Weddings & Programs

COCKTAIL/DINNER/BACKGROUND MUSIC

While the acoustic guitar has a marvelous heritage of classical pieces, Ken has found that audiences enjoy his unique original arrangements  of Beatles, Bossa Nova, pop tunes, Jazz standards, and original compositions. Ken's play list includes:

Beautiful Day     Blue Bayou     Brown Eyed Girl

And I love her     Blackbird    Eight days a week

Eleanor Rigby  Hard Day's Night  Hello Hello

Here comes the sun   Here There and Everywhere  Hey Jude

I wanna hold your hand   If I fell    Imagine

Jenny/867-5309    Joy to the World  I'm a believer

Kind of Hush  Just the Two of Us   Change the World

And LOTs more.....

WEDDINGS

Having played for hundreds of weddings, Ken understands the importance of selecting the right pieces that convey the right mood.  In addition to the standard wedding classics, Ken‘s substantial experience positions him to "think outside the box" when considering wedding pieces.

    

  

     

  

            

 

 

Here are Ken's observations on choosing wedding ceremony music:

Having played for many weddings, I have heard many of the same questions concerning wedding music asked by many brides and grooms. Here are some of those questions, along with my answers. Hopefully, this information will help you in planning your wedding ceremony.

1. What about music before the service?

Pre-service, officially referred to as “prelude” music, often starts about 15-20 minutes before the service starts. The beginning of prelude music is a signal to the people attending that the big event is soon to begin.

2. What pieces are played at this time?

As with everything in your wedding, it can be up to you. Familiar pieces from the classical tradition are popular here. Pieces by J.S. Bach that are often played for prelude music include “Sleepers Awake”, “Air on the ‘G’ String”, and “Arioso”. The “Andante” by Mozart is also popular here. Beautiful contemporary pieces for this part of the ceremony could include things like “All I Ask of You”, or “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. The concepts for the musical selections here are to be joyful, and expectant. Many couples like to have hymns, or other songs of faith, played during this part of their service. Rather than listing specific titles, many couples just choose to list “Prelude” in their wedding program. This gives the musician opportunity to add (or delete) specific pieces as time dictates.

3. What other places at the beginning of the service feature music?

Some couples want a specific piece, or even a vocal solo, when the parents or grandparents are being seated. In larger or more formal weddings, the usual tip that things are starting is when the officiant, groom, and groomsmen enter.

4. What about when the attendants proceed down the aisle?

Many brides choose “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by J.S.Bach, or the “Canon in D” by Pachelbel. A good feature of these pieces is that they are adjustable in length, and provide you with flexibility.

5. Can you play “Here Comes the Bride” for me?

Absolutely! It is formally known as the “Bridal Chorus” from the opera “Lohengrin” by Wagner, and it sounds just fine on guitar, thank you. Many brides have requested the “Trumpet Voluntary” by Purcell, which I can also play.

6. What about songs during the ceremony? Will you accompany a singer?

Certainly. If at all possible, please get me sheet music, lyrics, or at least a YouTube linkbefore hand.  In my experience, one, or at most two, vocal pieces in a ceremony work best. Vocal pieces are more difficult to tailor to a specific amount of time.

7. What about rehearsals?

I generally do not attend the wedding rehearsal. That time is for you, your friends, and family. If you are having a singer, as long as I have time to rehearse with your singer prior to the wedding, we will be fine.

8. Are there other parts of the ceremony where you play?

I play wherever you want me to in your ceremony. Often a short instrumental piece works well during a unity candle ceremony, during a presentation of roses to the parents, or other similar part of your ceremony. I do not want you or your guests staring at me impatiently while I finish playing a long composition. I tailor these pieces to fill the available time. The bride and groom are the focus of the ceremony, not the guitar player!

9. What about the end of the ceremony?

This is called the “Recessional”, and it is the time for a BIG, joyful tune. How about the “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn? It’s not just for organists anymore! The “Trumpet Tune” also works well here. Some couples have asked for my composition “Psalm 33:3” or the “Allegro” from “Water Music” by Handel. “Spring” from “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi is also a popular choice. One couple recently asked me to play the "Beautiful Day" by U2! I was happy to do so. The key word here is CHOICE. This is your wedding. I am here to help make your ceremony as wonderful as it can be.

10. What do you need to set up?

I am easy. I usually play from a standing, rather than seated, position.  I usually plug my guitar into a small amplifier, or a larger sound system. All I will need is an electrical outlet nearby. If your wedding is at a larger church, or if a sound technician is provided, I am happy to work in advance with the sound man.

11. Do you play during cocktail hour, or dinner?

ABSOLUTELY! In addition to many traditional classical pieces, my repertoire includes plenty of jazz tunes, Broadway, movie, and 60’s and later pop tunes. Think of me as being similar to what a “cocktail pianist” would play.

12. Do you take requests?

I am happy to take requests. If you have a certain favorite song, piece, or genre, let’s discuss in advance. One couple recently asked to include songs from Disney movies during the dinner hour. I have played for many weddings over the past 20 plus years, so I have a substantial amount of experience. If anybody asks, I can play “Free Bird” or “Stairway to Heaven”; but only with the bride’s consent, and then only the short versions!

13. Do you only perform as a solo artist?

No! I often play as a duet with either a violin, cello,  or flute. While adding another musician increases the expense, the musical result can be very well worth the additional investment.

Here are some examples of Classical and Popular wedding selections:

CLASSICAL PIECES
Composer Title  
Bach Air (On the G String)  
Mozart Andante from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Grieg Morning from Peer Gynt
Traditional Israeli Erev shol shoshanim  
Rothacker Renassaince jam  
Delibes Lakme Due  
Vivaldi Autumn – Largo from The Four Seasons 
Bach Sleepers Awake  
Bach Bist du bei mir  
Bach Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Bach Sheep May Safely Graze
Pachelbel Canon in D Major   
Handel Air from Water Music   
Stanley Trumpet Voluntary  
Mouret Rondeau (The Masterpiece)
Wagner Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin
Bach Arioso from Cantata No. 154 
Traditional Simple Gifts from Old American Songs
Bernstein One Hand, One Heart (West Side Story )
Beethoven Ode to Joy from Symphony No. 9
Handel La Réjouissance   
Purcell Trumpet Tune  
Vivaldi Spring from The Four Seasons – Allegro
Mendehlsson Wedding March (Her Comes the Bride!)
Rothacker Psalm 33:3  
POPULAR PIECES
Original Artist Title  
Beatles And I love Her
Beatles Here Comes the Sun
Beatles In My Life  
Beatles Something
Beatles Here, There, Everywhere
Elvis Presley I Can’t Help Falling in Love
Elvis Presley Love Me Tender
Ben Folds The Luckiest
Muppets The Rainbow Connection
Louis Armstrong What a Wonderful World
Stevie Wonder Isn’t She Lovely
Stevie Wonder Overjoyed  
Stevie Wonder Sunshine of My Life
Etta James At Last  
Phil Phillips Sea of Love
The Turtles So Happy Together
Edwin McCain I'll Be  
Plain White T's 1234  

 

 

CONCERT PROGRAMS

Ken's concert programs are designed to Engage, Entertain, and Educate the audience. By combining his wide repertoire with audience participation and involvement, Ken provides his audience with a unique and fun musical experience. These programs are designed for libraries, school groups, churches, and private concert events.