Flute and Harp Duo Cocktail Hour Music at the Wellshire Event Center in Denver


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.

Flute and Harp Duo at Mount Princeton Hot Springs in Colorado

Photos courtesy of Adore Photography

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)

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue: Mount Princeton Hot Springs
Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens – Flute and Harp Duo
Photographer: Adore Photography
DJ: Elite Entertainment
Singer: John Redmon




Flute and Violin Duo Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Music at The Sevens in Breckenridge


Photos courtesy of Bergreen Photography

It was a very chilly autumn day when my flute and violin duo traveled to the Sevens in Breckenridge to play music for a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. Temperatures were hovering right around freezing and a light snow fell, sparkling in the sunny sky. The wedding ceremony was held outdoors and it was quick because of the chilly day. The guests enjoyed our music both indoors and outdoors because we played inside and amplified our music to the outside using my professional Bose L1 speakers.

This Georgia couple experienced the epic Colorado mountain ceremony that they dreamed of, graced with bright sunshine and a backdrop of snow capped mountain peaks. A beautiful Colorado mountain destination experience! After the ceremony, the guests moved indoors to warm up, and we entertained them during cocktails with a mix of classical and contemporary music. The bride’s favorite song is “River Flows in You” by Yiruma and I made a special arrangement of this song specifically for us to play on the flute and violin. We played part of it for the bride’s processional and then played it again at the end of the cocktail hour.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Canon in D (Pachelbel): Seating of the parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen
River Flows in You (Yiruma): Bride’s Processional
Ode to Joy (Beethoven): Recessional

Samples from Prelude Music:
Trumpet Tune (Purcell), Minuet (Boccherini), Amazing Grace, Air from Suite No. 3 in D (Bach), Allegro Non Troppo (Bach)

Samples from Cocktail Hour Music:
Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis), Si Bheag, Si Mhor (Irish Air), Allegro from Spring (Vivaldi), Andante from string quartet Op. 29 (Schubert), Postcard to Henry Purcell from Pride and Prejudice, What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong), A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)

Vendors:
Wedding Planner: Love Leigh Weddings and Events
Venue: The Sevens
Photographer: Bergreen Photography
Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens (Flute and Violin Duo)
Band: Narrow Gauge Band

Make your wedding come to life with the joyful music of my flute and violin duo.




Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music on the Vail Wedding Island

Photos courtesy of Kristopher Lindsay Photography

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)

Processional Music:
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)

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue: Vail Wedding Island and Golf Club
Wedding Planner: Jessica Kate Productions
Photographer: Kristopher Lindsay Photography
Videographer: Doxica Productions
Live Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens – Flute and Guitar Duo
DJ: DJ Guy

An Enchanted Evening

I’m looking forward to playing cello and flute at this Boulder Symphony event. We’re playing a really great mix of classic rock, holiday, jazz music and more!

An Enchanted Evening

FRIDAY DECEMBER 8, 2017 – 5:30 – 8:30 PM

at The Highland City Club

Please join Boulder Symphony and Highland City Club for an evening filled with enchantment and magic.

Enjoy a mouthwatering buffet dinner of global flavors and the magical stylings of a Boulder Symphony chamber ensemble while mingling in the traditional setting of the historic Highland Building.

VIP tickets are available at $65, which include a gourmet buffet dinner, and 1 concert ticket to any Boulder Symphony concert this season (a $20 value).

Purchase a ticket before November 15th and get TWO Concert Tickets (a $40 value)!

Purchase VIP tickets below. A portion of all proceeds go to Boulder Symphony.

Purchase Tickets

Event Location:

HIGHLAND CITY CLUB
885 ARAPAHOE AVENUE
BOULDER, CO 80302

String Trio Cocktail Hour Music in Littleton, Colorado

This summer, my team of musicians provided elegant classical string trio music for a wedding cocktail hour in Littleton, Colorado. Jaimie Johnson Photography shared these beautiful photos with me. The Manor House in Littleton made for an elegant and inviting backdrop for this fun-loving couple’s wedding.

client quote →

“”Great job, guests enjoyed the live music during our wedding.”
– Matthew Z.







Nine Helpful Wedding Music Tips

Photo Courtesy of Kern Photo

Live music is the soundtrack for your wedding day and it beautifies and enhances the aural and visual atmosphere of your wedding. Chances are that hiring a musician isn’t something that you normally do and perhaps this is your first time. You may not know what questions to ask music professionals, or where to even begin. That’s why I wrote the following checklist as a great place to start.

Instruments:
Choose instruments that reflect your personality and style. What sound and visual appearance will help to bring your vision to life? Is your wedding more casual or is it classic? Is it romantic or a lively celebration? What instruments will sound best playing your song selections? To decide what ensemble best fits your event, share the answers to these questions with your music professional and he or she can help guide you. You can also listen to music samples of a variety of different ensembles online. I offer many different ensembles featuring the flute, strings, piano, harp, and guitar, and I also have music samples for each. One of my groups is sure to be a perfect fit for your style, and if for some reason I don’t have what you’re looking for, I will gladly make recommendations for other musicians using my connections in the music world.

Number of Musicians:
Consider the size of your space and the number of guests that will be attending your ceremony. In general, plan to have at minimum one musician per 50 guests. It’s also a good idea to hire more musicians, such as a quartet, for large outdoor spaces. A duo that includes an amplified harp, guitar or piano can also fill a space with sound as effectively as a quartet. More isn’t necessarily better however. For small weddings in an intimate space, an acoustic soloist or duo is a great choice. Also consider your budget. The number of musicians that you hire is usually the single most important factor in determining the price of your live music.

Repertoire and Song Selection:
Can your music professional play the songs and styles of music that you want? Do you want to honor any family or cultural traditions with your wedding music? If a song that you want to have played is not included in the musician’s repertoire, ask them if they take special requests and if there will be an arranging fee. Each of my ensembles has an extensive repertoire and I’m also a professional music arranger which means that I regularly make special music arrangements for my clients at a reasonable price.

Amplification:
Most instruments are very resonant and their sound carries quite well, even in outdoor spaces. For larger events or in settings with lots of ambient noise, make sure that your music professional can provide quality amplification if needed. Some wedding venues don’t allow amplification, so don’t rely on having it until you’ve inquired first. I have both a battery powered amplification system and a high quality plug-in amplification system that I regularly use for our performances when needed.

Hire Experienced Music Professionals:
Your music professional should be an experienced wedding musician who is able to guide you through the music selection process. They should know what questions to ask be and able to foresee potential problems so that the music on your wedding day will run smoothly, and they should always present themselves professionally. Make sure that they are well trained, regularly performing musicians who are able to give you confidence in their musical abilities. I have over twenty years of experience performing music for weddings and I’m also lucky to love running the other aspects of my business as well.

Know What Your Musicians Expect
Ask your music professional what their policy is for environmental conditions including rain, temperature extremes and requirements for shade. Often the venue or musicians will provide these items, sometimes for an additional cost. Ask in advance what they expect you to provide for them at the performance. Some instruments are extremely vulnerable to weather and sunlight and others are more hardy. I will play solo flute in adverse weather conditions but I don’t ask string players to join me! Most likely your guests won’t want to be outside if the weather conditions are bad either. I request natural or tent shade for stringed instruments (violin, viola, cello) during hot weather and sometimes, one armless chair for each musician.

Extra Costs:
When you’re hiring musicians to play for your wedding, be aware that there may be extra costs in addition to their basic fee. Make sure that you know what services are included in their basic fee, and what services are available at an extra cost. Extra costs can include fees for travel, musician tent rental, amplification, special music arrangements, additional microphones, and moving equipment between the ceremony and cocktail locations. I don’t like surprises and I’m sure that you don’t either, so my music quotes includes a list of the services that your quoted price covers, and also a list of optional add-ons and how much each one costs.

Consultation:
Ask your music professional if they will meet with you so that you can talk about your wedding with them in person and hear them play. I provide a complimentary consultation either before or after you book. Or, if you don’t have time to have a consultation, you can use my Wedding Music Planner.

Contract:
It is important to work with musicians who provides a contract so that expectations for both the musicians and client are clearly defined in advance. A contract also shows that the musicians are professional, reliable, regularly performing musicians. I always provide a contract so that expectations on both sides are clear.

Contact:
Do you have specific questions about your wedding music? Are you looking for a wedding musician? I’d love to hear from you!

Contact Me >

Flute and Piano Duo at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Recently, my flute and piano duo played for an elegant corporate event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Our client let us choose a mix of classical, contemporary and jazz tunes, leaving the specific music selections up to us. I enjoyed selecting tunes that would be a great fit for the event.

We began by entertaining the guests with our music as they enjoyed cocktails up on the sky terrace. The hot day had cooled down to a sparkling evening and everyone enjoyed the sweeping views of City Park and downtown Denver that the terrace afforded. After cocktails, we moved inside and continued to play a mix of music for a couple more hours during the elegant candlelit dinner reception.

From the Client:
This is the second time I’ve used Christen for a corporate event. She is a superb musician, and both times I’ve used her the guests commented on how wonderful the music was. I would recommend Christen without reservation. She’s very prompt to respond, is very warm and friendly and professional and her music is absolutely wonderful.

Samples from our Set List:
Ashokan Farewell, How High the Moon, Reign of Love (Coldplay), Clair De Lune (Debussy), Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, My Funny Valentine, Irlandaise (Bolling), Sunshine on my Shoulders, Just the Way You Are

Hire Us to provide wonderful music for your Colorado event!


Quartet Wedding Ceremony Music in Aspen, Colorado


This past weekend in early March, I played flute as part of a quartet for a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour in Aspen, Colorado. It was a beautiful spring-like day when we headed up to Aspen and when we arrived there were many people skiing on the slopes enjoying the warm weather. We took the Silver Queen Gondola up to the sundeck on the top of Aspen Mountain where the wedding ceremony would take place.

The bride chose to get married at sunset. It was chilly, sunny and windy on top of the mountain and the red and orange sunset was spectacular. When dusk fell it became very cold but the bride kept warm in an elegant fur capelet, and hand warmers were passed out to the guests. Our quartet was organized by A Touch of Class Music and it was made up of a flute, violin, cello and guitar. We played classical prelude music before the ceremony began. After the ceremony, everyone moved inside near the large fireplace where they warmed up and enjoyed drinks. We entertained the guests with a selection of jazz tunes.

Sample Prelude Music:
Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach), Giga (Handel), Andante Op. 29 (Schubert), Minuet (Beethoven), Allegro and Bourree from Water Music (Handel)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach) ~ Last Prelude Song
Largo from Winter (Vivaldi) ~ Parents
Air from Suite No. 3 (Bach) ~ Processional
Canon in D (Pachelbel) ~ Bride
You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Randy Newman) ~ Recessional

Sample Cocktail Hour Music:
Fly Me to the Moon, Autumn Leaves, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Satin Doll

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Wedding Planner ~ Nicole from Ashley Nicole Events
Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians ~ A Touch of Class Music
Venue ~ The Little Nell (Sundeck Patio and Benedict’s)

Flute and Guitar Duo Birthday Party Music at Beaver Creek, Colorado

Our flute and guitar duo had a cool and rainy drive up from Denver to Beaver Creek, Colorado on our way to play for an August birthday celebration. By the time that we arrived at the elegant private residence, the rain had stopped and the sun came out and it felt wonderful and warm. It was the perfect evening for guests to mingle outdoors during the cocktail hour. Everyone enjoyed the magnificent sunset accompanied by our music – an fun mix of classical, contemporary, and jazz tunes.

After the cocktail hour, everyone moved indoors for dinner and toasts. During dinner, we played a selection of classical and soft contemporary music, and after toasts, we jazzed it up with upbeat jazz and contemporary music.

Sample Cocktail Hour Music:
Pastorale (Vivaldi), Moderato from Sonata in G (Beethoven), Everything I Do (I Do it For You), Long ago (And Far Away (Gershwin), Tango (Albeniz), Largo from Xerxes, The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, My Way (Sinatra), Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific

Sample Dinner and After Dinner Music:
Afternoon in Paris (John Lewis), Annie’s Song (John Denver), Cheek to Cheek (Sinatra), How High the Moon (Ella Fitzgerald), Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (The Platters), What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong), You Are the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder), Take the “A” Train (Duke Ellington), Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Duke Ellington), Fly Me to the Moon (Sinatra)

Planning a party? Learn more about our music here >

Sunset view from the backyard