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FAQs

Images by Joel Devereux. copyright 2019.

Frequently asked Questions

Strings at Hand by Collusion understands that for many people, this might be the first time you're hiring musicians for an event.

Here our violinist Ben Greaves answers some of the most common questions.

Weddings and Receptions

 

Q. Is our fee inclusive of a set up time fee?

A.  You do not pay for us to set-up. We arrive prior to your booked time to set-up. Your 1 hour booking starts from the moment we start playing, which is usually 15 minutes prior to your ceremony.  


Q. I am time poor, I don't know where to start with repertoire selection. Is it ok for the musicians to choose?

A. Yes. Although repertoire selection can be a fun wedding planning job, it can also be quite confusing, time consuming and there is so much music to choose from! In all honesty, sometimes the most effective ceremonies are those where the musician has selected the music. Having played at over 500 weddings over the last 18 years, I certainly have a good idea of what music pleases guests and wedding parties. Please feel free to choose your music or leave it up to Strings At Hand. 


Q. Do you require chairs?

A. Yes. We prefer if you provide 2 (duo), 3 (trio), or 4 (quartet) armless chairs set up in the place you would like the musicians to perform.
(If you have trouble providing chairs please let us know, we can provide).


Q. Do our musicians play as guests arrive?

A. Yes. When booking a string ensemble for a wedding ceremony tell us the start time of the actual ceremony. We will naturally arrive 1/2 hr before the ceremony and commence playing 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the ceremony. We generally assume most wedding ceremonies last no longer than 45 minutes. An example: If your wedding commenced at 3pm, we arrive for set-up at 2.30pm, commence playing for your arriving guests at 2.45pm, and will be due to finish at 3.45pm.
 

Q. If the bride is late and delayed will I be charged if the wedding starts late and finishes late?

A. Yes. If the music ensemble needs to stay later than the specified  finishing time, you will be charged in 15 minute blocks at the ceremony hourly rate. If you are concerned that your ceremony may run late or run longer than 45 minutes, it may be best to book the ensemble for a 1.25 hr session. For example; the ensemble commences playing at 2.45pm (15 min prior to start of ceremony for guest arrival), and completes session at 4pm.
 

Q. What music do you suggest for the Processional, Signing and Recessional?

A. We have suggestions on our Wedding page
 

Q. What do the musicians wear?

A. Strings at Hand standard dress is formal all black attire.
You may request that male musicians wear dinner suit/tuxedo, bow tie, etc however if not specified male musicians will wear smart formal black shirt and trousers. You may also request a style from our musicians. You may wish for our musicians to be glamorous, funky or elegant! 

 

Q. Is there a chance that student musicians will perform at my wedding?

A. There is no chance that quality will ever be compromised, however we sometimes employ the best of final year students from the Conservatorium who have superb reputations, and are making the transition from student performer to professional performer. 
 

Q. I am a little reluctant to book direct with an agency which is run by the performing musician. I have been told by some producer ran agencies this can be unreliable. Is this true?

A. No - not with Strings At Hand. Booking direct with musicians and their ensembles cuts red tape and often means you pay far less. There is no middle man. There really is LESS chance of something going wrong. You have direct communication with the musicians, which means you can communicate with them up until the final hours of your organisation.

Functions and Events

Q. What do musicians require or what do I need to provide.
A. We prefer if you provide 2 (duo), 3 (trio), or 4 (quartet) armless chairs set up in the place you would like the musicians to perform.
(If you have trouble providing chairs please let us know, we can provide).


Q. Can I specify the type of music I'd like the musicians to perform?
A. Yes. You can choose a theme for the evening.
For example you may prefer Jazz standards or Movie themes. A future client has asked for anything made in England. We are going to perform hits by The Beatles, The Verve, Elton John, and classical tunes associated with England by composers such as Elgar, Holst, Vaughan-Williams and Handel (German however created much of his most famous works in England i.e. Fireworks Music).


Q. Do I need to provide musicians with a meal and drinks during a longer function i.e. a 3 hour session?
A. No, however, if a meal is served to musicians during our scheduled break, it will be very much appreciated, and often allows musicians to perform at their peak through an extended session. If you let us know prior to receiving a quote that you intend on giving the musicians a meal, you may well receive a very competitive quote!

Q.For extended bookings for example 2- 3 hour bookings, does the ensemble take breaks?
A. Yes, a 10 minute break per hour is acceptable for all musicians involved in a 3 hour session of music performance. We will take one 10 minute break in a 2 hour session. We can schedule breaks around speeches etc if you provide us a with a schedule of the event. 

Q. What do the musicians wear?
A. Strings at Hand standard dress is formal all black attire.
You may request that male musicians wear dinner suit/tuxedo, bow tie, etc however if not specified male musicians will wear smart formal black shirt and trousers. You may also request a style from our musicians. You may wish for our musicians to be 

glamorous, funky or elegant! 

Q. Is our fee inclusive of a set up time fee?
A. Yes. The quoted fee includes the time it takes for our ensemble to set up. 

Q. Do I need to alert a function venue that I am having musicians?
A. Yes. Some venues require that all guests are security checked.
For example. GOMA requires musicians enter via a particular door and the name of each musician in an ensemble must be provided to security via your liasing venue manager for the event.


Q. Is your business experienced?
A. Yes. In the past some of our corporate clients have been Australian Government, Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council, Logan City Council, Cerebral Palsey League, DETA, MediProtect, Queensland Art Gallery, Hilton Hotel, Stanford Plaza, Marriott Hotel, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Moreton Bay Yacht Club, Brisbane Club, Tattersals Club, Ramsay Health, Griffith University, and Queensland University of Technology.

Q. Why am I paying musicians so much money. They must be receiving at least $80 per hour each. That seems a little excessive?
A. When you hire a musician you are not only paying for the musicians experience, years of hard work and practise, not to mention perhaps a Bachelor and Master degree, but you are also paying for beautiful instruments (perhaps worth 1000s of $) to be at your event, which require much maintenance and servicing. A set of cello strings alone can cost in excess of $400! If you can compare the cost of an ensemble of musicians to 1 professional photographer, you may realise you are getting a bargain.

Still have a question about booking Strings at Hand by Collusion? Drop us an email and we'll be sure to assist.