The Summer Quartet

"A Touch of Elegance for Your Special Event"
"The Premier Contemporary String Quartet in Michiana"

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q.  Why are you called The Summer Quartet?

  • A.  When the group first started playing together, it was a fun hobby and chance for us to get together to play in a setting outside of our school orchestras.  Since most of the gigs we played for were weddings during the summer, the group was named The Summer Quartet.

 

  • Q. How long have you been playing together?
  • A. The group members have been playing together for 15 years in many settings.  We all played in high school together have played many events together since then including dinner parties, Christmas parties, weddings and receptions. For more information about the current quartet members, visit the Our Musicians page.

 

  •  Q. What exactly is a string quartet?
  • A.  A string quartet is a string ensemble consisting of 2 violins, a viola, and a cello.

 

  • Q.  What is the difference between a quartet, trio, and duet?
  • A.  A string trio is simply the elimination of one of the violins or the viola of the quartet, a string duet is two violins.  The sound difference is similar to how different songs can be.  For example, the melody or solo line of a piece is often played by the first violin part.  The melody alone can be a beautiful tune, but often needs accompaniment to make it sound more full and rich.  The cello provides the bass line, or foundation, of the musical structure.  The second violin often plays a lower "countermelody" to the first violin part and the viola part fills in the harmonies and helps create the fuller sound.   Though any combination of two or three instruments can provide beautiful accompaniment for an event, the full quartet provides the most complete sound. 

 

  • Q.  What does a typical ceremony consist of?
  • A.  A typical ceremony begins with us arriving early to set up and then playing prelude music (starting 20 minutes prior to the ceremony)music so that your guests arrive to the sound of music. We then play the processional for the bridal party and the bride. Very often we play a selection during the ceremony--either for the lighting of the Unity Candle, or for a special interlude. We then play the recessional, and finish with music for your guests to exit by (another 15-20 minutes).   A typical wedding does not include playing with a vocalist. There will be additional charges for playing with a vocalist, as this will involve extra rehearsal, time, and most likely music arrangement.  This topic can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.  

 

  • Q. Who decides what music is played and when?
  • A.  You can have as much or as little to do with the decision making process as you like.  Some people prefer us to decide, others prefer to have only some part in the decision making but not specifics as to what to play or not play, still others are very sure of what songs they would like to be included in the performance and when.  At the initial consultation with a Summer Quartet representative, these specifics can be reviewed so that the group plays exactly what you would like to hear at your event. 

 

  • Q. Are there travel expenses or special mileage rates?
  • A.  Yes, for events outside of our normal business area (South Bend, Mishawaka, Osceola, and Granger, Indiana) special rates are charged for mileage.  An additional $2.00 per mile upcharge is added to the base rate as reimbursement for miles driven and time taken to travel. All quartet members have jobs outside of the quartet and often must take time off work to attend a playing engagement. This additional fee serves to 1. compensate members for time away from work, and 2. pay for gas to drive to remote locations from our local area.  Please, contact us for specific information on this topic.

  • Q.  I am having an outdoor wedding ceremony.  Can your group still play for our event?
  • A.  Of course! Our group has performed at various venues including indoors at churches, convention centers, banquet halls, and outdoors at parks, country clubs, and historic gardens.  We are versatile and can perform in most situations, the only exception being we can't play in the rain because the water can damage our instruments.  In the past, in a situation where it has rained at an outdoor wedding, we played under a tent or other covering.

 

  • Q. How far in advance should the group be reserved?
  • A.  It is never too soon or too late to reserve the group for your event.  Please, visit our Calendar to view specific dates which we already have reserved for various events.  Whether or not the date for your event is already reserved, if you are still interested in employing the group's services, please Contact Us.


  • Q.  Will you hold a date for someone?
  • A.  Dates can be reserved and held for an event. However, dates can only be guaranteed if a signed contract and deposit is returned to us in a timely manner.

 

  • Q. What kind of music do you play?
  • A.  We play classical, contemporary, popular, country,and movie music - a little bit of everything!  Our musical selections change slightly depending upon what type of event we are playing for.  At weddings, we play light, elegant, beautiful pieces before the ceremony.  After the ceremony, we play very joyous, bright, and fast pieces.  At  receptions, dinners, and celebrations we have a broad range of pieces we play.  We can include variety with popular music and arrangements from musicals or movies, if desired. Please do understand that we primarily perform classical pieces.  More contemporary numbers often require special arrangements, more rehearsal time, and more preparation, and therefore incur special fees for performance. 

 

  • Q. Can I request a musical number not on the current list?
  • A. If a specially requested number is not in our music library, additional charges may apply.  It is the responsibility of the individual signing the contract to provide or order music that we do not already have in our possession to perform.  Also, once this music is purchased for the quartet to use, it becomes the property of the quartet to be added to our repertoire. For a list of our current music library contents, please visit the Music Selections page.


  • Q.  Do you play dance music?
  • A. No, we do not.

 

  • Q.  Does the group attend wedding rehearsals? What about the rehearsal dinner?
  • A. Yes, we do.  Because ceremony venues vary in size, it is often helpful for our group to attend the rehearsal to time entrances and how long it takes for wedding party members to walk down the aisle.  This way, our group can decide on suitable stopping points in any selected piece of music that sound good, rather than "on the fly" without any preparation.  As far as the rehearsal dinner goes, you are under no obligation to provide arrangements for the group for the dinner.


  • Q. What do your musicians wear?
  • A.  Traditionally, for performances musicians wear all black as not to draw attention to themselves or to detract from the music.  This is our practice as well.  In the past, if it is requested by the bride, we have added a "splash" of color to our traditional black attire to complement the colors of the bridal party.  This is typically done only if requested and if we are able to accommodate this request.


  • Q.  Is a deposit required?
  • A.  In order to reserve the quartet for a wedding,  a non-refundable deposit is due at the initial consultation and contract signing.  The balance of the total price is due the day of the wedding rehearsal.  For other events, the total amount is due at contract signing.


  • Q.  Do I need to provide anything for the group?
  • A.  All that we ask is that we are provided with four chairs without arms to sit on.  The rest, we will take care of!


  • Q.  Do I need to provide dinner for the group?

  • A.   If we play for only a wedding, no.  The only time we ask the the invitation for dinner be extended is when we play for a wedding and reception, because often the amount of time spent playing spans the majority of the day (including our travel and set-up time) and does not allow us time to eat.


  • Q.  Can we negotiate on price?  Quite frankly, your group costs more than I had anticipated!
  • A.  No, prices cannot be changed.  Anyone who has hired an amateur or student group because the price was "good" will tell you that you really do get what you pay for.   We pride ourselves in the wide range of music we can perform to fit most anyone's tastes and the professional manner in which we deliver our services.  Every member of our group has gone through numerous years of instruction and practiced many hours to get where we are today.  Hiring experienced,  professional musicians will result in a sophisticated, professional sounding performance that will make your event unique and memorable.