Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the string ensemble need amplification?
A: No. The sound of acoustic instruments carries very well indoors or out without the need of microphones. However, we do recommend that you use a microphone for your officiant. We take many important cues from the officiant’s text, including when to begin your recessional music. Though it is not required, we also recommend using lapel microphones for the bride and groom and a freestanding microphone for readers. Voices generally do not carry very well outside or in large indoor venues, and guests want to hear what is being said. Please also provide a freestanding microphone, if you plan on having a singer. String instruments can easily overpower a non-amplified voice.
Q: Are there any resources that you recommend to help me make the musical selections?
A: Yes. Our “Listen” page has several mp3’s of our most requested music selections, and our entire song list is available on the “repertoire” page. “Wedding Music” CD’s are also helpful, but please keep in mind that entire symphonic orchestras perform many of the pieces on these CD’s. While many of the most popular wedding pieces have been arranged for string quartet, there will be pieces on these CD’s that are not feasible for chamber ensemble performance.
Q: What if we would like a piece that is not on your repertoire list?
A: Athena Quartet enjoys learning and playing new music. We will make every reasonable effort to find a printed string arrangement of your requested piece(s) and your account will be charged for the cost of the sheet music (usually $5.99-$19.99, depending on the piece). In the event that string arrangements for your requested piece are unavailable, Athena Quartet may be able to convert piano sheet music to string quartet sheet music at a rate of $0.50 per measure. Please make sure to give us at least 30 days notice, so that we have plenty of time to order, receive, and learn the music.
Q: Can you chime the hour for us?
A: Unfortunately, string instruments cannot chime the hour. Organ or hand bells should perform this.
Q: How should we list the ensemble in our wedding program?
A: There is really no need to list us in your program, unless you just want to. If you do wish to acknowledge the musicians, simply notate that Athena Quartet provided music.
Q: Is there anything I should know before I print my programs?
A: It would be wise to submit your music selections and receive confirmation from Athena Quartet before printing the pieces in your program. You may also wish to visit our “Repertoire” page to double-check spellings. (Canon is a lovely piece by Pachelbel, while Cannon is a sizable piece of field artillery).
Q: Will the ensemble attend my rehearsal?
A: Athena Quartet does not attend rehearsals. When the ensemble arrives, a representative from Athena Quartet will meet briefly with your director to establish a cue to begin the ceremony music.
Q: If it rains the day of my outdoor event, will Athena Quartet accommodate a rain delay?
A: No. Your ceremony time has been especially reserved for you, and we often have other obligations after the completion of your event. Out of courtesy to your musicians and to our other clients, please begin the event at your appointed time. Our musicians are not authorized to accommodate rain delays.
Q: Can you help us contract a singer or other musician for our event?
A: We are happy to perform with other musicians at your event. We frequently accompany singers, as well as trumpet and flute players. Athena Quartet has a network of professionals in the Athens area with whom we often collaborate, and we are able to contract these musicians for you. Please contact us ASAP if you wish to hire additional musicians, as calendars fill up quickly.
Q: Can you accompany a family friend who will sing at our wedding?
A: Certainly. We have a few pieces in our current repertoire that work well with singers. Please keep in mind a few guidelines, though.
~ You should choose musicians who are experienced performers and who read music fluently. Your wedding musicians must all be able to perform from the same printed music with limited rehearsal time.
~If the music chosen to perform is not in the repertoire of Athena Quartet, please provide sheet music (arranged for the appropriate ensemble) at least 30 days prior to the event. In some cases Athena Quartet can convert piano sheet music to string quartet sheet music at a rate of $0.50 per measure.
~Since the Athena Quartet musicians do not attend wedding rehearsals, any rehearsing with your other musician(s) will take place 30 minutes prior to your prelude music. Please also provide a minimum 30 days notice, if you wish for Athena Quartet to collaborate with any other musicians.
Q: What other wedding tips have you picked up after playing weddings for over 15 years?
A: We have learned some valuable lessons. While some of these may seem obvious, our actual experiences have led us to create the following list. If it’s here, it’s happened to us...just ask...we have some hysterical stories!
~Yes, you do need a wedding director. You must have someone assigned to direct everyone during the actual wedding. This person will provide critical cues to our musicians.
~Before printing your programs, please be sure you have submitted your music requests and have received confirmation from Athena Quartet. We have seen programs containing song titles that we have never even heard of. Also, be sure to consult our repertoire list for correct spellings.
~ Plan your outdoor events carefully. HAVE A RAIN PLAN. A string ensemble is an ideal choice for your outdoor event, since the instruments are portable and the acoustic sound carries very well without the need for amplification. However, there are some considerations that should be made when planning your outdoor event. String instruments are highly sensitive to temperature. Direct sunlight can cause irreparable harm to these delicate instruments, so please provide a shaded area for your musicians. Water (even mist) can damage string instruments, as well. Please have a rain plan for your outdoor event that includes a tent to cover your musicians or relocate your event to an indoor venue in case of inclement weather.