Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kimberly & Kenneth

Tonight we played the longest gig we've ever played: 4 hours. I expected to be sore and exhausted when we finished, but we were having too much fun to notice the time!

At Eldredge Manor in Bountiful, we first played for Kimberly and Kenneth's beautiful, festive wedding ceremony. The bridesmaids were dressed in holiday red, and the bride looked like a fairytale princess. It seemed as if the happy couple were in their own private world as they exchanged their vows.

We then played some of our favorite selections while the guests enjoyed their dinner. After the elegant meal, it was time to dance! Usually when a couple schedules time for dancing, that's when the string quartet is dismissed and much louder and faster music is played from the loudspeakers. However, it was our pleasure to continue playing on the dance floor, and we had a wonderful time! The wedding guests actually danced, but no one spent more time on the dance floor than Kimberly and Kenneth.

Congratulations you two!

We would like to thank Jeff Haslam of Jeff Haslam Photography for the beautiful photos! You may find more of his work at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ana Paula & Brooks

Tonight we traveled up a narrow, winding, snowy canyon road to play for Ana Paula and Brooks' wedding celebration in Park City. It was held for a small group of family and friends in an elegant, yet cozy, residence at the top of White Pine Canyon Road. As we entered the gated community, called The Colony, the man at the gate instructed us to take a left at the fork. So up the steep road we went, taking a left at the prominent fork. As we climbed the mountain, the road became snowier and the white fog became thicker. It was at this point that we thanked our lucky stars that Meili was driving her Escape with 4-wheel drive. We climbed higher and higher, without seeing any numbers; we were looking for #97. Finally, we saw an address, #160. Hmmm... We continued our climb, passing higher numbers on our way up. When we reached the 200s, we decided to turn around. We must have taken the wrong fork.

So we began the icy descent. After a few white-knuckled miles, we made it back to the fork, where the directions were clearly marked... under a thick coat of snow, of course. We turned right, did some more slow and careful climbing, and made it to #97 just in time.

Thank you Ana Paula and Brooks, for a beautiful winter adventure. And best wishes to you both!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Becca & Sam

Tonight, we played for a scenic ceremony at The Pointe in Salt Lake City. The Pointe is a beautiful penthouse on the top floor of the Huntsman Cancer Institute by the University of Utah. The ceremony began at sunset and the view was spectacular. The guests enjoyed the warm glow of the November sun that shone through the floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides. The Wasatch Mountains stood majestically on our left, and the entire Salt Lake Valley was laid out on our right.

The wedding ceremony was officiated by the bride's brother. What a wonderful personal touch!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lisa & Chris

Tonight, we played for Lisa and Chris' wedding reception at Arbor Manor in Taylorsville. It is often the case that the children in attendance show much more interest in our music than the adults, but it was especially apparent tonight. It may be because it is more socially acceptable for children to stare, or perhaps that children are more observant than their parents. Whatever the case, we had many little admirers tonight.

There was this handsome boy in his argyle vest.

And this dancing girl. (Notice the piece we were playing. Appropriate, no?)

She came over to visit after her waltz.

This little lady in red, who did not want to leave us.

And this future violinist, who already knows his way around a bow.

We had a wonderful time with our short friends tonight. Best wishes to the happy couple!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

RIP Quartet Bag

We carry our stands and music in a heavy, large, red bag with wheels. Because I have space in my garage and my trunk, I have lately been the designated bag handler. I always thought it was an awkward thing to haul around because it is difficult to lift into the car, and stairs are always an issue. Despite this, it was a loyal and helpful bag, and it had a beautiful life... until Meili's husband ran over it.

For the last few gigs, one wheel has been barely hanging on, but today, while we were dragging it up some stone steps, it gave up the ghost. We quickly passed through the five stages of grief.






Posted by Meili.

Allison & Nicholas

Our second wedding today was at beautiful Memory Grove. I love playing at this historic and stately location. The wedding guests sat facing this grand structure.

The minister was eloquent and the bride and groom were glowing. But my favorite part of this special ceremony was the flower girl. (In the photo below, she is sitting on her grandma's lap on the front row, behind the bridesmaid in yellow.) She walked down the aisle just ahead of the bride and ceremoniously dropped all her flower petals right in front of the minister. Then, as the bride stepped over the petals and took her place alongside her groom, the little lady said in a proud not-whisper, "I dropped my flowers for you!" When the bride smiled and nodded, she continued, "Why do you have to walk on flowers?" At this point, she wanted to keep having a conversation with the bride, but everyone was trying to shush her, which made her innocent little lip stick out and her chin quiver. After being consoled by the bridesmaid in the yellow dress, she went to sit with her grandma, and she seemed to enjoy the rest of the ceremony.

After the minister finished asking the bride and groom if they would take the other as their lover, partner and friend, she addressed the flower girl, who walked to the front. The minister asked her if she would accept Allison as part of her family. She happily replied that she would. Then the minister asked the same of Allison, who agreed. This is the part of the ceremony that brought a tear to my eye. I hadn't realized she was the groom's daughter until then. It was so sweet.

Heather & John

Today was a special day for us; we played two weddings! The first was a festive outdoor wedding ceremony at a cute residence in Millcreek. The decorations were playful. The chocolate fountain, which was sitting about 2 feet behind us, was fragrant and tempting. And the ceremony was quick!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Paul Cardall

7 1/2 years ago, Strings of Elegance was invited to play for a charity dinner with Richard Paul Evans to raise funds for a new Christmas Box House. Paul Cardall was one of the featured musicians and I remember thinking how amazing he was at the piano. He did some improvisation with suggestions from the audience. A couple of years ago I discovered that we share the same aunt through marriage (she is also a fantastic pianist).
Paul Cardall, Shannon, Cathy, Michelle, Amelia, Richard P. Evans
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Weber State University

For a long time Paul needed a new heart and in September of 2009, he got one. This is him holding his old heart after surgery.

I am so happy for Paul who is now home with his family. It was an honor to play music with him many years ago and to be informed of this wonderful news.

Posted by Cathy

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ashley & Chad

Tonight we played for a beautiful reception at the Utah County Courthouse.

Meili, Cathy, Michelle, Tamra Baca (our featured cellist)
We had a fun drive to and from Provo. I always enjoy catching up. It was really fun to play with Tamra - thanks for filling in!

Posted by Cathy

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Elizabeth & Ratha

This weekend I was invited to play with a group of musicians from college for our friends wedding. KaraLyn and Richard, now married with 5 children, went to school with all of us at Ricks College (1997-1999). And then Elizabeth and Jennifer were both in my first quartet at Utah State University: All Occasions String Quartet (1999-2001). So this is us 10 years later...
Elizabeth, Cathy, KaraLyn, Richard, Jennifer

Playing prelude music before the ceremony...

After the ceremony, we enjoyed a wonderful luncheon in beautiful Idaho country. Congrats to my friend and her new hubby!
Posted by Cathy

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kaylie & Luis

On Labor Day, Kaylie and Luis had a beautiful, religious wedding ceremony at The Castle (fka Castlebrook) in Layton. It was a nice day for an outdoor wedding; a gentle breeze complimented the mild temperature of late summer. During the ceremony, we enjoyed our view of this little guy:

The happy couple met seven years ago in drama class, where they played the part of husband and wife! (This little tidbit rang true with me; as a member of my high school choir and orchestra, I had many friends in drama.) They had three adorable flower girls and two dapper ring bearers. Three if you include the puppy who walked down the aisle on a leash between the other two.

After we finished playing, we were walking out as a mariachi band was walking in. Fantastic!

Posted by Meili.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Robby & Jessica

I was asked to play solo violin at Jessica and Robby's wedding at Tuscany restaurant in SLC. It turned out to be a gorgeous outdoor ceremony, even though the thunderclouds were threatening to burst above us. Just as I arrived to set up, it started sprinkling. Then it began to rain harder... and harder. And miraculously, it then cleared up just in time!

I played Bach sonatas and partitas, which are always nice for solo pieces. And I enjoyed wearing something besides concert black!

Raji Barbir from TinyComet Photography took these photos. [, (801) 898-9682] After the ceremony, I had the privilege of playing the part of his assistant for the big group shot by holding a branch out of his way. I'm glad I could put my talents to good use!

Posted by Meili.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Becky & Seth

Tonight I had the immense privilege of playing for the wedding ceremony of one of my best friends. We played Over The Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz for the bride's processional. It was so fitting!

Here I am at Becky's bachelorette party: a cooking class at Sur La Table at the Gateway. I was so proud of my tomato florette!

The ceremony was held at A Wishing Place (the Make A Wish Foundation of Utah), where Becky works. She was gorgeous in her tea-length gown.

Aren't they a good-looking couple? Here they are, dancing to The (British) Office's version of If You Don't Know Me By Now. Classic!

Congratulations Becky and Seth! Thank you for asking us to be a part of your beautiful wedding!

Posted by Meili.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Greg & Diana

Tonight we played for an outdoor ceremony at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City. In this case, the number of guests seemed to be related to the size of the wedding party. There were (I believe) eleven bridesmaids and groomsmen (!), followed by a very handsome ring bearer and sweet flower girl. There were so many guests that extra chairs had to be brought in before the ceremony could begin. This happy couple will be well supported in their new life together.

Cathy. Ashley. Meili. Rebecca

Posted by Meili.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wedding Reception

Tonight we played for a reception at the Farmington Arts Center. It was beautifully decorated and they had our quartet play on stage directly behind the wedding party who were being greeted by their many guests. It was fun for me to see, out of the corner of my eye, a lot of friends and acquaintances there that night. Even one of my violin student's families came. This was definitely a popular couple - the people just kept coming and coming...

Posted by Cathy

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Katherine & Cameron

Today we played for a beautiful ceremony at La Caille, an ornate, French oasis in the middle of the Utah desert. It was a warm summer day with blue skies and sunshine. Even the birds enjoyed the ceremony. This swan stood near us the whole time, as well as a fancy blue peacock. A rooster even joined in the fun by crowing throughout the ceremony.

Posted by Meili.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Johanna & John

Tonight we played for a beautiful, classy ceremony and reception at Stein Eriksen in Park City. The bride's dress was perhaps the prettiest I've ever seen, with intricate lace. It was stunning against her dark hair. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate as fully as a bride would hope. As we were playing prelude and the guests were being seated, fat drops began to fall from a lone dark cloud directly above us. We scooted underneath an umbrella that was supposed to be shading us from the hot July sun. Even as the sprinkle turned to a downpour, we continued playing until we noticed that our instruments were getting wet from all the splashing. We retrieved our (now soaked) cases and put our instruments away until the storm subsided, which was only about 10 minutes. After a quick towel-dry of all the chairs by the crew at Stein Eriksen, everyone again took their places and the ceremony began. To be honest, it was a nice break from the triple-digit temperatures we had come from in the valley. As the minister pronounced the couple husband and wife, a flock of white doves was released, and everyone (including the quartet) gasped in delight!

Posted by Meili.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Katie & Chad

Tonight, we played for Katie and Chad's ring ceremony and reception at Eaglewood Golf Course in Bountiful. This is the view I had from the floor-to-ceiling window right next to me (with my chair in the reflection). Gorgeous!

My favorite part of the ceremony was watching this young man (in the blue shirt) on the back row with his giant camera. He was serious about getting some good shots! I hope the bride and groom paid him for his work.

At the reception, guests were encouraged to take a turn in the photo booth! Fun!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alyssa & Derrick

Today we played for a beautiful wedding ceremony in Holladay. It was held at the bride's parents' home on a secluded lot behind a 100 year-old rock wall. The light morning breeze provided a pleasant summer temperature, and the abundant mature trees supplied plenty of shade. It was a small, classy ceremony where all the guests dressed in black and white, and the bride wore a fabulously simple blush-colored gown.

It was the perfect day for a wedding.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jenn & Josh

Tonight, we played for an incredibly fun ceremony for Jenn & Josh at The Canyons Resort in Park City. The evening started off with an adventure: everyone rode the gondola up the mountain to the location of the ceremony.

The ceremony was held on a wooden bridge over a river. I have a feeling it was a little cool up there in the mountains for the L.A. crowd that attended, but everyone looked spectacular. The officiator was a friend of the couple, and, like Jenn & Josh, showed a wonderful sense of humor. He began the ceremony with, "Maah-waage!" Really! The happy couple also displayed their funny sides in their vows. The bride said, "I promise to always be willing to jump out of a garbage can in order to make you laugh." And the groom said, "I promise to always be willing to talk like Dr. Evil to make you laugh," which he said in Dr. Evil's voice. They had all the guests rolling, including us! It was a wonderful evening, and I have no doubt this couple will be laughing together for the rest of their lives.

The above photo of the bride and groom was taken by Cathy at our location behind the guitarist. The photos of the quartet were taken by one of my new favorite photographers, Opie of OpieFoto. View more of Opie's beautiful photos of Jenn & Josh's wedding here. Go ahead! You'll love them.