guests greeted and mingled with each other over appetizers.
The reception and later dinner were held in the Cucina Rustica - one of the Lodge at Vail's onsite restaurants. Contrasting with the purely classical genre of music played in the ceremony, the majority of the pieces we played for the reception were modern.
We began with Webber's "All I Ask of You" from the Phantom of the Opera, followed by Cohen's "Hallelujah:, and Iver's "Bygone Days". We threw in Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze", and then once again Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" as the bride's mother hadn't been at the chapel for the prelude and had missed it and requested that we play it again. We then played John Denver's "Annie's Song", The Beatles' "I want to Hold Your Hand", Enya's "Only Time", and "The Wedding" from Legends of the Fall.
We headed back into the classical genre to play Bach's "My Heart Ever Faithful", then Groban's "You Raise Me Up", The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony", and Elvis' "Can't Help Falling in Love". As our time was nearing the end, we finished up with Telemann's "Presto" - a very fun jaunty little piece, and finally, Santori's "Con Te Partiro" - also known as "Time to Say Goodbye".
It was a beautiful ceremony and reception which we were honored to play for.
*'I'm not sure I ever got to tell you how beautiful your music was. It was incredible for me to hear you play as I waited downstairs, and then coming down the aisle. So many of our friends and family gushed about how perfect your songs and performance were. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!' - Bride
*'You all were amazing! Countless people could not say enough about the music. Thank you for making our special day perfect...' - Bride
*'Everything was great - couldn't be happier!' - Planner Lisa Vorce of 'Oh, How Charming'.
*'I for one, loved the music... Another daughter is getting married...hope we can have you again!' - Pam (Mother of Bride)
*As mother and father of the bride, we were only able to thank one of your quartet for the excellent contribution you made to our daughter's wedding...the pieces were lovely as the guests waited and the river rushed by below...the evening provided a perfect setting for our happy event. You helped make our dream come true of having a beautiful, solemn ceremony...Bob (Hansen), our vocalist, had nothing but glowing comments on your accompaniment...it was a gorgeous memory for all of us. Thank you so much." Pam & Dick (Mother and Father of Bride)
*'The music at the ceremony was beautiful and exactly as I wanted it. VVSQ is very professional. Very easy to plan with you before the wedding and perfectly executed on my wedding day without any worry from me!' - Bride
*'Thank you so much for the beautiful music...everyone loved it...Again, thank you for making the day so special' - Linda (Mother of Bride)