Derbyshire Wedding Band to accompany a Quintessential English Wedding

I am Rory Russell and together with my friend and colleague Matt Glossop we formed Bloomsbury Event Group – a collective of musicians based in Manchester and providing bespoke entertainment for weddings, parties and corporate events across the UK.

Matt and I met whilst studying to become professional musicians at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester – he a violinist and me a classical guitarist. We have lived and breathed music since we were children and having both enjoyed successful performing careers ourselves we now relish seeing our musicians create memorable experiences for and bring life to our clients’ events.

Music to those who love it can be one of the most important elements to them when planning their event and can help to create the perfect atmosphere for hosts and guests alike. Below is an example of how we used our hugely talented collective of musicians to create the most extraordinary musical moments for the wedding of none other than my colleague Matt who of course wanted it to be at the very centre of his and his wife Sarah’s big day.

The Ceremony 

The wedding ceremony took place at Holy Trinity Church which is situated in the idyllic Derbyshire village of Ashford in the Water. Ashford in the Water is situated in the Derbyshire Peak District and is a neighbouring village to Bakewell, the popular town famous for it’s Bakewell puddings!

Classical music is ideal for capturing the divinity of a traditional Church ceremony and Matt and Sarah chose to have a String Sextet (6 string players) perform J.S. Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze for the entrance of the bride and Souvenir de Florence by Tchaikovsky for the signing of the register. Classical string groups have always been a very popular option for ceremonies, however, sextets are fairly rare – most people opt for a string quartet or in some cases even just a string trio. If budget or space is an issue then solo violin or cello accompanied by piano can be a wonderful way of bringing beautiful classical music to your ceremony. 

“If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it ― William Shakespeare

Matt and Sarah also chose to hire an organist to play their hymns and the recessional. Small country churches are often without a resident professional organist and if you want the traditional sound of organ accompaniment to your hymns it is certainly worth while looking into hiring one. Another option for those of you who are not hugely keen on the sound of the organ is to have a string quartet perform your hymns.

Drinks Reception

One of our most popular options for a wedding drinks reception is a jazz group. Matt and Sarah chose to have a Jazz Quintet. This may seem like a huge extravagance, however, the beauty of using our ‘collective of musicians’ is that we’re able to hand pick those who perform both Jazz and Pop to put together a group of musician able to play Jazz for the Drinks Reception and then Pop Music for the Evening Entertainment. Paying 5 musicians to arrive for the drinks reception and then stay on to play in the evening band is actually not hugely expensive considering the amount their presence adds to the vibe of the afternoon. Jazz has a wonderful ability of adding a huge sophistication to an event whilst not being obtrusive. We spend so much time planning in detail all the aesthetics of our wedding venue – the flowers, decorations, colour schemes – and often overlook that which will really set the mood of the event – the soundtrack.

Wedding Breakfast

Many decide that this is the moment to take a break from live music as guests will now be focusing on eating and drinking and won’t necessarily appreciate it. A playlist though can be used to create the right mood and we tailored a soundtrack of classic Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and other legends from the 1950s and 60s to complement Sarah & Matt’s taste and the offer continuity after the live jazz quintet. Our sound engineer had set up his equipment for the band during the drinks reception so was ready to play this on our arrival at the marquee.

The Party

This is where things really come alive! Meal and speeches finished, cake cut & everyone feeling ready to let their hair down and loosen their ties…it’s time for the first dance. This can sometimes be a bit of a dilemma when having a live band such as at Matt & Sarah’s wedding – do you have this hugely important song performed on record by the artist that recorded it or live for your own very special unique rendition? Both have their merits – I personally chose to have my first dance ‘At Last’ by Etta James performed by the lady herself as my band wouldn’t have been able to do it justice, however, Matt & Sarah chose to have our Bloomsbury Function Band perform ‘Hallelujah, I Love Her So’ by Ray Charles as the lead singer Rowan has a way of making songs like this her own and it would also be a great opportunity to showcase the pianist, saxophonist and trumpeter in the band. Needless to say they did the most incredible job of bringing this classic to life with a new twist. 

So the 5 jazz musicians from the drinks reception were now joined by 3 new recruits to form an 8 piece band made up of musicians from our collective. They performed songs from James Brown to The Strokes and always with infectious energy, wit & soul.

As with all our bands we offer recorded music during their break and following the conclusion of their last set Matt & Sarah had opted for a DJ to complete the evening with the brilliant addition of a saxophonist to roam the dance floor improvising along to the tunes being played. A great way to keep the party going whist still incorporating that amazing live element that we so love to include at our events.

Our priority at Bloomsbury Event Group is offering amazing talent and exceptional performances whilst also delivering on style, professionalism and production which sew music into the fabric of the day so that it complements all other features. We are so blessed to have such an amazing collective of musicians to call upon, each with their own individual talents and who when combined creatively can produce the most amazing musical memories.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato