Flute and Harp Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Music at the Lyons Farmette

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My flute and harp duo had a wonderful day playing for this charming wedding ceremony and cocktail hour at the Lyons Farmette in Lyons, Colorado. The venue features wide lawns, an assortment of farm animals, vintage farm equipment, and a riot of color in the beautiful flower gardens. Twinkle lights sparkled from everywhere, and the creek running behind the ceremony site completed the charming effect.

Shortly before we started playing the prelude, the wind guested very strongly and it began to sprinkle rain. I had my music stand set up outside, and a big branch fell from the tree right where I would have been standing, so I was thankful that I wasn't there! We were so happy that the weather calmed down just as we needed to start playing the prelude music. We played elegant classical music to welcome the guests as they arrived.

Then it was time for our big musical surprise, as planned by the bride. We played "Zelda's Lullaby" from the video game "The Legend of Zelda", as the bride walked down the aisle. For the recessional, we played "Shelter" by Porter Robinson and Madeon.

During cocktails, we continued the video game theme. The couple chose a number of special songs to be played during cocktails, and the songs included more Zelda music and the Pokemon Center theme. Many people recognized the tunes and were very excited and surprised to hear songs that they knew from the video games. The tunes worked perfectly on flute and harp.

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Wedding Ceremony Music:
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach) - Processional
Zelda's Lullaby - Bride
Shelter (Porter Robinson and Madeon) - Recessional

Wedding Music Special Selections:
Zelda's Lullaby, Shelter (Porter Robinson and Madeon), Kakariko Village, The Great Fairy Fountain, Ballad of the Goddess, Path of the Wind from My Neighbor Tororo, The Pokemon Center Theme, Saria's Theme (a surprise addition I included)

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue: The Lyons Farmette
Wedding Planner: A Touch of Bliss Events
Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Harp Duo
Photographer: Dan Hand Photo
Videographer: Garrity Productions

Whether your love Zelda music or want another unique them for your wedding, I can make it happen. Contact me today!

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Flute Quartet Music for Annual Inspire at NCAR in Boulder, Colorado

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I led the Boulder Symphony flute quartet (flute, violin, viola, cello) in playing for the Annual Inspire event in Boulder, Colorado once again this year. The event was held at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research). The patio overlooks an incredible view of the Colorado front range, but in August, the view was partially obscured by smoke and haze from the wildfires that are burning in the west. We were grateful that towards the end of the event, a cool evening breeze came, bringing with it clear air and the scent of pine. It's an incredibly beautiful location, and I never tire of each amazing Colorado vista that we have the privilege of playing at. 

Our quartet played a selection of cheerful classical music before and after the speeches were made. As usual, the speeches from the students were personal and inspiring stories of hope and how they overcame difficult obstacles in order to achieve their dreams. It was an uplifting evening.

String Trio Wedding Ceremony and Reception Music at the Arrabelle in Vail

 String trio wedding and reception music at the Arrabelle in Vail Square

String trio wedding and reception music at the Arrabelle in Vail Square

In late July, I played cello with my string trio for a classy wedding ceremony and reception at the Arrabelle in Vail. Since we played for both the ceremony and reception, we were there for about five hours, which rivals my longest performance ever! Instead of having to leave right after the ceremony, it was wonderful to have the extra time to spend playing our music and getting to know and enjoy the guests.

As we arrived, the weather was a little iffy, and it looked like it might rain. We hoped for the best and set up with our instruments on the beautiful balcony just outside the Arrabelle Great Room. The balcony overlooked the green Vail ski slopes and a part of charming Vail Village. Just as we were ready to start playing the prelude music, it began to storm, and the ceremony had to be moved indoors.

Our string trio played peaceful classical prelude music, as requested by the bride. The bride walked down the aisle to "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri, and the couple was married in front of grand fireplace in the Great Room.

Once the ceremony was over, the guests enjoyed cocktails and dinner as we played a set of modern pop and rock songs. It was fun because when we started playing each song, various guests would pay attention as they recognized their a favorite tune. The acoustics in the room worked beautifully for our trio and we didn't overpower the small room.

When there's no dancing, our live music is perfect for your entire wedding ceremony, cocktails, and reception. That way, you only need to book one group! We can start your ceremony and welcome your guests with lovely classical music and then switch to more contemporary music or lively classical music for your cocktails and reception. We can even add amplification if needed. For this couple, it was such an elegant touch to have our string trio play for the entire event, and our music created a beautiful ambiance for the entire evening.

From the Bride:
"We had an intimate wedding in Vail and Christen and her string trio team played for both our ceremony and reception. They did such a great job! Christen was so helpful and accommodating with our vision and timeline while planning the music for our day. Her website provides many great samples of music to choose from. She also worked on and added more music to her string trio repertoire in order to accommodate both our ceremony and reception. We received several compliments from guests on how much they enjoyed their music. They appreciated the elegant touch it added and the fact that they could easily converse with one another while they were playing. She was very responsive and so easy to work with. I would highly recommend her and her team for any special occasion or event! Thank you Christen!"

Experience classical and pop music with the elegance of strings for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception with my string trio.

Selections from Prelude Music:
Air from Water Music (Handel), Wedding Song (Peter, Paul, and Mary), Andantino (Mozart), Romanza from Eine Kline Nachtmusik (Mozart), Arioso from Cantata #156 (Bach)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
A Thousand Years (Christina Perri) - Bride's Processional
Allegro from Spring (Vivaldi) - Recessional

Dinner Reception Music (a small sample):
Moon River (from Breakfast at Tiffany's), Accidentally in Love (Counting Crows), Romantic Flight (from How to Train Your Dragon), The Wedding (from the Legends of the Fall), A Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay), Yellow (Coldplay), Anything Goes (Cole Porter), Don't Stop Believin' (Journey), Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol), Just One of Those Things (Cole Porter), Imagine (Beatles)

Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music on the Vail Wedding Deck in Colorado

 Vow Renewal Wedding Ceremony on the Vail Wedding Deck, Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens

Vow Renewal Wedding Ceremony on the Vail Wedding Deck, Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens

Towards the end of July, I played for a wedding vow renewal ceremony on the Vail Wedding Deck. There was a pretty good chance of thunderstorms in Vail that afternoon, but the rain held off, allowing for the ceremony to take place under the sunshine and occasional clouds. The wind was extremely gusty, and it brought in smoke from the southern Colorado wildfires, but that just added a mysterious and magical quality to the setting.

I played a mix of classical and contemporary prelude music on my flute, and I used my amplification so that I could be heard over the wind. Everyone gasped in surprise and delight when the couple's spunky and adorable daughter joined me on her flute to play "Can't Help Falling in Love" as the bride walked down the aisle.

The couple had been married for ten years, and their vows were as tender as first time couples, but also so refreshingly real as they had faced many years of life together. They had gone through many joys and challenges in their ten years of married life, and through them they grew closer to each other and were more in love than ever. I don't think that there was a dry eye by the time the ceremony was over. Then the bride gave everyone yet another surprise by announcing that a second child was on the way! Everyone cheered.

It was quite wonderful when the officiant announced "And now I pronounce you....are still husband and wife!" at the end. I was so inspired that I thought how nice it would be to do a 15 year vow renewal with my husband in a few years. I continued to play my flute after the ceremony to add ambiance as photos were taken.

From the Bride:
"Christen played beautifully at my ten year wedding renewal! She even worked with my daughter to perform a surprise duet together as I walked down the aisle which was such a hit. Thank you so much for everything!"

Enjoy the elegance and beauty of my solo flute music for your wedding ceremony! Here are solo flute music samples.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Here Comes the Sun (Beatles) - Groomsmen
The Way You Look Tonight (Sinatra)- Bridesmaids
Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis) - Duet with Bride's Daughter for Bride's Walk

Prelude and Postlude Music Included:
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach), Hornpipe (Purcell), Moon River, Prelude from Te Deum (Charpentier), When I Fall in Love (Nat King Cole),  Cheek to Cheek (Sinatra), All My Loving (Beatles)

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue: Vail Wedding Deck
Wedding Planner: White Birch
Wedding Ceremony Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Solo Flute
Photographer: Ashley Waldron Photography
Videographer: Roots and Wings Productions
Reception Location: Arrabelle Ballroom

Flute Quartet Music at the Vail Wedding Deck

 Vail Wedding Deck after a storm

Vail Wedding Deck after a storm

 A bride celebrates when the Vail Wedding Deck gondola reopens after a thunderstorm

A bride celebrates when the Vail Wedding Deck gondola reopens after a thunderstorm

In early July, my flute quartet (flute, violin, viola, cello) headed to the Colorado mountains to play for a wedding ceremony on the Vail Wedding Deck. When we arrived, the weather was unusually hot and dusty and unlike the cool crisp air that we usually expect from Vail. The sun was shining brightly and all was calm as we took the gondola up to the top of Vail Mountain. The moment we arrived, it was announced that a large storm was moving in, and the gondola would be closed!

Over 400 people were trapped at the top of the mountain, including two brides. One bride had just been married and the second bride was supposed to be married at the bottom of the gondola in Vail Village. The storm rolled in, bringing with it lightning strikes and heavy rain. Our wedding party and guests were waiting at the bottom of the gondola and we were waiting at the top, and we were all hoping that our couple could have their dream outdoor wedding on top of the mountain. It must have been about an hour, but finally the announcement came through that the storm had passed and the gondola would be running again. The crowd of people erupted into big cheers, and the cheering brides were escorted onto the gondola first.

 Flute Quartet wedding ceremony music on the Vail Wedding Deck in Colorado

Flute Quartet wedding ceremony music on the Vail Wedding Deck in Colorado

Our wedding party made it to the top of the mountain for their dream wedding after all. The rain had washed away the hot and dusty feeling, and it was fresh and cool. Just as the bride and groom said "I do", the sun came out and shone on them as if for a blessing.

My quartet played elegant classical music as the guests arrived for the ceremony, and we continued to play after the ceremony to accompany the wedding party as they had their pictures taken.

Selections from prelude and postlude music:
Rondeau (Mouret), Ave Maria (Schubert), selections from Handel's Water Music, To a Wild Rose (MacDowell), selections from Bach string quartets

Hire my flute quartet (flute, violin, viola, cello) to make your Colorado mountain wedding even more spectacular!

Vendors:
Venue: Vail Wedding Deck
Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Quartet

 Vail Wedding Deck after a summer storm

Vail Wedding Deck after a summer storm

Flute and Cello Wedding Ceremony Music at the Denver Botanic Gardens

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

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

Late in June, I had the privilege of playing for a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It was my first time playing in the elegant Woodland Mosaic Garden, which is my favorite garden wedding site. The sun went behind clouds, and what started as a baking hot day turned into a cool day with a gentle breeze. The leafy canopy of trees arched over the conservatory and the sound of singing birds mingled Snow White style with our Disney themed music.

At the bride's request, and to my great delight, we played a lot of Disney pieces, and I even got to make a special arrangement of "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from Cinderella to play as the wedding party walked down the aisle.

The ceremony and cocktail hour came off beautifully, and as cocktails were ending, a big gust of wind brought in a smattering of rain, and the guests moved to the reception location to enjoy a tropical inspired feast.

Prelude Music Included:
Tis the Last Rose of Summer, A Whole New World, Gavotte (J.S. Bach), Menuet (Bach), When You Wish Upon a Star, Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis)

 

Wedding Ceremony Music:
A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes from Cinderella - Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, Ringbearer
Canon in D (Pachelbel)- Bride
Largo from Winter (Vivaldi) - Sand Ceremony
Ode to Joy (Beethoven) - Recessional

Cocktail Hour Music Included:
Roses from the South (Strauss), Jr.), In the Still of the Nite,  Rondo Alla Turca, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Simple Gifts, Blue Spanish Eyes

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue: Denver Botanic Gardens
Planner: Serendipity Catering
Wedding Ceremony Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens, Flute and Cello Duo

Are you getting married in the Denver Botanic Gardens? I love playing there because I'm passionate about gardening and plants. I'm familiar with all of the wedding sites at the Gardens.. Learn how to add our beautiful music to your wedding!

Self-Care for Musicians

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I have been researching the topic of mental well-being and self-care for over ten years, and I'm excited to share with you some of the unique systems that I've developed to incorporate self-care into your daily life. I'm writing this as a musician to fellow musicians, but these tips and techniques easily translate to anyone, no matter your career or place in life. Read on to learn how to incorporate these self-care techniques into your life in real and practical ways that you can act on starting today!

Effective self-care doesn’t usually happen naturally, but it’s an intentional decision. Once you recognize why self-care is such a necessary part of your well-being, it’s easy to make the decision to incorporate it into your life. To build a personalized self-care plan, you’ll first need to study yourself. As you learn more about yourself, you’ll learn how to take care of your physical health, how to schedule self-care, how to build a list of easy activities for a quick pick-me-up, and how to practice self-care attitudes. Your new self-care plan will help you to thrive in your life by building balance into your life and giving you techniques to recharge.

 

Why care about self-care?

Is self-care very important? You’d probably agree that it is. However, most people don’t take enough time to care for themselves in the rush of work, family, and other life tasks and activities. Do you? If not, why?

  • Is it because it seems selfish?
  • Is it because you have too much on your mind and can’t relax?
  • Do you simply have much to accomplish?
  • Does it feel indulgent and unnecessary?
  • Is it because you might look to others like you don’t work hard enough?
  • Is it simply off your radar altogether?
  • Do you feel like you can’t think about yourself until you get everything done first?

The final reason is the one I struggle with the most. When I’m buried in the middle of a big project, proposing a five-minute break to me would be like suggesting that I take a year-long trip to Bali!

Self-care isn’t about pampering yourself, but it’s actually an essential part of your well-being. Your career goal as a musician or singer is to put out a great product for your clients, and guess what? You’re the product! Just like one would ensure that their professional racehorse is in top condition for each race, or like a race car driver maintains their car in perfect working condition, you need to keep your whole self in optimal working condition for your musical performances. To develop your product (yourself), you need to nurture not only your ability to make music, but your total well-being, including your body, mind, emotions, thoughts, and spirit. When you use healthy self-care habits you’ll notice endless benefits and you’ll be able to keep your passion, energy, enthusiasm, and body healthy for the long run.

Study Yourself

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You’re a unique individual, and self-care isn’t a one size fits all kind of deal. To make a personal self-care plan, you need to be student of yourself. This is best done when you’re less busy since it will initially take more time, but it’s never too late to get started. To be a student of yourself, take notes on how you respond physically, mentally, and emotionally to different things. Strong reactions of any type are clear messages from your body that you should pay attention to. When you have strong reactions, allow yourself to calm down or process the information at first if needed. Then, make a note how you felt and what was going on at the time, including possible triggers. It’s helpful to keep a journal to record these. One beneficial exercise is to perform a self-evaluation at the end of each day. What was my best moment? What was my worst moment? Why?

After several weeks of noting the messages that your body is giving you, you’ll probably start to notice some trends, and these can help you to make better life decisions and to create goals.

 

Once you’ve identified what’s triggering strong reactions in yourself, you can choose to:

  • Learn from it
  • Reduce it
  • Increase it
  • Change it
  • Face it
  • Avoid it
  • Work through it
  • Embrace it

Whatever you do, it’s important to act on this information rather than ignoring it. This exercise isn’t about avoiding all negative emotions and thoughts and embracing only the positive ones. Our emotions and thoughts are simply messengers attempting to give us useful information. Studying yourself is an ongoing process, and you need to always be mindful of the messages that your body is sending you. As you study yourself, it’s also useful to get the input of other people that you trust. Sometimes they see aspects of you more clearly than you see yourself.

 

Physical Health:

Now it’s time to delve into specific techniques of effective self-care. We’ll start with physical health since it will create the foundation. Take time during your non-busy season to establish healthy sleep, diet, and exercise habits that work for you. To determine what works best for you, follow the techniques to become a student of yourself. Remember that your emotions, physical body and mind are always guiding you with information. Below are tips for basic physical care. Experiment with them and see which ones work best for you.

 

Tips for Sleep:

  • Take note of how many hours of sleep you need to feel rested and schedule sleep as you would any other activity. If you can’t get adequate sleep on certain nights, it’s Ok if you usually stick to your routine.
  • Find a routine to relax before bed that works for you. This can include a hot mug of tea, a hot soak in the tub, deep breathing, meditation, reading etc.
  • When in bed, relax your muscles one by one starting with your toes and slowly working your way up to the top of your head. Take a deep breath and as you let it out, say to yourself “Now I relax my toes” etc. It helps to tense the muscle while inhaling for a better release.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure that you have a comfortable bed and bedding and a cool dark room. Some people enjoy listening to sleep sounds or white noise as they sleep.
  • Avoid the use of electronics such as computers, TV, or any screen time in the bedroom.
  • Journal your thoughts before you go to bed.
  • Do easy yoga or stretching before you go to bed.

 

Tips for Exercise:

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  • Schedule exercise either by time of day or by tacking it onto something that you already do daily. For example, you can say: I’ll exercise first thing after getting up in the morning, I’ll exercise at 7:00pm, or I’ll exercise before eating lunch.
  • Think of several different kinds of exercise that you enjoy and do a different type of exercise or routine each day to keep it fresh. Ideas include walking, running, yoga, Pilates, swimming, sports, cycling, dancing, jump rope, going to the gym, or floor exercises that can be done without equipment.
  • Exercise with a friend.
  • Listen to a book on tape or music while you exercise.
  • See exercise as your personal time to think or unplug from the world.
  • Exercise mindfully and feel the strength in your muscles and the energy of your pumping heart.

 

Tips for Diet:

  • Prepare meals in advance so that you don’t have to cook every day (invest in lots of food storage containers of the same size so that they can be neatly stacked in your freezer or refrigerator. Use glass containers instead of plastic because they don’t transfer chemicals or bad flavors to the food).
  • Drink water! Carry a bottle of water wherever you go and for a more appealing cold or hot drink, bring it in an insulated water bottle. Avoid mindlessly drinking sugary drinks or alcohol but drink them as a special treat during a time at which you can enjoy every sip.
  • Juice fresh vegetables and have the juice available to energize yourself on a performance day.
  • Make healthy shakes that are easy to bring in place of a meal.
  • If you don’t have time to shop for food, consider a home grocery delivery plan.
  • If you don’t have time to cook, consider an easy home cooking plan.
  • Learn quick and healthy recipes that you can rotate using ingredients that you have on hand. (I like “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman).

 

Regular Check-Ups:

I don’t think that anyone really looks forward to going to regular doctor, dentist, or eye doctor appointments. However, it’s important to get regular check-ups just to make sure that everything is still well with your body. If possible, schedule all these appointments during your slow season so that you don’t need to think about them when you’re in your very busy. Schedule a reminder in your calendar that will tell you to make your doctor appointments and don’t ignore it when it comes up.

 

Self-care in Relation to Playing or Singing:

Live a lifestyle that keeps your body and mind in optimal singing and playing condition. You know what habits are specific to you whether it be diet, specific exercises or stretches, and good performing habits to prevent injury when singing and playing your instrument. It’s also healthy incorporate good habits right into your instrument or singing practice. These can include short intervals of stretching and breathing, visualization techniques, the Alexander Technique, or just regular check-ins to notices if you have any tension.

Example: I had severe nerve damage in my left arm and I do arm exercises daily and apply essential oils. This takes about 15 minutes every day, but I have a scheduled time to do it because for me it’s a necessity for pain management and mobility. During my practice sessions, I stop at regular intervals to do a few seconds of stretching. Sometimes, I find that I feel even better after practicing than before!

 

Schedule Self-Care

A couple of years ago, I noticed that I was frequently feeling down in spirits at various times and I didn’t know why. I became a student of myself and over the next few weeks, I made mental notes of what was happening when I felt down.

A very clear pattern emerged. I realized that I would feel down when I hadn’t had any social activity for a while. Since I’m an introvert, I had always thought – no big deal, right? I need plenty of time to be alone, so that can’t be my problem. But the truth is that whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you need regular social interactions to life a healthy and balanced life. I realized that I sometimes went without interactions with friends for weeks at a time and this was a big problem.

I scheduled time to spend with friends (even if it was just on the phone) a minimum of once a week. I guarded my time with friends carefully. After only a few weeks of trying this, my husband commented that I seemed different somehow. He said that I was much more positive, happy, and engaged. I then told him about the experiment that I was doing, and he encouraged me to keep it up.

When you have more time-consuming self-care activities, it’s important to schedule them. Make a specific time each week to sit down to evaluate your past week and to schedule the upcoming week. Ask yourself what’s working and what’s not working. What do you need more of and what do you need to cut back on? Be intentional about what your're doing with your life on a small scale. This can be your time to make a mini life assessment so that you don’t live on autopilot. You know your schedule and your needs and can choose the frequency of your scheduled self-care activities to be daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Make these scheduled activities as important as any other appointment on your calendar. Sometimes this will mean that you have to say “no” to people. If you’re honest with others, then they’ll begin to see how important self-care is to you. If they admit the truth to themselves, they’ll realize that they want that for their lives as well, and one person at a time, self-care may become an embraced and respected part of society.

Drop your ideas of what defines a useful activity. If your activity leaves you feeling one of the following ways, then it’s a useful activity and it doesn’t matter why:

  • Positive
  • Energized
  • Strong
  • Inspired
  • Calm
  • Focused
  • Joyful
  • Courageous
  • Connected
  • Relaxed

Here’s a sample list of items that you can schedule. As you read this list, take note of which activities have worked for you in the past and which ones that you might want to try for the future. When doing your activity, unplug yourself from work life completely. Turn off your cell phone or work notifications and put your phone where you can’t see it.

Take a Day Off:

If you’re in music, your day off might not be on the weekend, but you can choose another day of the week. Once you choose your day off for the upcoming week, schedule it as a very important appointment in your calendar. Busyness can come in many forms and isn’t just about your job. Consider all the responsibilities that you deal with daily and take a rest from them as much as possible. On your day off, be intentional about doing things that rejuvenate you. This may even involve things that some people consider “work”, but if it’s refreshing for you, then do it. The key is intention.

Time with Family or Friends:

Remember your friends and family. Everyone needs community and social interactions in order to be balanced and healthy. Make time for your friends and/or family even if the time is more limited than normal, such as with a quick phone call. Spend time with people who leave you encouraged and with a smile on your face.

Other self-care activities to schedule include:

  • Go out to dinner with your family or friends or even schedule a dinner at home
  • Have an adventure – hiking, fishing, road trip etc.
  • Take a day of fun exercise such as hiking, swimming, biking or gardening
  • Participate in a sport that you enjoy
  • Attend a social or town event
  • Go to the spa or for a massage
  • Go to the movies
  • Read a good book
  • Do a wine and paint session

 

Quick Self Care Techniques

As important as the previous activities are, they do take time, and sometimes you just need a quick way to recharge and reset. You may also want a healthy and productive way to fill an odd gap of time between other activities, rather than checking social media or your news feed. It may also be tempting to fill the moments when you need a short break by heading to the refrigerator or snack machine, falling into a bad habit you'd rather break, or ignoring that you need a break altogether. We all need to take moments of refreshment in the middle of a busy day and that’s why I created the idea of quick activities. Quick activities should only take between one and fifteen minutes to complete.

Make a list of your own quick activities and keep it in a place that you can refer to at any time. To make your list, you can ask yourself these questions:


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What things help to give me perspective?

What things put a smile on my face?

What things make me feel just a little bit lighter?

What things help me feel calmer?

How do I like to create?

How do I like to play?

 

You probably already know several things that work well for you. Here are a few more ideas to help get you started on your list:

  • Work on a puzzle
  • Work on a crossword puzzle
  • Do a short computer game
  • Read
  • Play with your pet(s)
  • Soak up some sun
  • Read or listen to something humorous
  • Meditate
  • Do a few minutes of yoga
  • Let your mind wander
  • Walk or run around the block
  • Step outside and take a few deep breaths and notice the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the air around you
  • List all the things that you’re grateful for
  • Pray
  • Text a friend
  • Color in an adult coloring book
  • Journal
  • Give someone a hug
  • Do something kind for someone else

Since making decisions drains energy it’s helpful to choose a quick activity randomly. You won’t be able to do all of them in all settings, but hopefully you have items that you can do at work or even in the car.

 

Self-Care Attitudes

When do you practice self-care? The simple answer is – All the time!

My husband, Tom, manages a team of people in the tech industry. Recently, the company has been making some very unpopular changes regarding his team, and morale was quickly slipping away. Tom noted that one of the major problems was a negative attitude among several of the workers, and this attitude transferred to everyone else in the team. The environment was becoming toxic and productivity was at an all-time low. Tom took the situation seriously and had many talks with his team, encouraging them to foster a positive attitude. He said that it wasn’t wrong to be unhappy and frustrated by the situation that they were in, but they still needed to maintain a positive attitude regardless of their feelings. Tom was honest with them about his emotions and said that he was frustrated with the situation as well. He created an environment in which his team could be honest about their emotions without being judged. Tom’s team responded to his lead, productivity dramatically increased, everyone trusted each other more, and working relationships improved.

This is the final element of self-care. Even though there are many things in life that you have no control over, you can still choose how you respond to what life throws at you. These are your self-care attitudes, and they are responses that you can practice and nurture at any place and at any time until they become habits. These mindsets are practically limitless and the benefits of actively practicing these self-care attitudes include:

  • Personal growth
  • Increasing positive and helpful interactions with others
  • A greater love for self and others
  • Less stress
  • Better work performance
  • Improved awareness of our environment and of others
  • More freedom
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Here are some examples of self-care attitudes. Use this list as inspiration to create your own list that is specific to you:

  • Have a positive “can do” attitude despite the situation
  • View events from a positive viewpoint and believe yourself to be a lucky person
  • Live in the “now” and experience the input from all your senses
  • Work as a team with others – help others when they need it and ask others for help when you need it
  • Focus on making what you want to happen rather than trying to prevent bad things from happening
  • Be patient
  • Forgive yourself and others for making mistakes
  • Help others
  • Commit with care and then follow though
  • Be authentic and unique rather than comparing yourself to others
  • Choose to trust others first rather than to distrust first
  • Express your emotions mindfully
  • Respect your boundaries and the boundaries of others
  • Be loving

Example: If you believe yourself to be a lucky person, you’ll start to notice how frequently things work in your favor throughout the entire day. Or if you live in the now and use your senses throughout the day, the day will give you a richer experience and it won’t seem like time is flying by too fast.

Which of these points challenge you? What points can you add to your list? Once you have your list, read one point first thing each morning, and then apply it to the rest of your day. Think of it as looking at life through a different lens each day. It’s like putting on a pair of different colored glasses, so that everything you interact with that day is filtered through this new lens. If you actively and mindfully practice your self-care attitude throughout the day, you’ll notice a difference in the way that you feel and respond, and the way that others respond to you. The benefits of practicing helpful attitudes are countless, and they will positively affect every area of your life and the lives of others. As you practice these attitudes, they’ll begin to become habits and you’ll no longer have to consciously think of them to practice them. You can continue to adjust your list as you grow, removing things that have become habits and adding new things.

 

Other Tips

Prioritize

Recognize what your priorities really are. Only a few items will fall into your “absolute must” category. The list of things that you’d really love to get done but that aren’t critical will probably be a lot longer. Make self-care a priority.

Be Early

Being late to personal and professional appointments is a great way to create a lot of stress for ourselves and others. You can mostly eliminate this stress from your life by allowing extra travel time. You can use today’s technology to check the traffic at different times of the day, look at satellite images of where you're going, and to locate parking places in advance. Schedule your departure times in your calendar, and double check traffic before you leave.

Technology makes us very mobile so the time that you have when you arrive early need not be wasted. You can:

  • Make phone calls
  • Answer emails
  • Warm up your voice or instrument
  • Eat a snack
  • Network or socialize
  • Take a walk
  • Do one of the things on your quick self-care list
  • Review your current item on your self-care attitudes list

Mistake Rituals

We all make mistakes, both in our musical performances and in our lives in general. It’s helpful to develop a personal mistake ritual so that you can quickly move past your mistakes, particularly in a performance situation. Here’s an example of a mistake ritual:

After making a mistake, sit in a tall confident pose with your shoulders back, chest out, chin up and with a confident facial expression. Then squeeze your shoulders together and visualize the mistake rolling away down your shoulders. Then move on!

In Conclusion

Once you’re aware of what things energize you and what things wear you out, you can begin to shape your decisions and attitudes and be conscious about the way that you use your time. Once you set your strategy for self-care, involve the important people in your life. Make sure that your family and friends are aware of how important this is to you and what the changes that you’re making might mean for them. Be forgiving of yourself and don’t treat these tips as rules, but as helpful tools to make your life more purposeful and healthier.

Remember that self-care is a necessary part of your well-being. Take care of your basic physical needs such as sleep, diet, exercise and seeing the doctor for check-ups. Take time out of your schedule each week to evaluate your past week and to plan the following week, making sure to include self-care activities if possible. Have a list of quick self-care activities that you can do at any time when needed. And finally, practice healthy self-care attitudes that will change your life for the better, one thought at a time.

Christen Stephens Speaks About "Self-Care During the Busy Season"

 
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I'm excited about being the speaker at the next CODA Entertainers meeting! I will be addressing the topic of "Self-Care During the Busy Season". I'll be posting the full content of my talk on my blog next week, so stay posted!

You'll learn how to study yourself in order build a mindful and personalized self-care plan that will be a life-saver during your busy season, and valuable to practice at all times. You'll learn how to live a purposeful and healthy life so that you don't live on autopilot. Also, you'll learn how to schedule self-care into your calendar, how to incorporate quick self-care techniques into every day, and how to practice healthy attitudes to build better relationships and to nurture your personal well-being.

Inspire Duo Will be Performing at Twenty Brew Taphouse!

 
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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!

"The Planets" by Holst

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I love "The Planets" by Holst, and I've always wanted to play cello it it, especially the famously beautiful melody in "Jupiter". Shortly before I was going to play this work with the Boulder Symphony Orchestra, I had to have major arm surgery. Instead of playing my cello, I attended the concert with an arm that I still couldn't bend. Now years later, I finally have another opportunity to play "The Planets" - this time with the Flatirons Community Orchestra!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 12th at 7:00pm

Concert will be at:
Calvary Bible Church
3245 Kalmia Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301

Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado

Photos Courtesy of Ian Riley Photography

Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado

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!

Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado

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

Processional Music:

Groom: Can't Help Falling in Love (Elvis)
Bride: Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Recessional: Fly Me to the Moon (Sinatra)

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:

Venue: Sapphire Point
Photographer and Videographer: Ian Riley Photography
Officiant: Phil Gallagher
Colorado Wedding Musician: Christen Stephens on Solo Flute

Hire me to play my magical and romantic solo flute music at your wedding.

Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado
Solo flute wedding ceremony music at Sapphire Point in Dillon, Colorado

Inspire Duo Plays at Rembrandt Yard in Boulder, Colorado

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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!

Find out more about this event here: https://rembrandtyard.com/collaborate-in-the-creative-art-experience/

Friday, April 6th, 2018 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Free admission Rembrandt Yard Art Gallery & Event Center 1301 Spruce St. Boulder, CO 80302

Solo Flute Wedding Elopement Ceremony Music in Estes Park

Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado

Around Christmas time, I played solo flute for an intimate elopement wedding at Della Terra Chateau in Estes Park, Colorado. The bride and groom chose to celebrate each other in a private destination ceremony, and I felt so privileged to be a part of their special day. Even though there were no guests, the couple chose to celebrate with a traditional wedding ceremony. The bride's dream was to have a magical outdoor ceremony in a snowy mountain setting. Despite the frosty day, there wasn't any snow on the ground, but there was a chance of snow, and we were all hoping for the best. A few flakes of snow ended up falling during and after the ceremony, and the mountain peaks in the background also had some white, completing a romantic winter backdrop. Since the temperature was well below freezing, and cold enough for ice to form inside my flute, I had to play my flute inside and let my sound float out the windows and doors. The couple was married outside on the patio and they were still able to hear my music clearly. The bride wore a beautiful wedding gown, crown, and a furry white shawl, just like an enchanted snow princess.

The couple selected a set of familiar contemporary songs from my current repertoire, and they customized the set list with additional song requests. I really enjoyed learning the new songs and adapting the vocal parts and instrumental interludes for solo flute.

Because of the frosty weather, the bride and groom decided to have their after-ceremony celebration indoors. The inside of the chateau was dripping with Christmas elegance, and we stayed toasty warm in front of one of several cheerfully crackling fires. I played "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran for the couple's first dance as a married couple. The simplicity of the dance with just the two of them serenaded by my flute was very sweet and romantic. I continued to play while they cut and ate their cake, toasted with champagne, and while they opened their gifts to each other. Being focused completely on each other was such a lovely way for them to spend their first few hours as a married couple.

Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado

Sample from the Prelude and Postlude Music: Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran), Got to Believe in Magic (David Pomeranz), Love is All That Matters (David Pomeranz), Valentine (Jim Brickman), Your Love (Jim Brickman), Destiny (Jim Brickman), The Gift (Jim Brickman), Beautiful in White (Westlife), Love Was Made For Us (Cleo)

Processional: A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)

Recessional: From This Moment (Shania Twain)

First Dance: Perfect (Ed Sheeran)

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue: Della Terra Mountain Chateau
Musician: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Solo Flute
Photographer: Crystaline Photography and Video

Add the versatile music of the flute to your wedding ceremony or event. Listen to Music Samples.

Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado
Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music in Estes Park, Colorado

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

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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.

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Flute Quartet Wedding Ceremony Music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado

Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado
Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado

At the beginning of autumn, my flute quartet (flute, violin, viola, cello) headed down to Vail, Colorado to play music for a wedding ceremony at the Donovan Pavilion. The drive up to Vail was the most beautiful drive of the whole year. The first snow had just fallen the night before and the aspens were in peak season with their golden yellow leaves. When the sun shone, the aspens glowed, gradually making way to dark pines dusted with fresh snow at the tops of the mountains. Behind the mountain peeks, storm clouds made a dramatic and imposing backdrop. The rain and wind from a large cold front was quickly moving in, and when it was time for our quartet to start playing prelude music, it was sprinkling rain and the wind blew in from the west, bringing in clouds and cold temperatures. We couldn't play the wedding music outside because of the weather so, with the help of my high quality sound system, we were able to play indoors and still be heard clearly outside. We played a mix of contemporary music and hymns for the prelude and then played a traditional processional.

The wedding ceremony was so elegant and the wedding party braved the cold weather so that the couple could have their dream of an outdoor ceremony. The flowers and decor were romantic and glamorous with old-fashioned deep pink roses, greenery, and candles everywhere. The tables were covered in rich blue cloths accented by branches covered in deep gold. The color contrasts and textures were vibrant and luxurious.

client quote →

Christen is amazing!!! She is such a talented musician. She made my wedding vision come to life! - from the bride, Married in Vail, Colorado

Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado
Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado

Samples from Prelude Music: Make You Feel My Love (Adele), All You Need is Love (Beatles), Reign of Love (Coldplay), Come Thou Fount, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Processional and Ceremony Music: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach) ~ seating of the parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen, ring bearers, flower girl Canon in D (Pachelbel) ~ Bride Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart) ~ Cord of three strands ceremony Wedding March (Mendelssohn) ~ Recessional Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars) ~ Postlude

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:

Planner: Ann Marlin of Cloud 9 Bliss
Photographer: Cassidy Brooke
Videographer: Emily Brumley of Storyteller Films
Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens, Flute Quartet
DJ: Elite Entertainment

Rain or shine, make your wedding day sparkle with our wonderful Flute Quartet Music >

Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado
Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado
Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado
Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado
Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado
Flute quartet wedding ceremony music at the Donovan Pavilion in Vail, Colorado

My "Best of 2017" Colorado Wedding Ceremony Vendors

My "Best of 2017" wedding vendor list is here! Every year, I select a top vendor from several different wedding service categories and feature them on my blog. Each of my chosen vendors is someone whom I've worked with in 2017, and each has earned this special mention by being outstanding in some way. This year, I've selected Officiant Phillip Gallagher, Laura Murray Photography, Snapdragon Celebrations, and Della Terra Mountain Chateau.


Phillip Gallagher

Colorado Wedding Officiant

What I Loved: When I worked with Phil for a wedding this past December he became an instant friend. His upbeat personality, flexibility, and professionalism made everything fun and easy for everyone. When a wedding appears effortless, you know that means your vendors are doing their job amazingly well. At this small wedding with no planner, Phil acted not only as an officiant but he went above and beyond his job description in coordinating the little details and putting smiles on everyone's faces despite the cold weather. I highly recommend Phil for any wedding from large to small!

Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher
Colorado wedding officiant, Phil Gallagher

Laura Murray Photography

Colorado and destination wedding photographer

What I Loved: Laura Murray's stunning photos are creatively crafted and each one tells a special story. She poignantly captures both the large and small moments of life, bringing out the personality of her subjects in a thoughtful and genuine way. These amazing photos speak for themselves!

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Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray
Colorado wedding photographer, Laura Murray

Snapdragon Celebrations

Colorado wedding planner

What I Loved: Jill Chalfant was so professional and easy to work with. She contacted me with all of the information that I needed well in advance and was communicative if I needed anything. She was also helpful and available on the day of the wedding, and the entire ceremony went so smoothly that you knew there had to be expert planning behind it all.

Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations
Colorado wedding planner, Snapdragon Celebrations

Snapdragon Celebrations Photos Courtesy of Laura Murray Photography


Della Terra Mountain Chateau

Colorado Wedding Venue

What I Loved: I love Della Terra Mountain Chateau and the wonderful folks that work there so much that I just had to feature for a second time. The Chateau is situated conveniently near Estes Park and features grounds that have several elegant wedding spaces. The whole property is surrounded by the mountains, trees, and nature's beauty. The inside of the chateau is just what you'd want from a mountain chateau, with a rustic elegance and lively seasonal touches. The ladies that work there are communicative and on top of every detail from start to finish. Della Terra is truly a stunning location for a wedding ceremony!

Colorado wedding venue, Della Terra
Colorado wedding venue, Della Terra
Colorado wedding venue, Della Terra
Colorado wedding venue, Della Terra

Della Terra Photos Courtesy of Crystaline Photography

Join Inspire Duo for a Live Performance in Boulder

 
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Join us in February for an Inspire Duo performance! Our flute and piano duo creates purely improvisational music inspired by people, art and life. Often, performances may sound planned or composed, but actually each song is spontaneously created in the moment. We look forward to seeing you there!

Come and inspire us. Listen and be inspired.

Flute and Harp Duo at Mount Princeton Hot Springs in Colorado

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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!

Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music

Prelude Music Sample:

Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach), Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (Beethoven), Meditation from Thais (Massenet)

Wedding Processional Music:

A Thousand Years (Christina Perri) - Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Flower Girl
Beauty and the Beast - Bride
What a Wonderful World - Tree Planting Ceremony
I'm Yours (Jason Mraz) -  Recessional

Cocktail Hour Music Samples:

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

Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and harp wedding ceremony music

I Have Received the "2018 Couples' Choice Award" from Wedding Wire!

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I'm excited to announce that I have received the "2018 Couples' Choice Award" from Wedding Wire! This is the fourth year in a row that I've received this reward and I want to give a huge shout out to each of the amazing couples that were not only a pleasure to work with this past year, but also took the time to leave me a great review!

I'm looking forward to this new year and am excited to see what new joys and challenges it brings. Each couple is unique and I enjoy customizing their wedding music to reflect their personality and vision.This year, we played everything from weddings full of classic elegance to weddings rocking with Colorado country charm. Here's to another great year!

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

Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music

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.

Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music

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.

Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music
Colorado flute and violin wedding ceremony music