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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the booking process work?

STEPS TO BOOK AN EVENT

  1. Receive your Inquiry Form / Schedule an Initial Chat with Us

  2. Choose a Package / Get a Customized Quote

  3. Choose an Ensemble

  4. Initial Event Details

  5. Music Contract

  6. Final Event Details

  7. Choose your Music

  8. Finishing Touches / Schedule a Final Chat with Us

  9. Your Event!

What ensemble options do you offer?

INSTRUMENT/ENSEMBLE OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR CEREMONY AND/OR COCKTAIL HOUR EVENTS:

SOLO

  • violin

  • cello

  • piano

  • guitar

  • harp

  • saxophone

  • vocalist

 

DUET

  • violin and cello

  • violin and guitar

  • violin and piano

  • violin and harp

  • cello and guitar

  • cello and piano

  • cello and harp

  • violin and violin

  • violin and viola

 

TRIO

  • 2 violins, 1 cello

  • violin, viola, cello

  • 2 violins, piano

  • 2 violins, guitar

  • 2 violins, harp

  • violin, cello, piano

  • violin, cello, guitar

  • violin, cello, harp

 

STRING QUARTET

  • violin I

  • violin II

  • viola

  • cello

SOLO INSTRUMENT OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR A RECEPTION EVENT:

  • violin

  • saxophone

Requests for a larger group or different instrumentation can be handled through a special inquiry so that we can discuss options.

Our most popular instrumentation is a violin & cello duet, however, the string quartet is a very close second!

Both of these ensembles offer a balanced sound with the most song selection options available.

We have had a request for an unusual ensemble grouping of violin and saxophone -- so anything is possible, just ask!

How do I pick songs for my event?

Once your event is booked, we invite you to select music from our Music page, which features song lists sorted by ensemble.

Should you need guidance or recommendations, we are happy to help!

Once you've made your song selections, simply email your list to ChicagoStreetStrings@gmail.com.

Or, download the song selection checklist, which will assist in organizing your song choices for your event. 

We need your song selections at least 1 month prior to the event date.

If you would like a song or genre that you did not find on our song list, we can typically include 1 song at no additional charge, 

only if the song/arrangement is not drastically difficult or hard to find.

If 2 or more songs are requested that are not on the list, an additional charge will be assessed.

If the proper arrangement of a requested song cannot be readily found, we offer song arrangement services for our selected instrumentation for an additional fee. (Fees are based upon the difficulty of the song requested).

Will there be any travel expenses?

DRIVING

There will be an additional travel fee if the destination is 25 or more miles away from the Chicago area zip code 60018.

The additional travel fee is $1 per mile per musician for mileage over 25 miles.

If your event is out of town, it is expected that you would cover travel and hotel expenses. Please contact us to discuss.

PARKING

We will request parking details/instructions at your event location at least 2 weeks before the event date.

It is important that instructions be clear and accurate, so that musicians arrive on time. If parking is not free, or easily accessible,

this cost is expected to be covered by you, and will be included in the Contact.

How do you accept payment?
  • Venmo

  • Zelle

  • Cash App

  • Apple Pay

All payments are made to the Music Director, Hannah K Watson, who will make sure all musicians are then paid.

Is there a payment schedule?

deposit fee is due upon signing the contract and booking with us. This secures your date onto our calendar.

Two separate payment installments are then due before the event date, as detailed in the contract.

What if I need to cancel my booking?

In general, because you have asked us to hold your event date (and turn down any other event requests for that date), if your event is canceled at any time prior to the event date, any amounts that you have paid are non-refundable.  If there are extenuating circumstances, we will of course be happy to discuss with you.

 

What if my event is running late or overtime?

Musicians may have other performances booked after your event, so it is important to stay on schedule.

Per the Contract: “If the Event is late in starting by more than 15 minutes, or if Musicians are requested to continue playing beyond the time stated above, and Musicians agree to extend the time, Musicians will EACH be compensated an additional $50 for every 15 minutes past the originally set time.”

Be aware that if the event is running very late, musician(s) may have to leave if staying late would cause them to be late for a subsequent event for which they are scheduled.

What do you require in terms of space and equipment?

SPACE

We don’t require much room! We just ask that we aren’t located in the middle of a busy, crowded area.

Typical floor space required for musicians is no less than 8 ft x 8 ft with adequate lighting.

EQUIPMENT

The venue is to provide for each musician an armless chair, set up in the space provided.

Musicians bring their own music stands.

It is helpful to have a secure designated area for instrument cases, bags, etc. so that the performance area is tidy.

AMPLIFICATION

If requested, we can provide amplification for an additional fee. In this case, a 110V power outlet should be within 25 feet of the performance/set-up area.

Should the musicians be at the wedding rehearsal?

Our musicians are seasoned professionals, all having played many types of wedding ceremonies – they always come ready to play and very prepared.

On the day of the wedding, musicians arrive 30 to 60 minutes prior to “performance start time” for parking, load-in, setting up, tuning, etc. 

The musicians will touch base with the wedding coordinator or “Day-of Contact Person” to discuss necessary cues during the ceremony, etc. Attending the rehearsal is, therefore, typically not necessary.

 

However, if this is important to you, we do our best to attend a rehearsal if schedules allow.

An additional fee will be assessed for this time.

My event will be outdoors, how do I prepare for weather?

Here is the language from our Contract:

“Client understands that string instruments are extremely valuable and are susceptible to damage when exposed to certain climate conditions such as rain, wind, direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.  Musicians must be provided with shelter/protection (ie, a tent, canopy, etc. - under a tree is not acceptable cover) when performing outdoors under ANY conditions. Additionally, the “RealFeel” temperature (as reported by accuweather.com)  must be at least 60 degrees and less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  The decision whether to perform outdoors or not will be made by the Musicians 30 to 45 minutes prior to performance time, and Client agrees that their decision will be final.  Therefore, Client is strongly advised to have an alternate plan to move indoors. We do not supply cover or shelter of any kind, as that is the responsibility of the Client.”

What is your dress code for events?

All musicians will dress in what is commonly referred to in the music world as "concert black", which means dressy black professional attire. If you would like us to wear something else, please let us know when booking your event and we can discuss the possibilities.

Do the musicians need breaks?

Yes, a 10-minute break per hour of performing, if the event is 2 hours or longer. This does not apply to wedding ceremonies.

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