9/13/19 – Wedding @Gray Gables Estate

Who knew that a beautiful paradise existed just a block off of McLoughlin Blvd?  I got invited to play a wedding for a lovely couple at Gray Gables Estate, which has a beautiful outdoor cathedral-like setting, a pond and fountain with live Koi, and a very nice indoor area for gathering.  The bride’s dreaIMG_0639m was to walk down the aisle to Pachebel’s Canon in D, and I was honored to play for her and her partner.  Congratulations Shelly and Alyssa, many blessings for a long and happy life together!

9/1/19 – Wedding @Blockhouse

There is an amazing plant paradise in NW Portland called Pomerius Nursery, and my cello and I got to play among the palm trees!  The bride asked me to play a cello arrangement of Endlessly by Amaranthe for her processional.  It’s a beautiful song, and one I will keep on my playlist!  Congratulations Emily and Edwin!IMG_0635

8/31/19 – Wedding @Hoyt, Steven’s Pavilion

Surrounded by old growth trees, my cello felt right at home.  I always enjoy playing at Hoyt, today there was perfect weather in thIMG_0633 2.jpgis perfect setting.  The couple asked me to arrange a cello version of “Yellow” by Coldplay for the wedding processional song, and the song worked well on cello with a light synth background loop.

 

7/6/19 – Wedding @ The Abernathy Center Cathedral

CongratulationIMG_0128.jpgs to Kate and Robert Squires!  Beautiful wedding at the Historic Abernathy Center Cathedral.  Processional playlist included:  Bach Cello Suite #1, For The Love of a Princess (from Braveheart) and Canon in D.  This cathedral actually rang the bells when they finished exchanging their vows!  How cool is that!

5/26/19 – Wedding @ Irving Street Studios

IMG_0584Wedding at Iriving Street Studios, downtown Portland.  Light and airy venue with lots of natural wood, excellent acoustics.  The couple chose quite a few Beatles tunes for the pre-ceremony music, which I always love playing.  What is it about the Beatles that appeals to so many?  It’s music that so many can relate to.

The Processional songs were: cello and looper versions of  “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele, and “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”.

Congratulations to the Skripsky’s!

5/20/19, Wedding @ Silver Falls State Park

 

Silver Falls State Park has some of the most amazing scenery in Oregon!  I’ve been hiking at the Falls, but I’ve neveIMG_0558.jpgr been to this lodge.  The ceremony was held outdoors in an outdoor cathedral, surrounded by silent, old-growth trees.  Instead of using a generator, I was happy I brought by battery powered amp so everyone got to enjoy the sounds of nature and the cello.

The processional songs were cello  versions of “Speechless” by Dan and Shay, and “At Last”.

Afterwards, the party  moved into the lodge for the reception dinner.  Absolutely gorgeous!

10/27/18 – Wedding @ The Benson Hotel

IMG_0487This Saturday night I played in the Crystal Ballroom at Portland’s iconic Benson Hotel.  This venue has an urban-vintage feeling; there’s such a solid feeling of craftsmanship in the building, lots of attention to every detail. The series of huge chandeliers put the “crystal” in this ballroom.  Whoever designed and constructed this building went all out on the ceilings!  So the next time you visit the Benson, be sure to look up.

This wedding marks the first time EVER I have finished Pachelbel’s Canon at exactly the moment the Bride reached the altar.  Seems the planets were perfectly aligned for this couple!

 

7/14/18 – Wedding @ Para Hevea

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Wedding at Para Hevea, an equine boarding ranch in Molalla, Oregon.  IMG_0229Fantastic setting complete with Tepee for the “Bride Tribe” and covered wagon for chefs preparing the meal.  Also featured much appreciated shade in 94 degree weather.   Great venue for an outdoor, western themed ceremony, plus I made anew four-footed friend.

 

7/13/18 – Youngberg Hill Winery

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Lovely 90+ degree day for a wedding, but the setting was scenic (Youngberg Hill Winery) and the people were wonderful!  This couple had a  unique request:  they asked me to play along with the DJ for the processional.  It went amazingly well!  (The song: The City of Black and White by Mat Kearney)  The DJ was great and the processional was perfection.

I was also asked to play a special song in the middle of the ceremony, another request that is not common, but one I wish would make a comeback.  I loved that this couple had a song that had such significance to them that they wanted it included.  Just as hearing a tune from the past brings back vivid memories from that time, marking this day with a song is insurance that every time that song is played, you will have an instant recall of your wedding.  Music just has that kind of power.  So consider putting music in the ceremony; add a meaningful hymn to honor the spiritual nature of your union, or a special song during the lighting of the union candle, or a devotional love song to each other.

 

Acoustic Cello vs. Amplified

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6/30/18 – Setting up for a wedding at Oaks Pioneer Church, in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland.  I love playing at this church; the acoustics are absolutely amazing, and there is something magical about the light and lines of the building.

Acoustically the amp wasn’t necessary, but when I want to use my looper I have to play amplified.  In instances where the acoustics of the room are so perfect, I turn the looper up to the volume of another cello, so it sounds like I’m playing acoustically with another person.  Using an amp does not have to detract from the pure sound of the instrument, and I am careful to maintain the cello sound we all love, but just use the amp to fill out the volume.

People often have questions about whether to have me play acoustic cello or amplified, and I always recommend amplified whenever possible.  An acoustic cello in a setting where the crowd is silently listening can be heard quite well, but add 10 or 15 people conversing over mixed drinks and the mellow sound of the cello disappears in the background.  Playing indoors with an amp is an easy way to boost the sound so everyone can enjoy the music.

Outdoors is  a place where having amplification is very important.   Since there are no walls to hold the sound, it travels and fades away.  With an amp the sound can be adjusted to travel far enough to reach the whole audience.  I have a battery-option amplifier for places with no power source, and I use the tower PA in the picture for larger rooms and groups.  So, when planning your event be sure to consider the following when considering acoustic vs. amplified: 1) Is amplification allowed,  2) Is there a place to plug in,  3) How many people will be at the event  4) How big is the room.  If in doubt I am happy to offer some suggestions on what I think would be the best sound options for your event.