Published December 6th, 2011
There’s nothing like live music to bring a touch of class and vibrancy to a wedding, whether for the ceremony, reception or both. When those musicians are classically trained, your guests are sure to be wowed.
Meet Opus Trio, comprised of William Bell and Jennifer Nash on violin and cellist Andria Chase, who shares more about the group’s repertoire and approach to wedding day accompaniment.
Please tell us a bit about the three of you.
OT: We all received degrees in Music Education from the University of Maine, and we met during our studies there. We played in the University of Maine Orchestra together as well. We all now teach instrumental music at the following schools: Bill teaches at the Bangor schools, grades 4-12, Jen teaches at the Etna/Dixmont school, grades K-8, and I teach in Corinth schools, grades 4-12.
What does your repertoire include?
OT: Our repertoire is completely Baroque, Classical, and Romantic music. We have the traditional bridal and wedding marches as well as pieces by Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, Purcell, Clark, Beethoven and many others.
How do you work with couples to determine a musical program for the day?
OT: When we first talk to a couple about music for their wedding day, we ask if they have any songs in mind. If so, we go over those. If not, then we offer suggestions for what songs might be appropriate. We try to suggest songs that go along with the couple’s feelings about their wedding. We often play for the cocktail part of the reception as well as the ceremony.
If a piece isn’t listed in your repertoire, do you take special requests?
OT: If there is a classical piece that a couple of requests and we do not have it on our repertoire list, then we do try to find it for them. If there is a pop song that the couple would like for their ceremony, we do try to find it and try to make it work. Usually, though, it is very hard to make a pop song sound complete when being played on three string instruments. Parts sometimes get left out and the song does not sound right. We have played pop songs before; just sometimes it does not work out well. We try to make the song sound as good as possible though.
Do you mainly perform for formal weddings, or can your style work for casual weddings too?
OT: We have performed for many different styles of weddings, ranging from very formal Catholic ceremonies to backyard ceremonies.
What advice do you have for couples in choosing music for their wedding day?
OT: Music is usually one of the last elements of weddings that people think of, especially ceremony music. I would suggest to couples who would like live musicians to start choosing music at least 3 to 4 months before their wedding day. This way, if there is a song that the musicians do not have, they have time to find it and arrange it if need be.
Any special memories of weddings you’ve played for at French’s Point?
OT: We always love performing at French’s Point because (owner and CEO) Jessika is so organized! She is always making sure that we are taken care of and that we have the necessary cues for the music so that everything fits and flows nicely. We also enjoy performing in the gazebo because of the acoustics and the enjoyment of playing on the water.
A special memory that we have of performing at French’s Point is probably playing for a couple about 2 Octobers ago. They had a huge, over-the-top wedding and it was gorgeous. We performed “Ave Maria” by Schubert with a wonderful singer during the ceremony.