How loud is your cello?
The volume is similar to an acoustic guitar, and like some acoustic guitars, I can amplify the cello to any volume level. I set the volume where the music can be easily heard yet soft enough to allow easy conversation.
Are you able to play a ceremony and cocktail hour consecutively?
Yes, I do this for a good portion of weddings I play! Normally, before the weddings, I set up a separate speaker system in the reception area (to ease the transition). On average, it takes 5-10 minutes to between ceremony finish and cocktail hour beginning. I can play for up to three hours at cocktail hour and/or dinner. The most common request is for me to play cocktail hour immediately following the ceremony (for one hour :)
Do you bring everything you need, including a speaker?
I bring everything I need, including a speaker and also a chair. My speaker is battery-powered, so it requires no extension cords or A/C outlets and has capacity 6+ hours of performance time - always far more than enough. Nature weddings are no problem at all.
Can you play outside?
Yes. When there is a chance of rain, ceremonies are usually delayed or moved inside - so in the majority of situations, rain is a non-issue. I have a small white portable canopy which I can set up if the skies are looking stormy.
How do you fade the recorded music, for example, when the Bride reaches the altar?
I use a foot-controlled pedal to smoothly fade the accompaniments off and end the song with pretty cello sound at just the right moment.
Can you play an entire wedding ceremony with only a cello (no accompaniments)?
Yes, by request I gladly play solo for an entire ceremony. Nearly all of my songs can be played beautifully with solo cello, and I would let you know of those that aren't good for solo cello.
My accompanied cello music mixed with a few solo pieces is what I do most often.
Do you use loops in your music?
I never use a loop pedal, I simply play my accompaniments from an iPad. For pieces with repeated sections of music, I don't use loops either, because my aesthetic goal is to make the recorded accompaniments feel organic and live.
© 2019 by Ryan Smith
Cello for Weddings and Events