Inspire Duo at La Cour

Inspire Duo: Christen Stephens & Craig Woodward

Inspire us, listen, and be inspired.
Join Inspire Duo on September 19th for our premier performance! Enjoy some great food and drinks while listening to our classical and jazz inspired improvisations. Come by and make sure to say hi. I look forward to seeing you there!

Date: Tuesday, September 19th 2017
Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Location: La Cour, 1643 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210

About Inspire Duo:
Inspire Duo is a flute and piano duo featuring the music of Christen Stephens (flute) and Craig Woodward (piano). We create purely improvisational music inspired by people, art and life. No two performances are alike. Our influences come from our classical training coupled with our love for jazz and modern music.

Listen to Music Samples >

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!


Flute and Harp Renaissance Music in Denver, Colorado

Flute and Harp duo Renaissance musicRecently, our flute and harp duo played for a Camelot party at Brookdale, Greenwood Village, a senior living center near Denver, Colorado. Our duo played a mix of traditional Renaissance music and music from “Camelot” the musical. We played as the guests enjoyed their food and socialized.

Selected Songs:
The Simple Joys of Maidenhood from Camelot, A Scots Tune, Follow me up to Carlow, I Loved You Once in Silence from Camelot, The Ash Grove, Alamande IV, Camelot from Camelot, The Minstrel Boy, We be Soldiers Three, How to Handle a Woman from Camelot, Now is the Month of Maying

Flute and Harp Renaissance Music Live at Brookdale:
If you don’t see music samples below Download Adobe Flash Player

Aaran Boat Song

Alamande IV

A Maid in Bedlam

Now is the Month of Maying
Ronde

Basse Danse

Bouffons

The Ash Grove
Daphne

Sheebeg and Sheemore

Camelot from the musical “Camelot”

Enjoy the Versatility of our Flute and Harp Duo >

Flute and Violin Wedding Ceremony Music at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Photos Courtesy of Brittany Renee Photography
In July, our flute and violin duo played for an intimate wedding ceremony at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The ceremony took place in the Romantic Gardens, which are green and serene, spilling over with roses and transporting one back to the Victorian Era. Our flute and violin duo played under one of the two small gazebos, and it beautifully amplified our sound and also protected our instruments from the sun and rain. Often it was sunny and raining at the same time and the ceremony began with an unusually heavy gust of wind. Despite the erratic weather and a few hitches before the ceremony began, this flexible couple carried on. The weather calmed down and the sun shone brilliantly for a beautiful finish to this wedding ceremony. Our duo played a selection of classical and more contemporary tunes to keep the guests entertained before the wedding and the bride selected her own processional and recessional songs.

Sample Prelude Music:
Aire from Orpheus (Gluck), Allegro Non Troppo (Popp), Andante from String Quartet in A minor (Schubert), Air from Handel’s Water Music, Artist’s Life (Strauss), Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis), Let Me Call You Sweetheart (Bing Crosby)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Bride’s Processional ~ A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
Recessional ~ All of Me (John Legend)

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens
Photographer: Brittany Renee Photography
Musicians: Christen Stephens – Flute and Violin Duo


Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music at the Denver Botanic Gardens


I recently enjoyed playing solo flute for the wedding ceremony of a delightful couple in Denver, Colorado. The bride was from Turkmeninstan, the groom was from England and their former college teacher from California officiated the wedding ceremony. Of all the places in the world to get married, this couple chose the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, Colorado. They were married under the Water Garden Gazebo by the peaceful Monet Pool, which reflected the beautiful flowers and puffy clouds.The weather was beautiful with just enough clouds in the sky to keep the temperature very comfortable. The ceremony was small with just close family and friends and everyone was so warm and friendly that I felt quite welcome.

From the bride:
“Christen was absolutely amazing! We had our wedding ceremony at Denver Botanic Gardens on June 7, 2016 and couldn’t have wished for the greater experience with Christen. We were absolutely impressed with her music, she made our special day magical! The guests loved Christen’s playing. I recommend her to anyone who wants beautiful music for their ceremony/wedding, you will be amazed!!!”


Prelude Music:
The Swan, The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, Minuet from Eight Minuets and Trios, K 315a (Mozart), Romance (Beethoven), Spring (Vivaldi), Simple Gifts, Menuet from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach)
Postlude: Gavotte (Handel), The Lord’s Prayer

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Processional ~ Amazing Grace
Recessional ~ Hornpipe – Purcell

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue – Denver Botanic Gardens
Musician – Christen Stephens – Solo Flute

Flute and Violin Wedding Ceremony Music at the Denver Botanic Gardens

This wedding ceremony at the Denver Botanic Garden was held on a gorgeous day in mid-October. The ceremony was held at the Romantic Gardens, and they were washed in warm sunshine, the birds were singing, and the gardens were alive with autumn blooms. Even the guests from Hawaii kept talking about how beautiful it was. It was quite a change from last year when we were buried in snow at the same time of year!

The bride hired our flute and violin duo and her one request was that we play “All of Me” by John Legend so I made an arrangement of the song for flute and violin. There were only about 14 guests, and while they took pictures and mingled before the wedding ceremony, we played a mix of classical and popular music. Because of the small size, this ceremony felt very relaxed and I think that the bride and groom truly enjoyed their special day as they mingled with family members and listened to our music.

Prelude Music:
Air from Orpheus (Gluck), Romanza from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis), Allegro Non Troppo (Pop), Simple Gifts, What a Wonderful World, Vivement from The Italian Sonata (Chedeville), Largo from Xerxes (Handel)

Listen to Flute and Violin Music Samples >

Flute and Violin Duo Wedding Ceremony Music at the Denver Botanic Gardens

The weather was warm and sunny for this elegant late summer wedding ceremony at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The ceremony tent was surrounded by beautiful flowers in peak bloom with a water feature as a backdrop. The wedding itself was a time of celebration and the guests were enthusiastic about cheering for the bride and groom during the processional and recessional. It was quite a processional with 11 bridesmaids and 11 groomsmen, a ringbearer and 2 flower girls!

The bride chose all of her own processional music and I chose the prelude and cocktail hour music. I also made a special arrangement of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” to play during the reflection time during the ceremony and another arrangement of “A Thousand Years” to play as the bride walked down the aisle.

Our duo continued to play upbeat classical music after the ceremony as the guests enjoyed light snacks and drinks.


Sample Prelude Music:
Air from Water Music (Handel), Air from Orpheus (Gluck), Menuet from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), Minuet (Devienne)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Parents and Groom ~ Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Ringbearer, Flower Girls ~ Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
Bride’s Processional ~ A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
Reflection Song ~ Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis)
Recessional ~ Wedding March (Mendelssohn)

Sample Cocktail Hour Music:
The Italian Sonata – selections (Chedeville), Allegro (Loeillet), Presto from Sonatina in F major (Telemann), Scheherazade Theme (Rimsky-Korsakov), Waltz from Album for the Young (Tschaikovsky), Blackbird (Beatles), For Me and My Gal, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, What a Wonderful World

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens
Musicians: Christen Stephens, Colorado Wedding Ceremony Musician – Flute and Violin Duo

Add a touch of elegance to your wedding ceremony and cocktail hour with live music by Christen Stephens.

Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music and Dinner Music in Denver

This hot day began with a beautiful cool morning, perfect for an intimate wedding ceremony at the War Memorial Rose Garden in Littleton, Colorado. This picturesque gem is located near downtown Littleton and across the street from beautiful Sterne Park. The roses were just beginning to reach peak bloom and their scent filled the air with a sweet, nostalgic perfume. As a former music major, the groom had many ideas for his music selections and I incorporated them into the prelude, postlude, and dinner music.

As guests began to arrive, I played a prelude of classical and traditional Irish music on solo flute. The wedding ceremony was very simple with only immediate family and friends attending. After the wedding ceremony, I played for fifteen more minutes as the wedding party and family were photographed.


Dinner was held at Maggiano’s which is the couple’s favorite restaurant. I began by playing some classical and Irish tunes and then switched to show, jazz, movie, and popular music. The groom made a special request that my last song be “Feeling Good”, and I really enjoyed learning that wonderful classic song. The guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers while I played and when I finished, dinner was served. I was invited to join everyone for dinner and particularly enjoyed the pork and mashed potatoes and one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had.

Selected Wedding Prelude Music:
Aylesford Gavotte (Handel), Pastorale (Vivaldi), Star of the County Down (traditional Irish), Banish Misfortune (traditional Irish), Shebeg and Sheemore (traditional Irish), Berceuse (Faure), The Butterfly (traditional Irish), Largo from the New World Symphony, Theme from Scheherazade (Rimsky-Korsakov), Waltz (Brahms)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Wedding Party and Bride ~ Chorale from Cantata No. 140 (JS Bach)
Recessional ~ Prelude from Te Deum (Marc-Antoine Charpentier)

Selected Dinner Music:
Salut D’ Amour (Elgar), Vocalise (Rachmaninoff), Irish Traditional music, Entr’acte from Carmen (Bizet), The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, What a Wonderful World, Isn’t it Romantic?, Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific, (Everything I Do), I Do it For You from Robin Hood, The Way You Look Tonight, As Time Goes By from Casablanca, Cheek to Cheek, Feeling Good from The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd

Wedding Vendors:
Wedding Venue: War Memorial Rose Garden in Littleton
Dinner Venue: Maggiano’s in Englewood
Musicians: www.ChristenStephens.com Solo Flute

If you are planning a wedding ceremony or dinner and would like to add the elegance of live flute music to your event, visit my wedding or event page to learn more.

Announcing New Flute Quartet Wedding Ceremony Music Samples

Our flute quartet recently recorded a number of new music samples. You can listen to the the music samples online here: Flute Quartet Music Samples. Our flute quartet consists of a flute, violin, viola, and cello and the tone of the flute wonderfully compliments the sound of the strings to create a full and rich sound. I am very excited about these recordings because after a lot of time and work, I have now completed making recordings of all ten of my music ensembles!

Photo courtesy of Kern Photo