New Wedding Ceremony Songs for 2016

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music by Christen Stephens
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music by Christen Stephens

I am happy to announce that I have added a number of new contemporary wedding songs to my 2016 repertoire. Below, I have grouped these songs in a way that would beautifully compliment each part of a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour.

Prelude Songs: For the First Time in Forever from Frozen (solo flute) To Make You Feel My Love – Adele (flute and guitar, flute trio, flute quartet) What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong (flute and violin, flute and cello, flute trio, flute quartet) All You Need is Love – Beatles (flute and violin, flute and cello, flute trio, flute quartet)

Processional Songs: All I Want is You – U2 (flute quartet) All of Me – John Legend (flute and violin) A Thousand Years – Christina Perri (flute and violin, flute trio, flute quartet) Reign of Love – Coldplay (flute trio)

During the Ceremony: On Eagles’ Wings – Michael Joncas (flute and cello)

Cocktail Hour: Don’t Stop Believing – Journey (flute and cello, flute quartet) Feeling Good (solo flute) Let it Go from Frozen (solo flute) Such Great Heights – Postal Service (flute trio, flute quartet) Wildflowers – Tom Petty (flute and cello)

The Flute – Top 10 Questions a Flute Player is Asked….

TheFlute.jpg

1) Where does the sound come out from the flute? Most of the sound comes from the location where the air that the flutist blows strikes the flute. This is the part of the flute that is right in front of the lips and is called the “strike wall”.

2) Are flute players called flutists or flautists?

Both terms are equally correct. I personally prefer “flutist” because what is a “flaut” anyway?

3) Do you ever need a microphone for your flute when performing?

I rarely need a microphone because the flute is a very resonant instrument and its sound carries well both indoors and outdoors. I do need amplification if there is excessive ambient noise, or if I am playing in a band in which all the other members are amplified.

4) How do you hold the flute to play “air flute”?

Hold the flute out to your right with your left hand to the right of your face facing in and your right hand further to the right facing out. Both thumbs will curve naturally under the flute. For a more detailed description of holding a real flute go .

5) What are flutes made out of?

Flutes can be made of many different materials. Many student models are made of nickel or silver plated. Professional models are usually made of silver, gold, or platinum. Flutes have also been made from tin, copper, wood, plastic, carbon fiber, aluminum, palladium, bones, glass, and even carrots. My flute is silver on the inside and rose gold on the outside.

6) Can you play like Jethro Tull?

Ian Anderson is the flute player and leader of Jethro Tull. I’ve never actually spent time trying to copy him, but I do my own style of flute improvisation to various musical genres.

7) What is the difference between a flute and a recorder?

A flute is held horizontally and played by blowing across the tone hole, while a recorder is held vertically and played like a whistle. The flute has a more complex system of keys that cover the holes while a recorder simply has holes that the player has to cover with their fingers. Flutes are typically made of metal and recorders are usually made of plastic or wood. The flute is far more versatile, and most of the music written for recorders by major composers was written in the Baroque period (1680-1720).

8 ) Does playing the flute take a lot of air?

Playing the flute does take a lot of air, but it’s important to learn how to control the air than rather than just to blow hard. A flute player must learn to breathe correctly to take in the maximum amount of air and then use their muscles to support the air stream while releasing it in a very controlled manner. Good flute players also know how to correctly shape their embouchures (the way their lips are shaped) and adjust the space between their lips to focus the air so there is minimal waste. Using these techniques, a flute player can play long phrases without taking a breath.

9) Why are there holes in the keys of the flute?

Most intermediate to professional flutes have keys with holes in them. The benefit of having holes in your keys is that you can partially cover the holes and be able to play notes that are in between the normal notes of a scale. You can also use the holes to slide from one note to another note. This is particularly handy for modern music that uses extended techniques and for Irish music.

10) Why are some flutes so expensive?

Both materials and workmanship have big impacts on the price of a flute. The going price of precious metals and the amounts of those metals in a particular flute will have a strong impact on its current value. Other factors that affect the cost of a flute are the amount of handmade versus machine made parts in the flute and the quality of materials used to make the flute.

Unlike stringed instruments, flutes do not typically gain value with age. However, a well maintained flute, particularly one made of a precious medal, can retain its value. As improvements are made to the design of the flute, people tend to buy newer improved models in favor of the older styles.

Announcing New Event and Wedding Music Samples

FluteCello.jpg

I have recently completed several recording sessions with Brian Hunter at Swallow Hill in Denver, Colorado. This music is now available for you to listen to on my website (see below for links). There are new music samples of solo flute, flute and piano, and flute and cello.

You are probably very familiar with the sounds of the piano or orchestra, but do you know what flute sounds like all by itself? Take that a step further and imagine flute combined with cello, harp or other instruments. The blending of two different sounding instruments makes a new unique sound, which sometimes even sounds like an entirely different instrument. I hope you enjoy the variety of music samples on my website.

Settled in Colorado

During my first few months here in Westminster, CO I have been getting to know local musicians in the Denver and Boulder areas. I am now available to play for weddings and events both with solo flute and piano, and in various ensembles. I am also currently accepting new flute students. In addition to this, I am working with folk songwriter and guitarist John Matthews and along with other local musicians to record several CDs featuring his original music. John describes his music as a mix of folk, country, rock and pop. He has unique and fresh approach to his music writing, and each CD and song has a different flavor. I am writing the flute and keyboard parts and recording them at Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver, CO. We are planning to release a folk style wedding CD in the spring of next year, and I am currently working on some folk rock songs for a future CD.

Solo Flute Speaks for Itself

Flute
Flute

I recently had a conversation with someone about music, and when I told her I play flute for weddings and events, she asked if I play with other musicians. I told her I do, but she was surprised when I told her that I also perform frequently as a soloist. Contrary to what many people assume, the flute  sounds full and complete on its own, and is a beautiful and popular choice for wedding and event music. Solo flute can stand on its own, and here are the reasons why:

It’s Simple - When you listen to music, you probably focus on the melody, and might even hum along with the song, but you probably don’t pay much attention to the harmony beneath the melody. Solo flute gives you a pure and clean melody, and every nuance and expression in the music is highlighted  in its simplicity.

It’s Unique -  After playing solo flute for weddings, it is common for me to hear people say that they had never heard a flute soloist before and were impressed with its beauty and unique sound. Any time two instruments are played together they blend to create a different sound that is a little like each of the instruments played, but a bit different from both. When the flute is played apart from other instruments,  it provides a unique sound that few people have heard.

It’s Affordable – When hiring musicians, it’s important to consider your budget, and solo flute is very budget friendly. With each extra musician you hire, your rates can double, so if you are on a budget, a soloist is the perfect choice.

It’s Versatile - Short on space? A soloist on the flute doesn’t take up much space, and certainly takes up less space than most other musicians

Have an echo? Some venues, particularly churches, have impressive echoes. Locations like Beaver Creek Chapel and Evans Memorial Chapel in Denver are perfect examples. Larger groups may sound muddled if there is too much of an echo, but solo flute has a full and clear sound, that is quite remarkable in these types of buildings.

Outdoor wedding? Flute is an excellent choice for the outdoors because its sound carries better than that of a string instrument. Also, unlike a guitar or keyboard, the flute does not need to be plugged in.

Too many stairs? A flute player has excellent mobility. We are not limited by stairs, grassy lawns, or mountain locations.

Next time you are planning a wedding or event, consider the clear melodies, unique sound, affordability, and versatility of the solo flute.

Listen to Solo Flute Music Samples