And just like that.. the sun may still be shining, but Autumn beckons and with it some exciting plans in the pipeline! Before we look ahead though, here are five Summer bookings we loved playing for and why..
One of our best decisions ever was to accept an invitation to perform for Cartmel Rocks Festival in Cumbria back in June. This is a yearly event in aid of raising money and awareness for families affected by terminal and life limiting illnesses. Our Exclusive Trio gave an evening concert to the packed church in Cartmel and helped the festival raise nearly £6000. The audience was so appreciative, demanding encore after encore until our arms were falling off!
The promoter, Caroline Page of Chilli Communication wrote to us afterwards..
"You connected with everyone, dazzled us all with your talent - both in performance & arrangements - and had people tapping their feet one moment and wiping away tears the next"
We hope to remain in touch with this wonderful and supportive community.
Tony and Pat's Wedding
This wedding was an all day affair that involved various methods of transport!
We began at the beautiful and iconic Old Marylebone Town Hall for an intimate and personal ceremony in the Mayfair Room. Tony and Pat danced into the room together to Marry You - this was a first for us at Blue Topaz and we LOVED it! There were a few tears during our performance of Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World for their signing before the ceremony ended and we were on our way to Tower Hill for the next part of the big day.
Here is Becky and Libby - in all their glamour on transferring locations!
Next up, a boat trip reception complete with champagne and afternoon tea! We loved this novel idea and it was a pleasure to be asked to accompany Tony and Pat for this part of their celebration.
Pat had asked us to do a performance with her niece of At Last, made famous by Etta James for their First Dance. We transferred to the upper deck of the boat for this. It was just a quick move as we needed to protect our instruments from the gorgeous sunshine and also our violinist Libby, who tends to burn with immediate effect! Here's a fun pic with a borrowed hat - we felt it totally in keeping with our elegant image!
A lovely and different booking for us!
A coastal wedding
Also with a water theme was Steve and Rachel's stunning sea view wedding at Durlston Castle in Swanage. We are happy to travel anywhere for our bookings so whilst it wasn't a quick journey from London(!) we set off bright and early to ensure a timely arrival for their big day.
There were a few aspects - part from the beauty of the location choice - that we loved about this booking. During the enquiry process Steve explained what they were looking for and then took on board our advice about how to achieve the desired results. One aspect was the hiring of our amplification. It is not always easy to explain just how much this can enhance and add value to the music that we play at events. In this case it was invaluable as the whole reception took place outside and some with panoramic aspects, so we were able to relay our sound in many directions at once in order to make sure that all the guests could enjoy our music.
You would never have guessed that this couple had already been together for a number of years. It was wonderfully romantic and the food provided by Seventh Wave Restaurant was absolutely delicious!
Following the booking we were delighted to discover the following public review that Steve left on our Facebook page,
"Blue Topaz played at our wedding on 7th July. I'd listened to the online demo and thought they were really good. We were all amazed at just how good they are when they performed live
Loved every minute, great repertoire, friendly professional people. I can't recommend them highly enough"
The Wallace Collection
One of our all time favourite museums has to be The Wallace Collection
Built over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, it is one of the finest and most celebrated collections in the world. The collection was given to the British Nation in 1897 in order that it could remain together and be enjoyed by all. It was an astonishing bequest and one of the greatest gifts of art works ever to be transferred into public ownership.
Not only is the history and the art fairly mesmerising but the staff who work there are also wonderful. We are lucky enough to be allowed to perform here courtesy of Prelude Entertainment
Sometimes it's not just about love between people..
We were delighted to accept our first booking through Fix The Music for the Lavazza family, colleagues and friends. This was a launch party at their headquarters in Uxbridge and they hired our Amplified Exclusive Quintet of violins and double bass. Apple and Biscuit amplified us and also made sure our sound was transported along every walkway and terrace on the top floor!
It was a real privilege to be chosen for such an event and we were absolutely delighted with our goody bags at the end of the evening!
So there are our 5.. but maybe we can sneak in one more for those of you that have read this far!
Now this is a venue and a half! Eastnor Castle in Ledbury was built in 1812 and has been home to the Hervey-Bathurst family ever since. It has wonderful character and is everything you imagine a castle to be..
This was a couple who knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding day. We worked closely with them over the preceding months to achieve their musical dreams. This included a violin and harp duo for the initial church ceremony playing bespoke arrangements that we created for their day.
The Exclusive Quintet followed playing both traditional and electric instruments for the drinks reception and through the meal.
This was a very grand wedding and everyone seemed very happy with our part in it. One of the guests approached me as we were leaving with following words,
"I've been to lots of weddings and what you did today added something truly special"
We hope so!
Thank you for reading this blog. For more regular updates about our work you can find us on instagram @bluetopazmusic