FAQs

We want your experiences with hiring live music for your events to be as smooth and pleasant as possible. With this in mind, here are some Frequently Asked Questions with regard to choosing and purchasing live music services. Keep in mind that the questions and answers pertaining to each event may vary depending upon client needs.

EVALUATING SPECIAL PRODUCTIONS BEFORE BOOKING

WORKING WITH US ONCE YOU HAVE BOOKED YOUR EVENT

ABOUT THE MUSICIANS

PAYMENT POLICIES

DON'T GET HOODWINKED - PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

EVALUATING SPECIAL PRODUCTIONS BEFORE BOOKING

How do I know if you are available? Please call our office (330-677-8071) and an entertainment consultant will be pleased to tell you if your date is available.

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Can I meet with you? We prefer to meet our clients in person. We will be pleased to meet at your home or place of business to do a presentation. However, with today's busy lifestyles many of our clients have us send them a promo pack and/or simply use our website. The choice is yours.

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Can I see the band/orchestra live? Because we primarily play for private functions, it is often difficult to have potential clients come to hear us live. It may be possible to do so but only with permission of the client for whom we are working on the date you wish to hear the band. Please call our office to see if the client will permit you to attend their function. Many people book us based solely on our sterling reputation and/or by viewing our DVD.

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What should I look for when I come to hear the band? Look for energy, enthusiasm, stage presence, and smiles. The band should not only sound good but should look good and should be having fun. Please keep in mind that we are playing the music and/or styles the client requested. You may choose differently at your party. It is best to arrive mid-way through the evening so you can see the dance portion of the evening. Also, please dress as if you were a guest at the party. Please do not help yourself to the bar or food unless the host offers. Try not to stand in one place and look conspicuous.

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Will I get the band I hire? Yes, you will. Each of our bands has a unique name and its own personnel. There is no bait and switch. What you see is what you get. Please keep in mind that occasionally a band member may be replaced or is ill or unavailable. In that situation we will have a suitable replacement. Because our bands are similar, we will occasionally have someone from one of our "Special" bands fill in without the band missing a beat.

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Do you hold dates? We do not "pencil in" dates. We will be pleased to issue a contract to you as soon as you make a decision.

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How soon do I need to book my date? Many of our bookings occur from 6 to 12 months before the play date. However, some clients book as far ahead as two years. Therefore, it is best not to wait. There are certain hot dates each year that book up very early.

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Can you provide references? There are corporate and personal references posted on our website (see Love Notes on each of our "Special" Band Pages). We will be pleased to provide additional references upon request. Most important of all, you can get the best references by asking your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and other suppliers for your event. Someone you know has heard us. They will affirm that we have the best and most trusted reputation in the area.

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Do you travel? Yes! Our bands have performed in Detroit (MI), South Bend (IN), Cincinnati (OH), Dayton (OH), Columbus (OH), Toledo (OH), Pittsburgh (PA), and Chautauqua (NY). Travel fees apply beyond 50 miles from downtown Cleveland, Ohio.

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WORKING WITH US ONCE YOU HAVE BOOKED YOUR EVENT

Can I meet with someone from the band to plan our event? Yes! The leader or co-leader will be eager to meet you and discuss the planning, timeline, song selection, etc. of your party. You can fill out the appropriate worksheet on our website beforehand. It is best to meet 4 to 6 weeks before the party.

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When do you set up? Our "Special" bands complete set up of the majority of the equipment one-hour before band start time. Vocalists and musicians with hand held bags may arrive closer to the start time. If you wish, we are pleased to set up earlier for a nominal fee. With early set up the client is required to provide a light meal for the setup crew.

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Do I need to feed the band? While a meal is not required, it is appreciated. We can discuss this in our pre-planning meeting(s).

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Am I expected to provide drinks? Band members need liquid refreshments to keep their throats from drying out while they sing. Alcoholic beverages are not expected but are appreciated when offered. Of course, we will not abuse the privilege. In a situation where there is a cash bar, the client is required to make arrangements for the musicians to receive free non-alcohol beverages.

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How do you manage volume levels? We focus on quality of sound and not on volume. It is important for the voices and instruments to be balanced with each other and then with the room so your guests may easily carry on conversations. This is of particular importance during the meal. Similar to "apparent wind" in the sailing world, we prefer to strive for good "apparent" or "perceived" sound and not simply volume. We receive many compliments on our ability to accomplish this.

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Do you provide an Emcee? Yes. Each of the "Special" bands has at least two people capable of performing this function and we are pleased to do it.

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Should I have the full band play during dinner? Some clients want the full band for the entire evening. When we play during dinner, we play soft, dinner music. Upon request of the client, we sometimes play light dance music in between courses. At all times, your guests should be able to carry on a pleasant conversation without shouting or straining to hear. If there is ever a concern, please feel free to speak to the leader or soundman.

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How long do you play? Our standard fee is based on a four hour time period.

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How many breaks to you take? During a four-hour performance the band will take a maximum of 3 fifteen-minute breaks. We do our best to avoid breaks during the final hour of the performance. Additional time may be purchased at a pro-rated amount.

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What types of music do you play? We work from our playlist which consists of songs we know will fill the dance floor. Our repertoire is very diverse and includes music from the 40's through contemporary hits. Styles we include cover Swing, Classic Rock, Jazz and Light Jazz, R & B, Motown, Latin, Ethnic, and much more. See our playlist for more details. We pride ourselves in performing each song in an authentic style.

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How many songs do you play? During a typical evening the band plays between 30 and 40 dance tunes.

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Do you play ethnic music? Yes, we play ethnic music only upon request. Our repertoire includes Horas, Mezinka, Polkas, Italian, and Latin selections.

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Can anyone "sit in?" We do not permit any of your guests to "sit in" with the band unless you have made arrangements with us beforehand. Please remember we are using professional grade, delicate, and expensive equipment.

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What about special requests? Our playlist represents the "dance tunes" we currently perform. Often times we may already know a song you want but do not have it listed. Please ask us. During the actual party, we are pleased to take requests if we can play them. However, keep in mind that we may not do them at the exact time of the request because our first commitment is to play the right song at the right time to make your party a success. This is the area of our expertise. In the case of Bridal Dances or other unusual requests, we must have the sheet music and a CD of the music from you at least two months before the engagement to properly prepare. In many cases we may already have either the music or recording. Please call to ask.

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How does the band dress? The bands wear formal dress attire except when the client requests something else. Men wear tuxedos and women wear dress gowns.

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What about recorded music during breaks or before you start? Each band carries a CD player with the soundsystem and will gladly play CD's from our library during the breaks. You may also burn your own CD for us to play. Upon request, we will play one CD (usually 40 to 60 minutes in length) at no charge before the band starts.

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What if I want additional time? Additional time is defined as time added to the original contract time and which the client requests more than 72 hours before the day of the event. Additional time is billed in a pro-rated amount.

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What if the party goes over the contract time? If the party goes beyond the contracted time, there is an over-time rate which applies. This rate is billed in 1/2 hr. increments and is listed on the contract beforehand. One reason it is an over-time rate is because, from that point on, the band does not take breaks. If we took a break it would destroy momentum of the party.

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ABOUT THE MUSICIANS

Are the band members always the same? The "Special" bands are all separate units. We do not interchange members unless there is a special condition or situation and that is very rare. What you see is what you get! That's why each of them has a unique name.

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Are your musicians professionals? Yes! Most of our "Special" band members have degrees in music and have performed for years. Many of them make a living from performing, teaching, and recording.

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PAYMENT POLICIES

What type of deposit do you require? We require a 50% non-refundable deposit upon signing the contract to hold the date. There is a two-week grace period from the time the contract is issued and the time it is due back in our office.

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When is my payment due? The balance is due at the beginning of the performance.

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DON'T GET HOODWINKED - PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

Another agent told me I had to book a certain band immediately because someone else wants to book them and I don't want to risk losing them. What should I do? First of all, trust your instincts. Don't let any band leader or agent pressure you into signing because they have another client who wants your date if you don't sign now. If the other person seriously wanted to book that date they would have booked it then and there. This is one of the sleaziest and oldest tricks in the book. Your event is too important to be pressured into making the wrong decision.

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Another agent told me I'm getting a reduced price because someone else (usually a local wealthy/prominent person) had a deposit, had to cancel, and forfeited the deposit. Therefore, I can get them at a reduced price. Is this true? This is seldom true. Once again, trust your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Often times the "list" prices you are given are inflated and "Mr. So and So" never really had the band booked.

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Another agent told us he is licensed. What does this mean? The state of Ohio does not license booking agents. In Ohio, it means virtually nothing. Again, trust your instincts.

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One band I spoke to said they played for a celebrity, the Governor or the President. Does this make them better? This does not guarantee quality. In fact, it may be a misleading statement. It may simply tell you the band or agent had the right contact or that Governor x or Celebrity x was at an event at which the band performed. Don't forget, you probably have a relative who sang with Jimmy Buffet (in the shower.) Get the drift?

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