Fort Collins Strings Featured at Research Wall Opening at LSC

The Fort Collins String Quartet was featured at the opening of the New Research Wall at the Lory Student Center  at Colorado State University. This video features the music of the Fort Collins String Quartet.


The Research Wall, funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research, made its debut Jan. 22 in the Lory Student Center.
This wall, near the LSC Grand Ballroom entrance, emphasizes Colorado State University researchers, projects, awards, events and funders on a rotating basis in photo slideshows and research videos. Vice President for Research Alan Rudolph said it is a priority for his office to feature university-wide representation in the design of the wall and on the four interactive TV monitors.

Top 10 String Quartet Song for Wedding Ceremonies

Top 10 String Quartet Song for Wedding Ceremonies

I have been playing for weddings for about 20 years, and over that 20 years, I have received a LOT of wedding requests. Some of these requests have been for the ceremony, and others for the reception, but for this post I’m going to stick to the songs that people love to hear for their wedding ceremony.

  1. Canon in D – J. Pachelbel – This is hands down the most requested ceremony song of all time. I think that I have played Canon in D at nearly every wedding I have played, and that’s a lot! Sometimes Canon is played for the bridesmaids, and other times for the bride, but unless you are a cellist, you will agree that Canon in D is a beautiful tune and is quite appropriate for an elegant walk down the aisle. I prefer this tune as one for the bridesmaids, because of it’s understated beauty.
  2. Trumpet Voluntary (aka Prince of Denmark March) – J. Clarke – This commanding tune is most frequently used as the processional. And, what bride wouldn’t want to walk down the aisle to it, really… If you really want to do trumpet voluntary right, you should add a trumpet to this tune. I have even had weddings, where the trumpet and an organist were hired just to play this one tune, giving it a truly over the top sound, when contrasted with the quiet elegance of the string quartet for the rest of the ceremony.
  3. Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring – J.S. Bach – To get this tune off on the right foot, the correct pronunciation of the first word in this title is Yay-zoo. The pulse of this tune makes for really good walking music, and it’s another one that is great for the bridesmaids, or even the seating of the mothers and grandmothers. It’s an elegant and memorable melody that will probably get stuck in the heads of some of your guests. Definitely a classic wedding music choice.
  4. Air from Suite in D (aka Air on the G String) – J.S. Bach – This is one of my favorite wedding tunes to play. The interplay between the different instruments makes this Air stunningly beautiful. Bach was no slouch, when it came to writing music, but this is one of my all-time faves. Because this is a slower tune, I have most commonly played this for the lighting of the unity candle, although it works well as prelude music as well.
  5. Claire de Lune – C. Debussy – Although, I haven’t had the opportunity to play this tune as frequently as those above, Clair de Lune is a gorgeous tune. The emotion in this melody is evident from the start. And, passion flows through every second of it. Debussy was a master of using music to express emotion, and this is one of his masterpieces.
  6. Water Music – Finale (Sometimes recorded as Water Music – Hornpipe) – G.F. Handel – The Finale from Handel’s Water Music is a triumphant piece with a jubilant feeling. When your guests hear this tune, they will have no doubt that this is the end of the ceremony. They only risk here is that you may want to skip down the aisle to this one.
  7. Ave Maria – F. Schubert – Ave Maria is a classic – especially for Catholic wedding ceremonies. The violin carries a beautiful and slow melody. It’s bound to bring tears to the eyes of many of your guests. * Special Note Regarding Ave Maria: There are many tunes named Ave Maria because the name means prayer to Virgin Mary. The Ave Maria by Schubert is probably the one you want. 
  8. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade) – W.A. Mozart – If there is only one string quartet tune that you will recognize, it might be Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, (A Little Night Music) by Mozart. Eine Kleine Nachmusik is actually a suite of 4 melodies, but the most popular tune among these is the Serenade. This piece is fun, and fast moving, and is sure to please. Serenade makes a great tune for post lude music as the guests prepare exit the ceremony.
  9. Wedding March – Mendelssohn – Mendelssohn’s Wedding March is the tune you hear in the movies as the recessional. Everybody recognizes it, and it truly is a beautiful tune. It originally appeared at the wedding scene in a musical rendition of Shakespeare’s a Midsummer Nights Dream. If you want to stay traditional, this is your tune, but if not, consider Handel’s Finale from Water Music. *Special Note regarding Wedding March: Some Churches don’t allow this tune because the consider it to be “Secular Music”
  10. Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride) - Wagner - Here is the tune that some people love, and others love to hate. Bridal Chorus originated as a part of Wagner’s romantic opera, Lohengrin. It has been played so often that it is the song people think of first when they think of Weddings. Here Come’s the Bride is the name most people know this tune by. Truly because this tune is so common in our society, my clients rarely have us play it. The reason is that people who hire a string quartet are looking for something classy and different. They want to set themselves apart, and the Wedding March doesn’t do that. However, for the traditionalist, this is your tune for the processional. *Special Note regarding Bridal Chorus: Some Churches don’t allow this tune because the consider it to be “Secular Music”

Wedding Music

Fort Collins Strings is happy to provide Northern Colorado with tasteful music for your weddings and special occasions. We play weddings in Fort Collins, Loveland, Estes Park, Mountain destination weddings, and the rest of northern Colorado.

We focus on providing you with music that is of the highest quality, and organization that gives you nothing to worry about. We have a broad repertoire of classic wedding music, and are also happy to play your special requests, even those that are out of the ordinary.

We will show up to your event with time to spare, and play as long as you need us. Our string players are all accomplished musicians with years of experience playing professionally.

Contact us to Request more information.


May $5 Fiddling Workshop – Practicing Effectively


Thursday May 27, 7:00PM


Magnolia Music
210 Magnolia St.
Fort Collins, CO

Topic: Practicing Effectively—Learn how to make the most of your Practicing Time. All musicians and vocalists welcome.

Teacher: Vi Wickam – Champion Fiddler—970-430-6381

Admission: $5 All proceeds after covering our costs will go to COTFA (Colorado Oldtime Fiddlers Association.)


Practical Music Theory – Workshop Notes

I have posted the notes that I handed out at the Practical Music Theory fiddle workshop. If you are wanting to learn a little bit about music theory, the reference sheet below has some good basic info (of course, we marked them up in the class with all sorts of other notes.)

Practical Music Theory

Magnolia Music Studio to Host MS Benefit Concert

Magnolia Music Studio to Host MS Benefit Concert

Fort Collins MS Benefit Fundraiser ConcertFORT COLLINS, CO— To help celebrate National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness week, Magnolia Music Studio is hosting a benefit concert to raise funds for the Colorado Chapter of the National MS Society. “Move It!” MS Awareness Benefit Concert will feature a variety of Northern Colorado performers with all proceeds going to THE SLOW POKES, a local MS Walk Team. THE SLOW POKES Walk team is led by Sharyn Smith, who will be participating in the Denver Walk MS event on Saturday, May 1, 2010.

“My younger sister Sharyn has been living with multiple sclerosis for more than a decade,” says Magnolia Music Studio Director, Cynthia Vaughn. “When we were kids, Sharyn was a tough kid who wanted to grow up to be a Roller Derby Queen or a Motorcycle Mama. She actually grew up to be an Automotive Warranty Administrator, but it turns out that she needed all of that Roller Derby toughness to fight MS every day.”

Native Coloradoan Kelsey McKelfresh Kafman, recently returned from NYC, will be the featured performer for the event. Kelsey will be joined by “Vi The Fiddler” Wickam, guitarist Richard Kelley, Celtic harpist Joy Hopley, vocalists Aimee Woods, Erin Voorhies, Cynthia Vaughn, Kaylin Downour, pianists Amy Chase and Donna Lewis and more for an evening of musical theater, Celtic harp, bluegrass fiddle, and classical music.

Tickets for this event are on sale now through

About “Move It!” MS Awareness Benefit Concert

When: Friday, March 12, 2010 at 7:30 PM


Magnolia Music Studio
210 West Magnolia Street, Suite 10
Fort Collins, CO 80524

Admission: $20 General Admission

Information/Ticket Sales:  Call Magnolia Music Studio (970)481-8661 for information, or visit  

About Magnolia Music Studio

Study with experienced professionals in an elegant Old Town studio! Voice, harp, fiddle and flute lessons plus classes, concerts, yoga, and events. Founder/Director Cynthia Vaughn is co-author of The Singing Book, song anthology/ CD/textbook which is used at hundreds of universities. All Magnolia faculty have music degrees and/or professional experience/certification. Classes include – THE SINGING CLASS for teens/adults, SONGS&SKITS, a singing class with drama for 7-11 year olds, and INTRODUCTION TO YOGA, INSTRUMENTAL WORKSHOPS, VOCAL PERFORMANCE CLASS. Classes and lessons offered in ongoing six-week sessions. Visit the Magnolia Music web site for the current schedule, information and tuition.

About Kelsey Kaufman

Native Coloradoan Kelsey McKelfresh Kaufman recently returned to her home state from NYC. She graduated from the prestigious Cincinnati Conservatory with a BFA in Music Theater. She has performed as a soloist with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and “A Night on Broadway” in Munich, Germany. Honors include Best Actress in a Musical (Ohio Regional Theater Awards) for her role as Svetlana in CHESS. In NY, Kelsey appeared on television, radio, and the Disney Magic Music Video series, and modeled for Ford Chicago and CLICK NY. She is a specialist in stage dialects. Kelsey began her stage career with northern Colorado’s Open Stage Theater and Carousel Dinner Theater. She is a proud alumnus of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins.

Bridal Show Review

We enjoyed our time at the Loveland Bridal Festival. We had a chance to meet with lots of brides, and had an opportunity to meet with a number of related wedding vendors.

Congratulations go to Anne Harder of Fort Collins, CO, who won our giveaway or 1 hour of Solo Violin Music.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to chat. We hope you all have wonderful weddings.

Fort Collins String Quartet at Loveland Bridal Festival

The Fort Collins String Quartet will be performing wedding music selections from 2:00-3:00PM, January 10th at the Loveland Bridal Festival.  The Bridal Festival is located at The Ranch, near Centerra off of I-25 at Exit 259.

Who: The Fort Collins String Quartet

What: Performing Beautiful Wedding Music

When: January 10, from 2:00 – 3:00PM

Where: The Loveland Bridal Festival, The Ranch/Larimer County Fairgrounds (I-25/Exit 259) – 5280 Arena Circle, Loveland, CO

We hope to see you there.

More Info about the Fort Collins String Quartet:

More info about the Show and Directions: