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




Romantic Music

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and spring weddings drawing near, it’s time to start thinking about romantic music to complete the occasion. With the help of friends, I’ve compiled a list of romantic songs, and I hope you enjoy listening to them. What makes a song romantic? Romantic music mirrors four aspects of romance in life – intimacy, time, conversation, and passion. But just as we all experience intimacy in different ways, we all have our personal preferences in romantic music.

Intimacy

Every romantic song has some level of intimacy. Intimate songs tend to be personal and not showy or performance oriented. They frequently have sweeping strings or soulful guitar or piano in the background. Also, most romantic songs fall between the pulse of 60 -100 beats per minute which also happens to be the average heartbeat of a human being. Coincidence? I think not. This gentle pulse is often done with soft percussion, or naturally emphasized in the music. Over this pulse is usually a warm and tender voice or instrumental lead.

Time

Romance flourishes when you give another person your full attention and time.  The following songs are all about the element of time and they do this by drawing out words and spacing phrases:

Can’t Help Falling in Love With You, Elvis

Come Away with Me, Norah Jones

Fascination, Nat King Cole

I Will Love You, Fisher

Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers

Wonderful Tonight, Eric Clapton

 

Conversation

This is an easy one, because words of love and devotion can be translated directly into music as in the following examples:

Always On My Mind, Willie Nelson

Devoted to You, Everly Brothers

For You, John Denver

I Will Be Here , Steven Curtis Chapman

Longer Than, Dan Fogelberg

Time in a Bottle, Jim Croce

Truly Madly Deeply, Savage Garden

Your Song, Elton John

 

Passion

Passionate songs have energy, intensity, perhaps a faster pulse than the typical heart rate, and often the element of the unexpected. Some of the most passionate songs are classical, particularly from the aptly named “Romantic Period” of music. Following is a wide range of passionate songs:

Everything I do, Bryan Adams

Hello Young Lovers, Stevie Wonder

Libestod from Tristan Und Isolde (Richard Wagner), Birgit Nilsson

Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet, Henry Mancini and his orchestra

Meditation from Thais (Massenet), Yo-Yo Ma

‎Someone to Watch Over Me, Herb Alpert

 

For fun I looked for a song from above that, in my opinion best blends all four categories. The result was a tie between “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers and “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Elvis. “Unchained Melody” frequently uses the word “time” which enhances its slow development, then crescendos with passion towards the end. “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” brilliantly combines all the elements of intimacy, along with slow romantic words.

If you are looking for musicians for your spring wedding or Valentine’s Day, take a look at my ensembles page for music samples with a variety of instrument combinations.