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Call: 704-277-2438 info@charlottestrings.com

The following are answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions regarding our services. This information has been gathered through many years of experience in working with our clients. We hope to be able to answer any immediate questions you have and we invite you to contact us if you have any other questions. For audio clip samples of the Charlotte Strings for Events performing please visit the Hear Us page.

General Ensemble Questions

~What instruments make up your string ensembles?
We have four different combinations of string ensembles:
String Quartet- 2 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello
String Trio- 2 violins and cello
Duo- 2 violins
Solo- 1 violin

**Larger ensembles are available upon request**

Which string ensemble is better for my occasion?
It all depends on the size of your event, the desired repertoire and your personal taste and needs.  Having that said, we recommend the smaller ensembles (solo, duo) for intimate affairs of 45-65 people, and the larger ensembles for bigger spaces and crowds (String Trio and String Quartet).  The String Quartet and String Trio are the fullest sounding ensembles and therefore the most popular choices by our clients. We are very versatile and will always have your event's best interest in mind when suggesting any of our ensembles.

How far do you travel?
We are a music group based in Charlotte, North Carolina and we cover the entire Charlotte area as well as the surrounding areas within a 25 mile radius.  We are available to travel but keep in mind that any event outside of our playing area will incur a small mileage fee/per musician. This fee is disclosed prior to booking us.

Do you perform outdoors?
Certainly!  Our music has been part of many outdoor wedding celebrations and other special events.  However, we like to let prospective clients know beforehand of a few outdoor policies that apply to such events.  Our instruments are very delicate and require special care, our policies are there to protect them as well as to insure the quality of our performance.  We require full shade from direct sunlight, whether it be from a gazebo, a tented area or under the shade of trees and under no circumstances will the musicians perform under any kind of precipitation.

What experience/training do the musicians have?
We pride ourselves in providing you with some of the most accomplished string players in Charlotte, NC.  We are experienced, classically trained musicians all members of the Charlotte Symphony.  We are graduates of some of the most prestigious music schools and conservatories in the United States, including: Juilliard, Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Rice University, Carnegie-Mellon School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Oberlin College, and the New World Symphony Orchestral Academy in Miami Beach, FL.

Does the string ensemble require any special equipment at the venue?
We require a small area of about 8 by 8 feet away from excessive guest, wedding party, or wait staff traffic.  Clients also need to supply the ensemble with a set of armless chairs. Depending on the lighting at your event, the musicians may need the use of an electrical outlet to plug in individual stand lights, so we ask that you please have one available for their use within a few feet of the performance area.

What is the ideal location for the ensemble at my event?
For a wedding ceremony, the musicians should be located in an area where they have a clear, unobstructed view of the aisle where the wedding party and bride will walk through during the processional.  With that in mind, please remember to consult with your place of worship/venue for a list of any of their restrictions.  For any other event, the location must be away from excessive guest and wait staff traffic.

When should I expect the musicians to arrive at my event?
We will arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of our contracted performance time.  Set up for our ensembles is very quick and it should run smoothly if the required space, location, chairs, and electrical outlet (if needed) are provided.  Also, it is during this one-half hour before our performance that we discuss any last minute cues and details with the event coordinator or with the person in charge of your event.

What is the musician's dress code?
The dress is formal unless otherwise specified by our clients.  Gentlemen in formal black and ladies in formal black and white or all black.  For some occasions, specially if the event takes place in the morning or early afternoon the gentlemen will wear a dark suit and tie.

Will I meet the musicians before my event?
From our own experience we find that this is not necessary since most of the music details for an event can be taken care of in our extensive phone and e-mail consultations; in addition to that, any other details will be clearly explained in our contract.  However, we understand that every event is unique, and if you prefer to meet in person directly at the venue of your event to discuss any ideas, you may schedule a meeting with Sakira Harley.  Regardless of your preference, we are always available to you for consultations over the phone at 704.277.2438, and through email at info@charlottestrings.com. 

Booking/Planning Ahead Questions

~How far in advance should I hire a string ensemble?
As soon as possible. As with most planning for an event, specially when doing a booking for a wedding or a weekend event, we strongly recommend that you call and book us as early as possible to insure priority in our calendar.  We always do our best to take care of any last minute requests! Call us we would love to accommodate and reserve your special date in our calendar.

How do I book a string ensemble?
As soon as you know the date and approximate time for your event, feel free to contact us to discuss the type of ensemble that is suitable for your event. We will then e-mail you a contract to sign and return to us with the required deposit.
When you call or email inquiring about a booking for the first time please provide the date, time, and location information of your event.
Please note that we will only secure your date in our calendar once a deposit and a signed contract is received within one week of the date on the contract. Call 704-277-2438 or Email Sakira at info@charlottestrings.com.


Prelude Music Questions

~What is prelude music?  Should I have prelude music at my wedding ceremony?
Prelude music is a 30 minute segment of musical selections played before the start of a main event.  The purpose of the prelude is to set the tone, or to evoke an ambiance of celebration and elegance for your event.  As soon as the musicians begin to play, the mood in a room is completely transformed, providing a beautiful backdrop for your guests to mingle and feel welcomed as they arrive at your event.  

~Do I have to select the prelude music?
It is not necessary for you to choose the prelude music or any portion of the programming during the event, unless of course you want to.  We discuss with you ahead of time the type of music or ambience you would like to create, listening carefully to any suggestions you may have.  Then, we can make the appropriate music choices that best match the mood and specific moments during your event to create a beautiful program for you.  

~How do you know when to finish the prelude and begin the music for the wedding ceremony?
All we need is a small signal from your wedding coordinator or the person in charge, to let us know when the wedding party is lined up and the processional is about to begin. We take care of the rest!

Wedding Ceremony Music Questions {Processional/Ceremony/Recessional}

~How many pieces should I choose for the processional?
For a Christian or non-denominational wedding we suggest 3 separate pieces, one for each of these entrances:
-Bridal Party
For a Jewish wedding there are usually only 2 pieces, one for each entrance:
-Rabbi, grand parents, groom and his parents, and bridal attendants (sometimes, the Rabbi or cantor will vocalize through this entrance, in which case the ensemble will wait and play until the following entrance)
-Bride and her

Will I need to know the exact length of the music in order to time each of the entrances?
This is one of our most popular questions! You do not  need to worry about this.  We have many years of experience and we have great skills in making sure that all the transitions from piece to piece as well as the endings of each happen as smoothly and perfectly as possible.  We are capable of adjusting a piece in the moment to lengthen it or end it tastefully at just the right time.  All we need to know is how many people will be walking to each piece of music.  If your coordinator prefers to do so, he/she may cue us directly for each piece, although this is not required.

Can I have a couple of selections played during my wedding ceremony?
Absolutely.  String music during a ceremony is both very beautiful and tasteful, and more importantly, this is one of the best ways to add a very personal touch to your wedding ceremony.  We recommend that you consult with your officiant first, as there may be a set of restrictions he/she may want you to consider before making any music selections with us.  Some common restrictions include the length and type of the music you would like to have played.  We will work with you to make the most suitable selection according to your taste and specifications.

When do you usually perform during a wedding ceremony?
The most appropriate places to choose from are: after readings, lighting of the unity candle, communion and other parts of the Mass, during hymns, and during a quiet moment of reflexion.
There is generally no music from the string ensemble during a Jewish ceremony, however if a cantor is present, he will often sing here.

How many pieces do you play during the recessional?
We perform 2 separate selections, one piece for the grand exit of the newlyweds and the wedding party, and another piece for your guests to enjoy as they exit the venue.  If you would like us to play at your cocktail reception immediately following, we can quickly set up and continue with a different set of music.  We have a wide range of music to choose from in order to create a smooth transition from one event to the next . 

Do you play during the cocktail hour as well?
Yes, we often play at the cocktail hour and/or dinner reception following the ceremony.  This is specially useful for you if your ceremony and cocktail hour/dinner reception take place in the same location, that way you can tie the events together without interrupting the festive mood.  

Will the musicians come to my wedding rehearsal?
We have found through years of experience that this is not really necessary.  In the event that you would like this service added to your contract, we can make available to you one of the members of the string ensemble, depending on our availability. A fee will apply. 

Will you perform with the church organist/singers?
Certainly.  In most cases we can easily accommodate ourselves to perform together with the organist and/or singer from your place of worship, provided that they supply adequate sheet music copies for the ensemble to play at least 3 weeks before the event.  If this is something you are interested in having us do, we require to set up a rehearsal time usually on the day of the event before our contracted starting performance time, to go over the particular selections of music with the organist and/or singer(s).  A fee will apply.
Please note that we can only be responsible for the quality and level of our ensemble's performance, we are not in any way responsible for other people's artistic standards.  Make sure you check the background and abilities of the person(s) who will be performing with us at your event.

Call 704-277-2438 or E-mail us at info@charlottestrings.com for more information.

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Charlotte Strings for Events | 704. 277. 2438 | 221 McAlway Road Charlotte, NC 28211 | info@charlottestrings.com

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