The Cotswold Ensemble, Oxford
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Experienced, classically-trained musicians for special events in the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire & nearby counties. String quartet & string duo music for your civil or church ceremony and & reception.
Type of Performer(s) or Business
Ensemble / Group
Style of Music
Drinks / Cocktails Music
Other Style of Music
Learn New Songs
The Cotswold Ensemble is a group of 16 professional, experienced, classically-trained, friendly string-playing musicians, established in 1988. We play for special events in the Cotswolds and around Oxford, and as we enjoy playing, we are happy to travel further afield. We have been bringing live music to people's special occasions over many years, so we know from experience that having a live quartet makes all the difference to the ambience of a wedding and reception - we have been told this so many times! We play most often as a string quartet, (two violins, one viola, one cello) because this ensemble has by far the best quality and widet range of repertoire - from well before Bach to well beyond the Beatles. Our quartets are pleased to play the hymns at church weddings where there isn't an organist. If you are wanting a lively reception or post-meal dancing, our acoustic Tango Quartet to play tangos as well as regular string quartet repertoire. Our string duos (1 violin and 1 cello) are ideal for events with fewer guests or events where space is limited. For music from the Baroque and Classical eras only, ask about our flute/violin/cello trios. For the smallest scale events, ask about our solo violinist (electric &/ or acoustic ) or our solo acoustic cellist. We are versatile: if your desired ceremony piece is not available commmercially for quartet or duo, we can arrange it for you. Every wedding is unique so there can be no standard prices! Contact us, including postcode of venue/s for further information, availability on your date, and prices.
Personal Message from the Manager
Name of Wedding Contact: Fiona Hedges
Welcome to the Cotswold Ensemble. We've played for many many weddings since 1988, and though most still have many things in common, over the years fashions have changed, and each wedding still has had it's own needs. Please do ask us! If it can be done, we will do it!
Year Business Was Established
No. of Weddings Hosted
More than 50
Public Liability Insurance
No. of People In Team
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What is your most memorable wedding?
Too many to mention: being rowed across to small island venues on the Thames, playing in ruins - ultra romantic venues, where the bride appeared on horseback, bride & groom's reception entry by punt/farm waggon/helicopter...
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
Professional, organised, versatile, loving the playing
What about your business are you most proud of?
As the usual cellist for our quartets, I provide solid foundations while our versatile upper string players can play all or most of the three upper parts: result is we keep our performances fresh even when playing time-honoured standards. And we like new places to go to and having new music to play.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Choose your ceremony pieces yourselves, and let your musicians select Reception & Wedding Breakfast music to reflect the age range and likely taste in music of your guests. You'll be too busy to hear much after the ceremony, but your guests will.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
Again, too many to single out one: hand-forged rose sprays (from Abbot St Forge, Kingston Lacey), hand-made dachshund napkin holders, hand-painted cherry-blossoms on paper lights for a spring wedding.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
Establish timings for each part of the event, offer lists of ceremony choices & post-ceremony repertoire if needed, check for specific pieces/genres to be included or avoided, offer to make special arrangements if a ceremony or breakfast entrance piece is not available commercially for the booked combo, set time frame for completion of various aspects of preparation....