F R E Q U E N T L Y A S K E D Q U E S T I O N S
Q: Who are the musicians?
A: The Serenade St. Louis musicians are the most experienced and talented players in town. The musicians have performed with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Fox, the Muny, Winter Opera, among many others.
Q : What sets you apart from other groups?
A: Unlike some of our competitors, we do NOT hire inexperienced music students or amateurs. There are many groups in town that do. To maintain a high quality service, we do not double book quartets. Please be aware that other groups do not have a limit to how much they overbook. We prefer to provide quality service over quantity.
PSA: Be aware that some other services claim to be St. Louis based. They have numerous cities they disguise as their home. It's easy to spot these companies by their non-Missouri area codes in their contact info. It is important to support the economy in St. Louis instead of sending your hard earned money to another city or even overseas. These companies do not know the talent or experience of any particular musician and will you will end up taking a chance on the "talent" they find for you, and you will pay more money for their service. Even if you decide to go with another group, please be sure management has roots in St. Louis!
Q. Do you play LGBTQ weddings?
Q: Which group (duo, trio, or quartet) would best suit my occasion?
A: There are many things to consider: One is price. Since we charge per person/per hour; some people may better afford a group of two (duo) or three (trio). If overall sound is your main concern, then a quartet is always the best choice. With four instruments, the sound is much fuller and richer than with two or three. If your occasion is one that involves many people, (like a wedding reception) then a quartet would be the best to be heard over all the sound. If it is a more intimate occasion, then a duo or trio would do well. In the case of a wedding ceremony where the guests remain generally quiet, any ensemble would work.
A Duo consists of: Violin and Cello
A Trio consists of: 2 violins and Cello (sometimes violin, viola and cello)
A Quartet consists of: 2 Violins, Viola, and Cello
Q: How much do you charge?
A: Please inquire for rates.
Q: Is there an extra fee for events outside of St. Louis, MO?
A: Yes. Please inquire for rates.
*There will be no extra charge for trips that are within St. Louis County, St. Louis City, and St. Charles. We do not currently travel to Illinois or central Missouri.
Q.: Should I tip the musicians?
A: Here are some helpful links for tipping:
Q: There is this song I really love, but it is not on your list. Will you be able play it?
A: It never hurts to ask! If we don't have your song, we may be able to find it, or we may already have it! If extensive music arranging is required, there will be an extra fee, starting from $100. Please limit to no more than 2 special requests. If you feel like there's nothing on our lists that suit you, you may want to look in to other ensembles that have what you want!
Q: How do I book your services?
A: You must fill out our Services Agreement. When we receive the Agreement and the non-refundable deposit, your date will be booked and the deposit will be subtracted from the total amount.
Q: I am interested in booking you, will you hold my date for me?
A: If you have expressed a genuine interest in booking our services, your date can be held for up to 7 days after contact. Please be aware that sometimes a date that was previously available may become booked if you take too long to return the deposit and fill out a services agreement.
If you would like to hold your date before filling out an agreement form, you may do so by making a deposit payment of $50 through PAYPAL. (All major credit cards accepted and a PAYPAL account is not required) Once the deposit payment has been made, you will receive an email confirmation stating that your date has been held.
Q: I submitted the contract and deposit, what now?
A: You will receive a booking confirmation from the manager within a few days. For weddings, you will receive the Music Selections Worksheet. You should start choosing your musical selections and submit them via postal mail or email. As long as you request music that is on the repertoire list, you may wait up until a week before the wedding to submit them, but if you would like to request a special song to be arranged, please do so a.s.a.p. so that we may have adequate time to work on it. Also, driving directions will need to be submitted, if they were not already received with the contract.
Q: Will you play outside?
A: Playing inside is preferred but we will play outside under certain conditions: we will not play in weather colder than 62 degrees (non-negotiable) or warmer than 95. Also, we must be under some sort of "cover" (Gazebo, tent, etc) and there must be a flat surface on which to play.
Our instruments are made of wood and are very, very expensive-- we cannot take the chance of having them damaged due to sun or rain. We also require some sort of flooring or surface- we will not play on the bare ground or grass. (Bare ground causes problems with the cello endpin for example, and can also be irksome if the ground is wet or muddy) Even strong winds can make it very difficult or nearly impossible to play by causing our sheet music to flip over or blowing our bows off our strings. You must also take into consideration that the sound of our instruments will not carry as well, so you may want to hire a larger group if the event covers a large area.
We will only play outdoors from May-September. If temperatures are expected to fall below 70 degrees during those months, OUTDOOR HEATERS that are designed to be outdoor heaters are required as a precaution to help insure performance.
Space heaters that are designed to heat indoor spaces are not permitted as alternatives to outdoor heaters.
Experience has taught us that most people do not know the conditions we require to perform at our best--therefore, we must make our clients aware of these conditions and ask them to be understanding of our requirements. We expect to be treated with the same kind of professionalism that we like to exhibit.
Q: What do you wear when you perform?
A: We dress as professional musicians do: in formal concert black. Traditionally musicians wear black so as not to draw attention away from the music itself. For summer events we may dress with white on top and black on bottom for the sake of comfort. No matter what, we will always present ourselves in a professional manner.
Q: When and how shall you be paid?
A: Checks are accepted. Credit card payments are also accepted thru the online service PAYPAL. Payment for the full balance must be made 7 days before the date of services. From countless past experiences, it is better for us not to have to “hunt down” the check in the post-wedding fervor. It is awkward and unprofessional. There will be a charge of $50 per day if payment is not received on time.
Q: What are the procedures for when you arrive to our event?
A: We will arrive early enough to set up, tune our instruments, and talk to a coordinator if needed. When we arrive, there will need to be armless chairs set up in an adequately lit location with plenty of space for movement. For weddings, we will need to talk to the coordinator regarding cues and we will need a copy of the wedding program if we didn’t already receive one in the mail.
Q: How much space do you need and what do we need to provide for you to play?
A: In order for us to play our best we need to move freely, therefore we ask that there be enough space provided for us to do so. For a quartet we need at least 10 square feet of space. A trio will require 8 square feet, and a duo approximately 5 square feet. We will also need to have sturdy, armless chairs and an adequate amount of lighting so that we may easily read our music. We will provide our own music stands.
Q: When and what do you typically play at a wedding ceremony?
A: Most wedding ceremonies we have done consist of us arriving early and playing prelude music while your guests arrive. We then play a processional for the bridal party and the bride, each having their own distinct music. In many cases we play during the ceremony for special interludes such as the lighting of the unity candle or the bearing of gifts. After the bride and groom have been pronounced husband and wife, we play a recessional and then postlude music for about fifteen more minutes. We mainly use the standard wedding repertoire mixed with famous, light classics. Sometimes our clients also request us to play a "special song" from our list of pops and love songs. While some people like to individually choose when and what we play (and what not to play), others like to simply leave it up to us to choose what we think will be best. Either way, we will help you decide using our experience and knowledge of music on what will make your wedding sound the best. Our online Wedding Planner may help you in deciding what music to put where.
Q: Will you play for our vocalist?
A: Potentially. We require that they be a vocalist affiliated with the church and can read music without difficulty, or a vocalist that is chosen by Serenade St. Louis. Due to our busy schedules, we cannot provide the amount of rehearsal time that they would need to feel comfortable.
With professionals, we can meet 20-30 minutes before start time and run through the song with them without any problems. In order to cover rehearsal time, we will need you to book us that extra 30 minutes beforehand.
If you do choose to have us accompany your church cantor, please exchange contact information so we may work out all the details. We may also need to purchase sheet music which may be available online.
Q: Will you attend the wedding rehearsal?
A: We do not attend wedding rehearsals. All we will need is to ask a few questions about placement and timing of the music. We may also need a representative or organizer of the wedding to cue us as to when to start and end. Our manager will work all these details out in advance over the phone or through email.
*Please be sure to fill out our Music Selections Worksheet, which you will receive once you have booked the group for your wedding.
Q: Do you play Jewish weddings?
A: Yes! We try to be as flexible as possible in providing services for any religions or beliefs, and will do our best to provide music suitable for every occasion. Just be sure to tell us what kind of ceremony you will have, and that way we can tailor the music to fit your individual needs.