Q: Should I hire an orchestra solely through a video?
A: Possibly, yes. Remember, however a video cannot capture adequately the energy or tenderness of a performance. Be cautious of videos in general. Pay attention to reputation and see a band live whenever possible. Our video presentation is not “slickly” produced in a studio. We use actual party footage to give you a more honest representation of us actually entertaining at a party. Although we have dabbled with the more commercial video presentations, the resulting product has always seemed somewhat cold and incomplete. Our production, while not as “glitzy” as some, does offer an honest glimpse of our unique style. This “style” is really the essence of what you are hiring. Also, we are aware of many stories of clients who have hired orchestras through videos only to find a very different orchestra showing up at their party (sometimes with disastrous results). Some of these “orchestras” were assembled to only produce a video. The leader then calls musicians that happen to be available (even though they may have never played with any of the other musicians on the job, let alone rehearsed with them) and this becomes the instant “orchestra” for your party.
Q: Will the younger people dance to this music?
A: Absolutely. Of course, anyone can dance a “slow dance” to our ballads and while many people refer to our up-tempo tunes as “swing” most people we observe dancing are not “swing dancers” but they sure are dancing and having fun. We are the first choice for several “young people’s” balls year after year after year. We regularly perform for college graduation balls. Many times, we hear from young brides who are attempting to persuade their parents to hire us for their wedding (rather than vice versa). We are the only local “swing” band to be hired by Washington D.C.’s premier, modern, young, rock, nightclub, The 9:30 Club (always voted as THE number one club in America).
The very few times anyone has requested us to play more modern music it was in each case someone over 70 years old (amazing but true).
If you are still not convinced, we recommend you hire a disc jockey to perform after the orchestra to cover the more modern styles of music (we find this popular mostly in our New York market).
Q: Will everyone like this music?
A: Well…there is no one universal taste in music (or anything else). However, having done hundreds of events over the years, we find we are extremely well received and recommended by the vast majority of guests and clients. We hear some interesting comments over and over such as: “Big Band music is not our favorite but we stayed to the very end, danced and had so much fun” or “it was so refreshing to have a band that was not so loud. We could actually carry on a conversation in the same room; how refreshing and different from the typical wedding band”. We feel our entertainment factor, energy level, sincerity and respect for your guests transcends musical taste.
Q: Our entertainment budget is not very high
A: Experts usually state, “the band makes the party” or “give your guests good food, drinks and a very good band and cut corners elsewhere.” Although we have 23 people to pay in our performance, we are the same price as some much-respected 9 or 10 piece “wedding bands.” Yes, there are cheaper bands. Moreover, there are more expensive orchestras (sometimes at only a fraction of our size). Our focus is to entertain and make people happy, not make lots of money. For those clients who require a smaller orchestra, we do offer a scaled down version of the band, Doc and Chou Chou with 10 musicians on certain occasions. Inquire regarding details and price.
Frequently Asked Questions: Doc Scantlin & His Imperial Palms Orchestra
Q. My event planner tells me this size orchestra is “too big” for the room (or number of guests).
A: This is usually incorrect. Some of the greatest parties we have ever done were in very crowded rooms or for a very small crowd (one party had 15 guests). We also are much lower in volume than a disc jockey although we have more people. We can fit in a space against the wall 8’x24’. A 5-piece band may take up 8’x12’. Just add another 6’ to each end of the stage (area) left and right. This space is usually wasted space anyway. In a word, we find we are never “too big”. Please talk to us if your event planner, hotel caterer (or anyone) tries to dissuade you from hiring the music you want.
As far as number of guests versus number of musicians, we feel each person enjoys an act individually, regardless of the number of people around him. Think of your music as an ‘entity”. The Beatles, for example are four musicians. They don’t perform with less (can’t leave Ringo at home, you know) because the room is small or there are fewer guests. Nor would they add more musicians to perform in a large arena for thousands. There are “orchestras” who can perform with whatever number of musicians you (or your party planner) may think you need (usually up to whatever your pocketbook will bear). Beware of these bands. They must use very simple “arrangements” to be so flexible in size and in our opinion offer little excitement. Their “arrangements” tend to all sound the same. Our arrangements are custom made; transcribed from the original recordings (at considerable time and expense). Our arrangements are for our orchestra size and instrumentation. As the evening progresses, our audience enjoys a variety of musical styles. This is much more interesting and entertaining to the average party guest.
Remember, as your guests leave, they will never comment on how much fun they had because the room was set up in perfect proportions but they will remember for a long time the entertainment and the human element of guests, performers and host.
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