Gyros String Quartet - Dallas/Ft.Worth's premiere wedding string quartet

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Frequently Asked Questions
   

General:
   

What instruments are in a string quartet? 
   

Gyros Quartet, Cistercian Abbey, May 2007, photo: Gary Donihoo, f8studio.comJoseph Haydn, who is credited with the "invention" of the string quartet as we know it, established the standard instrumentation of 2 violins, viola and cello between 1750 and 1803.

Haydn composed 68 string quartets and without them the chamber music achievements of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert--and everyone who came later--would have been unthinkable. 
For you hardened quartet fans, you can get them complete on 21(!) CDs at amazon.com

Gyros Quartet, Cistercian Abbey

Why a quartet and not - say - a trio?

For the same reason your car has four wheels and not three. It works better. (Even BMW - no slouch in the engineering department - discontinued its famous 3-wheeler, the "Isetta", by 1964).
On a more serious note though, the main reason is that you lose most of that incredible repertoire. For example, a prolific composer like Mozart (who most likely would have enjoyed a ride on the "autobahn" at 140 mph) wrote only 1 string trio, versus 23 string quartets.
   

How does the quartet dress? 

The dress code is normally formal: men in tuxedos / women in black. For some occasions, like a morning funeral service, dark suit and long tie will be more appropriate.
  

What do you require to perform? 

The quartet requires only 4 upright chairs without arms in an area ideally ca. 8 by 8 feet (If that is not quite possible, don't worry, we have squeezed into some tight places on occasion).
  

Are you willing to play outdoors? 

Yes, we are - within reason. Our main concerns are the safety of the instruments and being able to perform well. i.e. 
1. We must be in full shade (especially in the summer), temperatures must be between 65°F minimum and 95°F maximum. 
2. There cannot be any precipitation. 
  

Do you play for receptions also? 

Yes - we often play during the cocktail hour and/or for dinner, and frequently the whole of the reception. 
   

My wedding ceremony and the reception are in two different locations. How do you charge for  that? 

In a situation like this, which is quite common, we charge for the length of the engagement, including the time to travel between venues. In other words, from the start of the prelude until the end of our playing time at the reception This usually needs to be addressed on an individual basis.

 

Prelude:
   

Is there going to be music before my ceremony? 

We suggest prelude music one-half hour before the start of the ceremony.  This does help greatly to set the mood for your guests as they are waiting for the wedding ceremony to begin. 
   

How do I choose the music for the prelude? Do I have to select the whole program? 

It is not necessary for you to choose all the prelude music, unless of course you want to. Some people have very definite ideas about programming, others leave it completely to us. Through long experience we have found that choosing from a wide variety of material, according to what “feels” best for the moment and the location, usually works best. Also, if you give us an indication what mood you would like to create, we can make appropriate recommendations.

 

Ceremony:
   

How many pieces of music do I need for the ceremony? 

--  For a Christian or non-denominational wedding, you might have six to seven separate pieces: 
A. one for the seating of the grand mothers, one for the seating of the mothers (depending on the numbers of grand mothers and mothers, it could be only one piece)
B. one for the bridal party (minister, grooms men, brides maids, flower girls, ring bearer, etc.)
C. one for the entrance of the bride. 
D. Very often there is a short meditational piece, lighting of the Unity Candle, for example.
E. one for the Recessional (exit of the bridal party)
F. one for the Postlude (music for the guests to leave by). 
Often, the minister will make an announcement between Recessional and Postlude
We will help you of course with all of this during consultation.
  
--  For a Jewish wedding ceremony, there are usually two pieces: 
one for the entrance of the rabbi, grand parents, groom and his parents, and bridal attendants, and another for the entrance of the bride and her parents. Sometimes, the Rabbi or cantor will vocalize through their own entrance, after which the quartet will begin for the remainder of the entrances.

You can find a repertoire list specific to Jewish weddings here.
   

How will you know when to start the music for the ceremony? 

All we need is a signal from your wedding coordinator. Also, we do arrive half an hour before prelude begins and go over the details with the appointed person to confirm the plan.
   

How do we time our entrances to finish with the music? 

You don't actually have to worry about that. We have through long experience become very skilled in ending the music at just the right time. The only thing we do need to know is how many people are processing to each piece of music.
   

Can I have music during the ceremony? 

--  In a Christian ceremony, there is often room for some short pieces: after readings, lighting of the unity candle, communion, parts of the Mass, congregational hymns etc. Please also ask your officiator about these for help in choosing appropriate music. 
--  During a Jewish ceremony, there is usually no music from the string quartet. If a cantor is present, he will often sing here.

You can find a repertoire list specific to Jewish weddings here.
   

How many pieces do we need for the recessional? 

Normally, one piece for the exit of the bridal party, and one more for your guests to leave by. Often, an announcement is made between these two.

 

Planning:
   

How far in advance should we book your quartet?

We encourage you to book as early as is feasible, since the majority of spring and summer weekend dates book up rather quickly during January each year. Don't hesitate to call on short notice however. We have often been able to accommodate even very late bookings because of a previous cancellation. 

A 50% deposit is required at the time of contract to reserve a date. (by check normally, but, if you want to put it on a credit card, PayPal is an option). We do prefer getting the balance two weeks prior to the event, that way neither you or we have to think about it. If that makes you nervous -- “what if they don‘t show up!” (something that has never happened in 19 years) -- you can pay us at the event. 

Dates are reserved on a "first come, first served" basis - unless of course your name is James Burke or Sophia Loren. (those are the only two exceptions).
   

When should we make the music selections? 

It would be good if we could talk before you meet with your officiator. That way we can come up with a preliminary program, based on what you really like. Since there are usually "dos" and "don'ts" regarding certain ceremonies, adjustments can be made after the meeting. Obviously, the earlier we discuss music choices, the easier it will be to accommodate special requests. 
   

The organist is included with the church fee. Can we incorporate the organ? 

Having both the organ and string quartet is actually very useful. We have quite a few arrangements for string quartet and organ that create a beautiful orchestral sound. (see the samples page under live recordings). 
Also, after 30 min. of the sound of strings during the prelude, it can be a great “color” change to use organ and strings for the bride’s entrance, for example. The recessional is another great spot to collaborate. 
If there are congregational hymns in your ceremony, the organ would of course be most useful.
Additionally, the organist often is very helpful with cueing/coordinating the strings with the proceedings (Michael Lindner at St.Thomas Aquinas and Colin Howland at Park Cities Presbyterian are outstanding examples of this).
   

What if there is a special piece of music I would like to be played. Can you do that? 

Yes, we almost always can. If it is not in our repertoire, or even available for string quartet, we can write an arrangement for the quartet (a fee typically applies, in all cases needs to be addressed on an individual basis).
   

Will you perform with singers? 

Absolutely. We will touch base with them ahead of time, work out details about keys, sheet music etc. 
   

Do you need to rehearse with the vocalist(s)? 

Often, depending on the material, a rehearsal is needed for the the song(s) in question. Usually 30 min. before prelude begins. (a fee typically applies, in all cases needs to be addressed on an individual basis).
   

Do we need to meet in person? 

It is actually not necessary to meet in person. All details can be addressed over the phone or via e-mail, but, if you prefer meeting in person, we would be happy to.
   

Will you attend the wedding rehearsal? I'm worried about timing the bridal party to the music. 

It is really not necessary for us to attend rehearsals. First of all, we are very adept in timing the music to the right length, and secondly, it would add to the cost. (we are usually playing for another client's function during your rehearsal). 
Having said that, there have been occasions, where the music choices and number of performers made it important to have a rehearsal with the full quartet and everybody else before the wedding day. Only recommended if money is not really an issue. 


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For a consultation or to arrange a booking for your event, please contact Norbert Gerl by phone at 214-373-9498 or via >> e-mail.


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6319 Kenwood Avenue | Dallas, TX 75214  |  e-mail us  |  Tel. 214-373-9498