Once we determine availability and agree on the fee, event bookings are secured through filling out my event music agreement and paying a 50% deposit. Please email me to discuss your event and get a copy of this document.
The sooner the better. While it's sometimes possible to book last minute, my schedule is generally pretty full 3-6 months in advance, and I have bookings and tours starting to fill in up to two years in advance. If your event date is on a weekend I recommend booking at least 6 months in advance. Each year, the dates that tend to fill up first are weekends (especially Saturdays) in late-April, mid to late-May, late-July, mid to late-September, and sometimes October. It's not unusual for me to get several requests for the most popular dates each year. Although I may be able to fit in 2-3 events on these days if the timing and travel times work out, most events unfortunately tend to happen around the same time of day. All bookings are first come, first served. Holiday and New Years events tend to book up by mid-October. Weekdays and other times of the year are hard to predict.
Event planning requires making many decisions, and often for a wedding or party that may be months or even years into the future. In the case where you know you'd like to book me, but you aren't yet sure if you'd like me to perform solo, or which of my duo partners or ensembles you'd like to book to accompany, best would be to secure me for your date and then we can secure the other musicians once you've decided. I have a first call for each type of instrument I perform with, but I also have backup players I can call on if needed. Of course, deciding sooner than later ensures the desired instruments and musicians are available.
In the case where you aren't sure whether you'd like to book me and my colleagues, I'm happy to keep your date penciled in, but only up to a certain point. Especially if you're interested in booking me with one of my ensembles, I can't ask my musicians to hold dates indefinitely and miss out on other opportunities they might be receiving should you decide to go in another direction. In many cases, we're willing to hold a date until another inquiry for that date comes along for one or all of us, which could be days, weeks, or even a month or more depending on the popularity of the date. At that point I'd contact you and give you the first chance to book me/us, or if you still aren't sure, unfortunately at that point we'd need to move on.
Please stay in touch as you go through your decision process, and reach out if you have any questions about my services. And as much as we'd be happy to play for your event, we appreciate knowing as soon as possible that you've decided to go in a different direction so we can invite a new possibility.
For indoor events we need a space which affords roughly 3 square feet per musician. Short of an actual stage, a corner, where we're not blocking the flow of traffic and a bit set apart from the crowd is perfect.
For outdoor events, we need a level surface, dry ground, and shade. A spot with some protection from wind is always appreciated. In the case of rain or more extreme heat or cold (over 95 or under 55), we request an alternate indoor location.
Depending on the situation, we may also need an armless chair for each musician performing.
If we will be bringing amplification equipment, we need a power source at the site, or an extension cord. If we'll be plugging into an existing PA, please inquire about the inputs we'll require.
For a quote, please reach out with the following information, or as much as you can provide at this time:
In making the decision to amplify or remain acoustic, we need to consider whether your event is indoors or out, how many guests will be in attendance, how many musicians will be performing, the size and acoustics of the space we will be performing in, and whether the venue has rules about acoustic versus amplified music, or legal requirements to stay within certain decibel levels (the latter not usually being an issue for the type of instruments and music we play even when amplified, but necessary to consider).
While acoustic solo violin for a dozen people on a cliffside ceremony overlooking the Pacific may be a perfect and intimate fit, that same violin may be largely drown out at a larger, more rowdy reception or party on a wide open patio. This is a decision best made together after discussing your particular event.
If we do decide to amplify, we can either supply our own system for a modest additional fee, or we can usually work with an existing system at no additional charge.
Although I'm happy to perform on either, most of my solo event repertoire is arranged for violin. Although I can transpose most pieces and songs to the viola, it's easiest to just perform them on solo violin as I usually do. If you'd strongly prefer for me to perform on viola, or a mix of the two instruments, this can likely be arranged. The viola is a beautiful instrument too and deserves more recognition!
I love my acoustic violin. I found this particular instrument when I was 16 years old and people often comment on its unique look and its rich and warm sound (sometimes people ask if I'm actually playing a viola). Quite a few people have also told me that they don't usually like the sound of violins, but that they love the sound of mine. So although I have played electric violins here and there, I am always eager to return to the beautiful tone and familiarity of my instrument. I'm happy to amplify my acoustic violin for your event, but if you're looking for the visuals of an electric violin and sound effects beyond some reverb or echo, I'm not set up to offer that at this time.
Yes, solo is solo. Although I'm technically able to play along with pre-recorded tracks, I'm not set up to provide that service for events at this time. If you will be also having a DJ and would like me to play over some songs that he/she is playing, this may be possible though my rate will need to reflect the additional time needed to coordinate such a performance. Better yet, I highly recommend adding my guitarist who is well versed at accompanying me throughout a variety of genres.
Thankfully, the violin and fiddle are actually the same instrument, the difference only being the style of music being played! Rather than Classical, or Jazz, or contemporary music, if you'd prefer "fiddle" music, including traditional Irish/Scottish/Celtic, Bluegrass and Old Time, Country, or Folk, this can be arranged. If you'd like a mix of styles, I'm happy to keep your guests guessing - "what style can't she play??" 😅
The violin can perform solo or be accompanied by a range of instruments, however, not all songs will sound as rich or convincing solo or with every type of ensemble. Along with considerations like the venue and guest list size, budget, event length, and whether or not the group will be acoustic or amplified, there are a variety of considerations when booking a musical act and it's a decision best made together after discussing your particular event. In general, I much prefer performing with my rehearsed ensembles rather than seeking out musicians I may have never played with before, on various instruments I may need to create entirely new arrangements for.
For more information, please see the "Choosing Ensemble Type" section on my Event Services page.
We are happy to perform any piece or song from one of the lists here. If you have a music request that is not listed, most songs can be arranged and learned given enough notice (at least 6 weeks prior to the event). However, an additional fee will need to be negotiated. Ranging from $15 to $100+ per song, such fees cover the time and costs associated with purchasing, learning, arranging and/or transcribing new music, and will be negotiated before any work is done or sheet music purchases made.
As explained above, we are happy to perform any piece or song from one of the lists here, but we'll need to negotiate a fee if you'd like us to learn and prepare a song that's new to us for your event.
The fee may range from $15 to $100+ per song (the average is $30), and covers the anticipated time and costs associated with purchasing, printing, learning, arranging or transcribing, and rehearsing new music.
Even when sheet music exists, we often need to arrange it to fit the instrumentation, such as turning a piano score into something a string quartet can read, or working out chords and bass lines for a Classical piece so the guitarist and bassist in my violin-guitar-doublebass trio have parts. This can take considerable time and usually involves the input of multiple musicians who will be performing. When sheet music doesn't exist and I need to transcribe from a Spotify or YouTube recording, it's not unusual to spend 3-4 hours just arranging the music before any practice on my own or with my colleagues has even happened.
When making your favorite song sound as polished as the rest of the songs in our repertoire, my modest special music fees are truly a bargain.
Many wedding and event clients choose only a few special songs and leave the rest up to us. If you are enthusiastic about creating the setlist, we'll happily try to fit in all your favorites. If you'd prefer to choose just the genre(s), or a handful of artists/composers to focus on, we can easily fill the time with a nice selection based around your preferences. When narrowing down your selections, note that for each hour of continuous music, we'll typically play 10-12 songs.
With reportedly 120,000 new songs being uploaded to streaming platforms every day, we know there are a lot of songs to choose from, on my lists and otherwise. For weddings, please click here for some of my ceremony music suggestions.
Assuming we can be in touch ahead of time about the details and we'll have a few minutes to rehearse the song before the event, yes, this is usually possible given sufficient notice.
Although I prefer to work with my established colleagues and ensembles, I understand the need to sometimes book multiple musicians for an event, such as the pianist of a church, or a vocalist, along with solo violin or one of my ensembles. Assuming we can all be in touch about the details, and possibly schedule a rehearsal or two ahead of time, this is usually possible given sufficient notice.
As odd as this question might seem at first, as many groups, especially string quartets and wedding bands, go corporate and international, the question becomes quite understandable! We see such-and-such string quartet smiling on their website or playing in a video, but the musicians who arrive to play your event are quite obviously not the same people! Assuming one has a strong network of musicians to call on, it's not a bad business model to take every booking that comes in and send out whoever's available to fill in, taking a percentage of each event.
However, for me, quality control and my reputation are much more important than making more money. While I'm happy to provide referrals if I'm unavailable for your date, I only book events that I am personally available to play.
That said, when booking an ensemble, I sometimes need to hire a colleague other than one seen performing with me in my pictures, videos, or audio clips. While I focus my collaborations on a small handful of professionals I have played with for years, sometimes they aren't available for a particular date and I need to call on my backup network. Rest assured, I only work with professional, high caliber musicians who are also conscientious, kind people.
For a modest additional fee we are happy to supply a simple sound equipment setup to amplify speakers at events hosting up to ~100 people. For larger groups, unfortunately we are not equipped to handle that level of volume, though we may be able to look into renting a bigger sound system.
I carry standard event liability insurance as well as musical instrument insurance. Proof of liability certificates are available to those venues requiring it, though if a venue needs special additional requirements, a modest fee to cover the additional fees charged by my insurance company will apply.
For venues also requiring proof of workers compensation insurance, my colleagues are not employees, therefore these requirements do not apply to us.
Since any travel fees are factored into my initial quote, other fees that may or may not apply to your event are:
My rates factor in event length, the number of musicians performing, travel time and distance, whether we're playing acoustically or need to bring a sound system, whether we'll need to learn new music, and yes, to some degree the day of the week, the time of day, and the time of year.
However, these latter considerations hold less weight. Whether the event is happening on a Wednesday or a Sunday, in February or in August, I'll still need to spend the same amount of time practicing, lining up colleagues and rehearsing with them, consulting with the clients by email, phone, text, and/or video chat, and organizing my music so that all the song requests are easy to flip to on a moment's notice.
Also, the California coast never really has a real "off-season." Events happen year-round and tourists are always visiting. In the end, my time is still my time and my rates are quite competitive with others holding a similar level of skill, experience, and professionalism.
If an event is close by and I'm available, yes, I may quote a lower rate on, for instance, a Thursday in January versus a Saturday in May or September. But especially with travel costs rising, rather than consider discounts for non-peak times, my thinking is more towards charging a bit more for dates and times that are more popular. These are typically the dates outlined in the "How close to our event date should we reach out to you?" question above.
For clients with a tight music budget, we have many high caliber youth symphonies around the California Bay Area and Central Coast, and I recommend contacting the area's local office for a referral to a student wedding ensemble. While most of my own students are scattered around the world, I may also be able to refer one of my local students. These opportunities to perform and learn the ropes is how I got my start as a teen and it can be a real win-win situation.
My event agreement, signed by both parties at the time of booking, clearly states how we would handle a cancellation. It reads as follows: