A string quartet can lend a new dimension to any occasion: whether you would like to provide some live music for a special party, organise a private concert, or create a high-quality backdrop for a corporate event. For over a decade the Oxford String Quartet have provided music for a wide range of events, and have extensive experience with liaising of clients, understanding and meeting their requirements, and providing a tailor made music set to complement the occasion.
Please click on the relevant event to find out more:
Oxford String Quartet
The quartet play at weddings and civil ceremonies all year round and have a great deal of experience in delivering tailor-made performances. They encourage you to discuss ideas with them, and make plans well in advance so that you can relax and enjoy yourself on the day.
The quartet typically perform at any or all of the following stages during a wedding:
Arrival of guests before the ceremony
During the wedding ceremony
The drinks reception
The wedding breakfast
There are three stages during the wedding ceremony when you may want them to play:
Processional: The music that is played as the bride enters. They will bring the music to an end when the bridal party reach the front; this typically lasts for 1-2 minutes.
Suggestions: Canon in D (Pachelbel); Bridal Chorus (Wagner); The Prince of Denmark’s March (Clarke).
Signing of the Register: Music can be played when there is a pause in the ceremony as the couple sign legal documents and have photographs taken. This can normally accommodate one long or two shorter pieces of music.
Suggestions: Air (Bach); The Flower Duet (Delibes); Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach).
Recessional: Music that is played as the bride and groom exit once the ceremony is concluded.
Suggestions: Wedding March (Mendelssohn); The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Handel); Rondeau (Mouret).
The quartet are able to provide accompaniment to congregational hymns. For congregations larger than 75 people it is advisable to amplify the sound (see Frequently Asked Questions). For civil ceremonies, the Marriages and Civil Partnership Regulation 2005 SI3168 stipulates that the ceremony may not include hymns or other religious chants, although music that contains a merely incidental reference to a deity in an essentially non-religious context is permitted.
Here is a selection of the more popular wedding venues in Oxfordshire that OSQ have played in:
The Randolph Hotel
The Ashmolean Museum
The Divinity School
Oxford Town Hall
The Great Barn, Aynho
The Swan Hotel, Streatley
Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter
Nether Winchendon House
The Cherwell Boathouse
FORMAL & CORPORATE EVENTS
The quartet have played at a wide range of formal events and have a great deal of experience working with clients to tailor the performance to their schedule. They understand the level of detail involved in planning large-scale events, and take a proactive approach to understanding and accommodating our clients’ needs.
They will take verbal or visual cues to start and stop playing when needed for speeches or ceremonies. While they don’t have any equipment ourselves, the quartet are happy to be amplified by floor-standing or instrument-mounted microphones, and will arrive in good time to soundcheck before the booking starts. They are just as happy performing on stage as they are in the corner of a room, and can re-locate to multiple locations throughout the course of the event.
OSQ have played at a wide and varied range of corporate events over the years, here are a few examples:
The official opening ceremony of The Blavatnik School of Government, performing as H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge and other distinguished guests were touring the building;
Playing the National Anthem and provided music for a military procession during a graduation ceremony;
At a business conference, giving an intimate concert in Christchurch Cathedral as part of the evening entertainment for delegates;
Providing a selection of classical music for guests to enjoy at a book launch in the Divinity School of The University of Oxford.
The atmosphere of a party can be completely changed by the music that is heard; a string quartet is a wonderful choice to add a touch of class. The quartet have performed at a wide range of parties, from intimate concerts over afternoon tea in the client’s back garden to the welcome reception of Oxford College balls. At a retirement party, they played a mixture of jazz and easy listening songs to for guests to enjoy over dinner in Oriel College. At barbecues and garden parties they have provided the soundtrack to birthdays and anniversaries. They even performed a selection of tangos in one client’s kitchen as a small group of friends had a dancing lesson during a dinner party!
In principle there is no limit to the types of events that OSQ can perform at, and they love working with clients to realise totally unique experiences.
For example, they have performed during a marriage proposal in which they staged a rehearsal in the gardens of a park as our client and his girlfriend took a romantic walk through the grounds. When they ‘stumbled’ on the musicians, they played the couple’s favourite song and the client got down on one knee to propose. Needless to say, she accepted! On another occasion, they teamed up with a dance class in East Oxford to host a tango evening, where students could receive tango instruction whilst dancing to live music.
Oxford String Quartet will take up residency at a venue for prolonged events if required, and are open to performing at events abroad.
FUNERALS & MEMORIALS
OSQ have played at funerals and memorial services in venues ranging from small crematoriums to Reading Minster. They will adapt their performance to your requirements, but typically this involves:
Playing as the congregation arrives
Providing reflective music at particular points during the service
Playing as the congregation leaves
Here are some repertoire suggestions:
Air (Bach); Meditation (Massenet); Pie Jesu (Faure); Liebeslied (Kreisler); Pavane (Faure).
The quartet are able to provide accompaniment to congregational hymns. For congregations larger than 75 people it is advisable to amplify our sound (see Frequently Asked Questions).