Craig and I at Inspire Duo are looking forward to expressing our musical creativity on May 20th at the Artists Being Artists event. We’ll be improvising on the artwork being shown, and we’ll also take suggestions from you, our friends!
Artists Being Artists is a monthly showcase of local visual artists, musicians, poets, and more. The showcase happens every 3rd Sunday of the month at Twenty Brew Taphouse (in the back room). Come by and meet new folks, have some beer, and enjoy our exciting music!
In mid-December, I headed up to Dillon, Colorado to play solo flute for an outdoor wedding ceremony on Sapphire Point Overlook. Sapphire Point has stunning views of the Dillon Reservoir and the surrounding mountains. The mountains and pines were covered with snow, making an incredibly romantic setting for this Texas couple’s wedding ceremony. I helped the guests feel warmer by playing a mix of contemporary, jazz, and Christmas music as they arrived and were seated. I think that “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” was particularly inviting to all of us in the steady wind and freezing temperatures.
The ceremony was fairly short and then I continued to play after the ceremony concluded while the wedding party had their photos taken. I can play my flute as long as the temperatures stay above freezing, but the temperatures were below freezing, and soon the inside of my flute was completely covered in a thick layer of ice from the moisture in my breath. I quickly changed flutes to my backup flute but soon that one froze too! Since a few keys froze together, I just avoided the notes that I couldn’t play until the end of my booked time. It was quite an adventure!
Samples from Prelude Music:
Isn’t it Romantic? (Ella Fitzgerald), Annie’s Song (John Denver), Cheek to Cheek (Sinatra), Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong), Deck the Hall, The First Noel, Frosty the Snowman, A Holly Jolly Christmas, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
Groom: Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis)
Bride: Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Recessional: Fly Me to the Moon (Sinatra)
Inspire Duo will be playing at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder, Colorado for their event “Collaborate in the Creative Art Experience”. Craig and I are looking forward to making this wonderful art come alive with our creative musical improvisations! We also enjoy taking your input and suggestions to inspire each piece that we play.
Come and enjoy delicious food from A Spice of Life Catering + Events and beautiful artwork from talented local artists, as well as newly imported international pieces. This includes an authentic Aboriginal artwork show featuring art imported from Australia along with the stories behind these amazing one-of-a-kind pieces. Come and learn about the Aboriginal people and the history of their storytelling through art. All artwork is available for purchase, and you don’t want to miss this unique exhibit!
The event is free to attend, but Rembrandt Yard does request at least $1 donation for participation in The Wishing Wall, an interactive art installation. All proceeds will be donated to the Boulder County Arts Alliance.
Come and enjoy some great art, music and food and stop by and say hi to us!
This fall, my flute and harp duo was hired to play for an elegant fall dinner for the Swiss American Friendship Society. Cocktails and dinner took place at the charming Wellshire Event Center in Denver, Colorado. The Wellshire Event Center is situated on a golf course and has a quaint German feel that isn’t too common in Denver.
My flute and harp delighted the guests with a mix of elegant classical, jazz, and ballads as the guests enjoyed cocktails. The room was charmingly decorated with fall decor and candles. Many of the guests were excited to have the opportunity to hear a concert harp so close up, and the beautiful instrument added the the elegance of the room. The music of my flute soared over the harp as I played well-loved melodies.
It was a chilly late summer morning when I left my house to play my flute for a wedding at Mount Princeton Hot Springs. The drive took me quickly into the mountains and even though it was a long drive, the scenery was so beautiful that the time flew by. The changes in the location and elevation continually brought new vistas. Sometimes I drove thorough deep pine forests and at other times I was surrounded by airy aspen trees, their brilliant yellow leaves sparkling in the bright autumn sunshine. At other times, there were low scrub lands or open grassy areas that stretched for miles, reminding me of the Colorado plains.
The wedding venue and lawn at Mount Princeton Hot Springs had the feeling of grandeur. During the day, the reception hall was lit with golden sunlight coming through the many high windows, and at night the indoor lights shone out, illuminating the entire building. The hall opened out to a large sloping lawn with perfectly manicured emerald green grass. A river ran behind the ceremony site making a beautiful musical song that added to the ambiance of the location. The backdrop for this scene were the strangely white Chalk Cliffs that glowed in the sunshine. There was also a great view of Mount Princeton and Mt. Antero, dark with pines.
The sun shone in the bright blue sky and it was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding ceremony. It was extremely windy, so I used my Bose amplification system to make sure that our flute and harp duo would be easily heard above the wind. We serenaded the guests with elegant classical music as they arrived and then we played for the processional. The bride came riding up in a fairy tale-like Cinderella carriage that was pulled by a white horse while we played “Beauty and the Beast”. The ceremony was incredibly romantic and there were many happy tears.
After the ceremony, we played for the cocktail hour indoors. We played a selection of contemporary and jazz style romantic songs that worked beautifully for flute and harp and complemented the theme of the wedding. The decorations inside were stunning and flowers were everywhere. The tall windows at the back of the building boasted a grand view of the chalk cliffs. I won’t forget this fairy tale wedding!
Prelude Music Sample:
Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach), Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (Beethoven), Meditation from Thais (Massenet)
Wedding Ceremony Music Sample:
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri) ~ Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Flower Girl
Beauty and the Beast ~ Bride
Tree Planting Ceremony ~ What a Wonderful World
I’m Yours (Jason Mraz) ~ Recessional
Cocktail Hour Music Sample:
Moon River, Someone to Watch Over Me (Gershwin), Over the Rainbow, The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, The Swan (Saint Saens), Simple Gifts, Love is Here to Stay (Gershwin), Unforgettable (Sinatra), It Had to Be You (Sinatra)
It was the first day of autumn when my guitarist and I headed down to Vail, Colorado to play for a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. The ceremony was held at the Vail Wedding Island, and the cocktail hour was held on the covered patio of the Vail Golf Clubhouse. Fall decided to come swiftly on its first day with a rainy cold front, and our drive across the mountains was interspersed with heavy rain showers. We hoped that the weather wouldn’t stop the couple from having the beautiful wedding of their dreams.
When we arrived, the sun peered through the clouds just long enough for me to get several photos of the changing Aspen trees, glowing in their golden glory of peak season. We played prelude music on the wedding island and braved the weather, brightening up the gloomy and rainy day with our cheerful flute and guitar music. It did rain on us, but we each brought instruments that could take a little rain, so we kept playing.
The rain stopped just as the bride was about to walk down the aisle, but the wind gusted so strong that while she was walking, it tore her veil right from her head! She burst into a fit of laughter and it was contagious and soon everyone was laughing. We kept playing the bride’s walking song and after about a minute, she completed her walk down the aisle and was happily married. The sun shone brightly through the clouds just as the couple was presented as husband and wife.
After the ceremony, we moved to the covered and heated patio of the clubhouse, and we warmed up as we played upbeat contemporary and jazz tunes while the guests enjoyed hous d’ouvres and cocktails. I brought my top of the line Bose L1 sound system and our sound carried beautifully throughout the space. We even got a special music request and I Googled the sheet music on my cell phone. We played it, but music was very tiny!
Samples from Prelude Music:
Here Comes the Sun (Beatles), Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis), God Gave Me You (Blake Shelton), “Aylesford Gavotte” (Handel), Annie’s Song (John Denver), Gavotte from Sonata for flute in C Major (Handel)
Groom ~ Amazed
Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Ringbearer, Flower Girl ~ The Swan (Saint-Saens)
Bride ~ To Make You Feel My Love (Adele)
Recessional ~ Hornpipe Finale (Handel)
Samples from Cocktail Hour Music:
How High the Moon (Ella Fitzgerald), Unforgettable (Sinatra), You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder), Satin Doll (Duke Ellington), Cheek to Cheek (Sinatra), Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Duke Ellington)
This past weekend, I had a wonderful afternoon playing solo flute music for the Mother’s Day Tea at Brookdale Senior Living Center near Denver, Colorado. I put together a fun set of music from classical to contemporary and jazz tunes. It was lovely to meet some of the residents and their families and I think that they enjoyed listening just as much as I enjoyed playing for them. As I played, the guests enjoyed dainty treats and hot tea on that beautiful sunny afternoon.
Do you want more information about my elegant solo flute music for your wedding ceremony or next event? Tell me what songs and musical styles you like and I’ll put together a custom music set list just for you!
Solo Flute >
Sample Music Selections from the Mother’s Day Tea:
Pastorale (Vivaldi), Menuet from the Notebook of Anna Magdalena Bach (Bach), Give Me Your Hand (traditional Irish), Sunshine on my Shoulders (John Denver), As Time Goes By from Cassablanca, Love Me Tender (Elvis), What a Wonderful World, Moon River
Christen Stephens Live on Solo Flute at Brookdale:
Are you selecting songs for your wedding this year? Or are you planning a romantic event such as an anniversary or engagement? With all the decisions that you have to make in planning a wedding or event and so many options for music, it’s helpful to start with some great ideas. These songs are are compilation of some of the most romantic wedding songs for 2017. Some of these songs are new and some are classics that have endured the test of time, and all of them are songs that we have in our repertoire.
In addition to the song selections on my repertoire list, I also love arranging new songs and can create custom arrangements for your wedding or event. I’d love to hear your ideas for songs, and even if you think they’re a little out there, I can usually make an arrangement that will work beautifully. CONTACT me today and let’s chat about your ideas.
All of Me (John Legend)
Best Instruments: My flute and piano/keyboard duo is the perfect combination for this song with the flute taking the place of the vocals. Violin also sounds great as a replacement for the vocal line.
Best Instruments: The flute can beautifully replace the vocals in this song and piano/keyboard or guitar easily replaces the background chords and rhythms.
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
Best Instruments: This song sounds wonderful with my flute and piano/keyboard duo, string quartet, or flute quartet.
Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve)
Best Instruments: This very orchestral song works well with with my string quartet or flute quartet.
Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis)
Best Instruments: My flute and guitar duo or flute and piano duo is a perfect fit for this song with the flute taking the place of the vocals and the guitar or piano playing the background.
In My Life (Beatles)
Best Instruments: My flute and guitar duo is a perfect fit for this song.
Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)
Best Instruments: My flute and guitar duo is great for this song because the flute can replace the complex vocals and the guitar will provide a solid chord structure and rhythm underneath.
Make You Feel My Love (Adele)
Best Instruments: My flute and piano/keyboard duo or violin and piano duo is perfect for this song. It also works really well with my flute quartet or string quartet.
Reign of Love (Coldplay)
Best Instruments: This song sounds great with my flute and piano duo, flute trio, string trio, flute quartet, or string quartet. The flute is a great replacement for the vocals in this song.
The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra):
Best Instruments: My flute and guitar duo is a great fit for this song.
Twist and Shout (Beatles):
Best Instruments: My flute and guitar duo is the best combination for this song.
Best Instruments: This classic song sounds best with my flute and guitar duo, flute quartet, or string quartet, all of which help to fill in the complex chords.
Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
Best Instruments: This very orchestral based song sounds great with my flute quartet or string quartet.
What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Best Instruments: You can’t beat the Louis Armstrong version of this classic song. The best ensembles are the flute to imitate Louis’ husky voice, accompanied by guitar, harp or piano/keyboard.
Inspire Duo is a new duo featuring the music of myself on flute and Craig Woodward on piano. We create purely improvisational music inspired by people, art and life.
It was my dream to do free improvisation with other musicians for a very long time, but the opportunity hadn’t presented itself until just recently. Several months ago, I was invited to a farewell moving away party for an acquaintance of mine. When I arrived, I found that I didn’t know a single person in the room except for the honoree of the party, and she was deep in conversation. I walked up to the first person that I saw and introduced myself. We quickly found out that we are both musicians who love to improvise, and we were both looking for someone to improvise with. That was the unlikely beginning of Inspire Duo.
When Craig and I met for our first rehearsal, we knew that this duo was something special. We instantly clicked musically and magic began to happen. Craig and I both have extensive experience with a wide range of music from classical to jazz and numerous other styles. We found that we could create a unique blend of these styles and add our own flair to make beautiful and wildly creative music.
We began rehearsing regularly and developed a vision for collaborating with local artists in order to introduce a whole new sensory dimension to their works, both through live performances and audio recordings. Each song that we improvise starts with an inspiration – an series of descriptive words, a piece of art, another musical composition, a photo, or anything really. Beyond choosing our inspiration, we don’t plan much what we will play in advance. One of us creates an initial musical idea which then takes shape as we continue to play. The music then spins from there as we communicate back and forth, building upon each musical idea and creating new ones. The great beauty of this kind of music is that we aren’t stuck to written notes on a page, or even a set of chords such as on a jazz chart. We are free to develop ideas as we play and interact directly with the environment around us using music.
Stay posted for updates on our live concerts. We need your inspiration! We also accept bookings to play for social events. Email me for information on hiring us for your next party or event by clicking on “Inspire Duo” HERE.