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EXPERTAdvice SOUND ADVICE FOR SOUND CHOICES

Cécile Denis - B.M., M.M.

(University of Toronto) Principal Harp with the RSO and the SSO 306.540.6428 ceciledenis@live.ca. www.ceciledenis.com Adding live music to special occasions is an excellent way to ensure that they have both a touch of elegance and a great deal of enjoyment for your guests. This is true for receptions, Christmas parties, corporate events, weddings, anniversary celebrations, and more. Allow me to share six tips I have learned from more than ten years of playing the harp at private functions. 1. To begin with, there are several places where you can find a list of musicians to consider hiring. Both the Regina Musicians Association and the Regina Symphony Orchestra websites have a “Musicians for Hire” section where you can find contact information for performers, including me, who may be available to play at your event.

2. It is highly advisable to book far enough ahead. For summer events held on Saturdays, six to 12 months in advance will help secure your date and avoid disappointment. For other times in the year, three to six months ahead is often still workable. 3. When contacting musicians, do not hesitate to ask about their training and level of experience. Learning about their education will give you both an indication of their proficiency and some idea of the sound you will get. I trained both in France and Canada, so I have been told I have a unique sound, one that combines the light, singing French sound with the power behind the North American sound. Also, check to see if you can hear their playing. Many musicians now have a website featuring samples of their music, or, even better, ask to attend one of their live performances. 4. Whether your event will be held indoors or outside, you will need to make sure the space and environment are appropriate for musicians. For example, when I play outdoors, my harp needs to be placed under a tent and on a platform to ensure it is protected from the elements.

5. Consider what instruments would best suit your occasion: A string quartet? A jazz trio? A harp and violin duo? Or a solo instrument? When you are making your decision about the instruments, take into account whether you want the music to be in the background, so that people can chat, or front and centre for their listening enjoyment. For example, I can play acoustically or amplified according to the intent of the music for your occasion, the size of the venue and the number of guests present. 6. Enquire about the kind of repertoire your live musicians enjoy playing. I have a wide repertoire that includes classical music from the medieval period, the Renaissance, through to modern composers such as Ravel. I also play South American and jazz music. With just a little planning in advance, adding live music to your event will make it a truly memorable affair. Cécile Denis can be contacted either by phone at 540-6428 or by email at ceciledenis@live.ca. Visit www.ceciledenis.com for further information.

FineLifestyles REGINA

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FineLifestyles Regina Fall 2011  

Fine Lifestyles Regina Fall 2011