Have you ever dreamed of walking down the aisle to live instrumental music? Have you thought about having live music during your cocktail hour or dinner at the reception? I can honestly tell you, the Coastal Youth Symphony of Georgia Chamber Ensemble is the go-to group of the Golden Isles!
The Coastal Youth Symphony of Georgia began in 2006. The fabulous Beverly Fetter served as the General Manager of the Symphony in 2007 and has been Director of the ensemble since 2009. She retired last year from the Symphony but continues to direct the Chamber Ensemble.
And what a fun, talented bunch of young people these musicians are! The group is mainly filled with musicians from Glynn County. The youngest member of the Chamber Ensemble is in 7th grade, and the oldest is a high school senior. Believe me when I say that despite their young age, their professionalism, talent, and experience is impressive!
Bottom row - Elizabeth Graiser, Cat Chu, Stephenie Powell; Middle row - Merry Zohn, Tynesha Little, Brooke Harris; Top row - Carlton Thomas, Faye Chu. Not pictured: Margy Hayes
Each musician has played many weddings, special events and occasions with the Chamber Ensemble. Some of their favorite recent events have been several mini concerts at The Cloister and The Lodge - both of which are fabulous 5-star hotels on Sea Island - the Maternity Center ribbon-cutting party at the hospital, as well as private parties at a local art gallery and various private residences. They enjoy playing for St. William Catholic Church services at Christmas and also volunteer their time at Christmas to play at the local hospice. In 2009, they played for President Valerie Hepburn's inauguration at the College of Coastal Georgia, which is when I first heard the group and was extremely impressed.
So let's talk weddings! The Coastal Youth Symphony of Georgia Chamber Ensemble can tailor to suit your needs. At most weddings, they offer 30 minutes of prelude music, mostly classical Baroque. Director Beverly Fetter continues to explain, "We've played services at Presbyterian, Catholic, Jewish, Baptist, Episcopal and Unitarian churches. We have hymn books and can play anything appropriate for the bride's faith. If the bride has no preference, we have standard tunes that everyone likes. We come to the wedding rehearsal so we can meet the wedding planner, so the wedding party can hear their cue music and so we can scope out our set up. We always arrive early to give the bride less to worry about!"
So what if you are one of those brides who would love to include some non-traditional music into your ceremony? "We take requests from the bride and work in whatever she wants. We pride ourselves on being flexible and willing to find music and adapt it to an ensemble," Beverly explains. "We had one bride who wanted to come down the aisle to a Coldplay song, so we had to write a fanfare and cut and paste the beginning and refrain so she could recognize the tune in the 30 seconds it took her to walk from the back of the church to the front." Pretty extraordinary stuff, no?
What is also wonderful is their willingness to tailor the size of the group to the bride's desires...and budget. Only interested in a soloist for your wedding? Dream of a string ensemble of 3? Done and done. Beverly is always at every wedding and event to play piano or organ (if desired by the bride) and to help organize.
I recently met this incredible bunch at a rehearsal held at Beverly Fetter's home and got to experience their musical talent firsthand. While the rainy, dreary day limited our photography opportunities (rain and instruments don't mix!), their warm personalities and music completely brightened my day.
Beverly wasn't kidding when she told me each member of the Chamber Ensemble is a seasoned musicians. I was impressed by their talent. Beverly is always looking to give this group a challenge and expand their horizons as musicians. While I was there, she gave them a new, difficult jazz piece to sight read, and they did so well with it. It's no wonder they are a popular group in the Golden Isles!
If you would like more information about hiring the Coastal Youth Symphony of Georgia Chamber Ensemble play for your wedding or event, please contact Beverly Fetter at 912.230-1825 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her Jennifer Leigh Photography sent you! You can also check out the full 65-piece Coastal Youth Symphony - including video - at www.coastalsymphonyofgeorgia.org. The Chamber Ensemble will also have video footage of their work online soon.
Looking to wow your wedding guests? Professional live music at your wedding and/or cocktail hour would be the perfect touch!