Confessions of a Suffolk Photographer – Wedding String Quartet
Established by cellist Christopher Slatter in 2006, the Suffolk-based Scintillo String Quartet has gained an enviable reputation for providing professional live music of the highest standard for a wide variety of engagements including weddings, corporate events and concerts in venues throughout Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, & Cambridgeshire. Working as freelance musicians, between them the members of the quartet boast a wealth of musical experience, including performing with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Iceni Ensemble, English Serenata, and live performances on BBC Radio 4 and at The Comedy Store in Leicester Square. With an exceptional standard of playing and a sophisticated performance at every event the Scintillo String Quartet is increasingly in demand to provide music for weddings, civil partnerships and blessings.
Top ten suggestions for a Quartet
Classical music is still very popular for wedding ceremonies as it adds a touch of sophistication and really elevates the emotion of the day. It can also be fun to have a playlist which encompasses Jazz, Pop and Film Music to accent a particular theme or mood you are looking to create – guests love it too when they hear something unexpected and often end up singing along or dancing!
We recommend that you book your quartet at least 12 months before your wedding day, as musicians who are in demand will be happy to take bookings up to two years in advance. As live music is such a personal and important part of your day, it really is best to firm up your booking by paying a deposit and signing a booking contract with the musicians you decide upon to avoid disappointment later.
If you are having a church ceremony or blessing, a string quartet can provide a beautiful accompaniment to your hymns as an alternative to a church organ.
Choosing your musicians…
When selecting your quartet make sure they have a wide range of sound clips in different musical styles available for you to listen to on their website. A versatile and competent quartet should be happy to perform music in all genres for you and by listening to them you’ll get a feeling for how they play.
Never be afraid to ask…
All of our clients have a warm appreciation for music but many do not necessarily have the confidence to ask musical questions. We always encourage questions from our couples as they should never feel inhibited to open up a dialogue about any aspect of the music we are providing. As a result of this Scintillo has loved working with solo singers, flautists, trumpeters and even gospel choirs when couples have had particular requirements for something different during the signing of the register. We’ve always been happy to have musical conversations with fellow performers on behalf of our couples – this really takes the stress out of what may feel like unfamiliar territory!
A string quartet can provide music for any part of your day and as an acoustic ensemble do not need any amplification or access to electricity. This makes the ensemble portable and moving around to different parts of your venue should never be a problem. Even playing outside is possible if the weather permits, and if there’s a shaded spot in which to play on particularly sunny days.
So many of our couples have a piece of music which has a special meaning to them, so don’t be scared to ask if there is a particular song or piece you would like to have performed as part of you day. A professional a quartet should be happy to arrange music especially for you – at Scintillo our repertoire encompasses over 350 years of musical styles, from Classical favourites to contemporary pop songs and we pride ourselves in offering a bespoke musical arrangement service and are always adding new music.
Check out your chosen quartet on Facebook and Twitter to see what they are up to – this can really help you to get a feel for how they work, what they can offer you and the rapport they have with their venues and couples. Always check out the visitor posts on their Facebook page as these are real testimonials!
How long can a quartet play for?
How long you may like a quartet for will depend on the plans for your day, and each event is unique – our bookings range in duration from ceremony only to up to six hours. In our experience the most usual length of time is around three hours as this is often enough time to cover music for a ceremony and drinks reception.
What should I expect to pay?
Prices will vary depending on the location and duration of your booking, but it is worth remembering that when you book an experienced professional string quartet you are hiring four highly skilled and talented musicians who will have spent many years of training, hard work and dedication to be able to provide high quality live music. Always ask if the quote you are given includes travel and VAT, as this can avoid any sudden and unexpected extra costs in your wedding budget.
Listen to some samples of their music:
1 Piece of music
It is so difficult to choose just one piece as a string quartet is so versatile and we are always adding new music. A long standing favourite which has meant so much to our couples over the years has to be Pachlebel’s ‘Canon’. For something more current and contemporary it has to be ‘I Giorni’ by Einaudi at the moment.
2 Wedding venue in Suffolk / Essex
It’s a real privilege for us to visit such a wide range of beautiful venues, and to tailor our music to the setting, and we are really lucky to have particularly close links with two stunning venues in East Anglia.
In Suffolk it has to be the gorgeous Easton Grange – a bright and spacious luxury barn wedding venue which blends into the rural setting beautifully. The layout and acoustics are perfect for live music as there is so much space on offer, and the events team there are always on hand to ensure the day runs smoothly. http://www.eastongrange.co.uk
In Essex we love working with the fabulous team at Hedingham Castle – it is so inspiring to provide music for our couples in such a Romantic and historic setting where there is both a Georgian Manor House and Norman Castle on offer. It’s amazing how well a mix of Classical and Contemporary music works in a castle keep!
3 wedding picture (description or image)
Here is a string quartets’ eye-view, taken by one of our violinists, from a recent wedding we played for at Boreham House in Essex – I thought it would be nice for you all to see what we do! It also reminds us that we get to enjoy being part of so many celebrations, whilst bringing the music we love to them.