Thursday, July 30, 2015

Melody & Geoffrey at Dallas Heritage Village

May 2015 turned out not to be a good month for outdoor weddings. Severe thunderstorms made it one of the wettest months in Texas history. According to The National Weather Service in Fort Worth, over 16 inches of rainfall amounted to more than 35 trillion gallons of rain - enough to cover the entire state of Texas in 8 inches of water.

Despite all this, Sunday, May 25th brought us one of the most charming ceremonies in recent memory. The location would have been the fountain / big tree in the historic Dallas Heritage Village, but of course the weather caused everyone to move into the adjacent small church.

There a most unusual program - on which the bride and groom had obviously spent much thought and care on - unfolded with an almost improvised naturalness. In addition, the readings featured poems by Pablo Neruda - “Sonnet XVII” (1959), and D.H.Lawrence - “Fidelity” (1919). Even the postlude - normally upbeat and a little boisterous, but this time calm and relaxed (Handel’s “Air” from Water Music) - seemed to be the perfect bookend as the sun broke through the rain clouds just a little.

Months later, that afternoon still lingers.

Gyros String Quartet at Dallas Heritage Village


Prelude I: Gymnopedie No. 1 – Erik Satie (1866 - 1925)
Prelude II: Pavane, op. 50 – Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924)

Entrance of Family
Edelweiss - Richard Rodgers (1902 – 1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895 –1960)

Entrance of Bridal Party
Ladies in Lavender – Nigel Hess (from the 2004 film Ladies in Lavender)

Entrance of Bride
Stars and Butterflies – Dario Marianelli (from the 2005 film based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice)

Candle Ceremony
Pure Imagination – Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley (from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)

Mother Nature – Natalie MacMaster

“Air” from Water Music– George Frederic Handel (1685 - 1759)

Filip Fenrych, violin
Jennifer Sweetman, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Patricia & David at HPUMC

The absolutely delightful flower girl in these pictures seems to have gotten side-tracked by those strange and fascinating instruments of the string quartet:


Chiming of the Hour

Seating of the Families
Largo from “Xerxes”

Processional of the Groomsmen
Be Thou my Vision

Processional of the Bridesmaids
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Bridal Processional
Pachelbel - Canon in D

Embrace this Place **

Mendelssohn – Wedding March

Handel –The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

Gary Schnitzer, violin
Saejin Yoon, violin
April Kondrat, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

** with Shayne Green, soloist / guitar

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spring Break in Texas

Record snowfall - over 3 inches - just days before Spring Break. I blame the groundhog.

Snow in Dallas / March 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Katherine & Michael at Four Seasons

The new year’s first big wedding took place in the Las Colinas Ballroom at the Four Seasons on January 17, 2015. From the start it was evident that music was particularly important to the bride and her mom, who had stumbled upon a charming version for violin, cello and piano of John Legend’s “All of Me”. An arrangement / transcription had to be prepared for string quartet with piano and then edited for length to cover the bridal processional and circling of the groom, while maintaining the original arc of the song. Additionally, after the seating of the grandmothers, Boi V Shalom (Con te partiro) - featuring soloist Goga - was used as an interlude.

John Legend - All of Me - arr. for string quartet and piano


Fauré – Pavane, Op. 50
Rota – Theme from “Romeo and Juliet”
Lovland – Song from a Secret Garden
Bach – “Siciliano” from Flute Sonata No. 2

Seating of the Families
Chrissie Hynde – I’ll Stand by You

Boi V Shalom (Con te partiro) **

Jason Mraz –  I Won’t Give Up

Bridal Processional
John Legend – All of Me **

Beatles – All You Need is Love

Aleksandr Snytkin, violin
Ordabek Duissen, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

** with Goga, soloist / piano
Coordinator: Mary Wright Shaw - Diamond Affairs

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

24 December, 2014
On Christmas Eve you can choose this year again from either two afternoon services, or two Candlelight midnight services:

Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
8011 Douglas
Dallas, TX 75225
(click here for map)

3:00pm and 5:00pm – Christmas liturgy with the Gyros String Quintet, trumpet, organ and choir.


St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Avenue
Dallas, TX 75214

11:00 pm – Lessons & Carols
Midnight – Midnight Mass


Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
8011 Douglas
Dallas, TX 75225
(click here for map)

10:00 pm – prelude with Gyros Strings, oboe and trumpets

TOMASO ALBINONI  –  Concerto for oboe and strings in C-major, Op. 7, No. 12*
ARCANGELO CORELLI  –  Concerto Grosso, op. 6, No. 8  (fatto per la notte di natale)

* Steve Pettey, oboe

10:30 pm – Midnight Service:
HOLST  –  Christmas Day
MOZART  –  Sanctus from Missa Solemnis in C
WARLOCK  –  Balulalow
BERLIOZ  – Shepherd’s Farewell
and others

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Somewhere in Time

For this upcoming weekend's wedding ceremony, the couple Lauren and Amy had requested “Somewhere in Time” for one of the processionals. An arrangement for string quartet needed to be created - always a highly enjoyable task when the composer is John Barry - that would ideally capture the big cinematic sweep of the original film score, even when reduced to just four string players.

How did it turn out? We will find out on Saturday.

Somewhere in Time - arr. for string quartet

In the meantime, you can refresh your memory with the original from 1980:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mozart Requiem at St. Thomas Aquinas

All Souls’ Evensong and Mozart Requiem

Saturday, November 1, 2014

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214

All Souls’ Evensong
6:30 pm

Followed immediately by:

Mozart Requiem, K. 626
7:30 pm

Performed by the Saint Thomas Aquinas Choir and orchestra.

Michael Conrady, Conductor
Dee Donasco, Soprano
Janna Hinebaugh, Alto
John Hendricks, Tenor
Patrick Gnage, Bass

Admission is free

Get a taste here:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lisa & John at Lovers Lane

For this particularly poignant afternoon ceremony - which took place at the Wesley Chapel of Lovers Lane United Methodist Church on October 4, 2014 - bride and groom had chosen an interesting and unusual music program that included a first for us (in three decades of playing for weddings): Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the recessional. With a suitably upbeat performance - leaning a little toward Rock n’ Roll perhaps - it actually worked really well.


Corelli – Concerto grosso, Op. 6, No. 8
Puccini – O Mio Babbino Caro


Seating of the Family
Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3

Attendant Processional
Bach –  Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

Bridal Processional
Beethoven – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Malotte – The Lord’s Prayer **
Bach – “Air” from Orchestral Suite No. 3

Unity Candle
Barnby – O Perfect Love **

Pachelbel – “Canon in D” 

Aleksandr Snytkin, violin
Filip Fenrych, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

** with Lisa Nossaman, soloist

Friday, September 5, 2014

Laura & Jonathan at the Ritz

This beautiful ceremony took place over the Labor Day weekend at the Ritz Carlton. As is sometimes the case at those types of venues, things ran a little late - we actually had to stretch the prelude music program to a full hour, which explains the long music list below.


Purcel - Rondeau from "Abdelazar"
Mouret - Rondeau
Bittersweet Symphony
Im Yours - Jason Mraz
Breakaway- Kelly Clarkson
A Thousand Years
Song from a Secret Garden
Bach - Concerto for Two Violins
Bach - Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3
Holst - "Thaxted" from "The Planets"
Anne of Green Gables

Rabbi and Grandmothers
“Erev Shel Shoshanim”

Groom, Groomsmen and Bridesmaids
Jason Mraz– “I Won’t Give Up”

Bride’s Processional / Circling
Pachelbel– “Canon in D” 

“Siman Tov”

Amy Faires, violin
Jennifer Sweetman, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Crystal M. Frasier
Crystal Frasier Weddings

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Young and Beautiful

Here is a new string quartet arrangement that started as a special request for next weekend’s ceremony at the “Four Seasons”: “Young and Beautiful” from the 2013 Baz Luhrmann film “The Great Gatsby”, composed and performed by Lana Del Rey.

The slightly haunting and somber ballad does lend itself well to the string treatment, and it is good to see a minor key piece enter the modern wedding repertoire. Under the Four Season’s moody lighting it should play beautifully for the bride’s processional.

Lana del Rey - Young and Beautiful - arr. for string quartet

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