Working With Vocalists

On May 9, 2015, Serenata Strings rehearsed with two vocalists under the age of 18 and although we offered the vocalists two previous MP3 recordings to practice with and a 40-minute rehearsal for FREE at no additional charge, it did not work out as the vocalists were not professionally trained.

Serenata Strings will work with vocalists of the bride’s or groom’s choosing for no additional charge.
The vocalists have to be semi-professionally/professionally trained and above the age of 18.

On that note, here are procedural steps to follow to ensure that the musicians, the vocalists and the bridal parties will obtain optimal results.

Before outlining the procedural steps, there are essentially FIVE vocal types to take into consideration. The FIVE vocal types are:

  • Soprano (S)
  • Mezzo-soprano
  • Alto (A)
  • Tenor (T)
  • Bass (B)

Depending on the vocal type, the sheet music will vary from vocalist to vocalist.

Each piece of sheet music can be written and transposed in TWELVE different keys.

Here is an example on how instrumental and vocal versions can create difficulties for the vocalists.

Serenata Strings has a specific instrumental version of “How Beautiful.” The vocalist has determined that he or she can sing “How Beautiful” in E major. Serenata Strings has “How Beautiful” in the key of D major. Even though the difference between E major and D major is but a whole step, the instrumental version can cause the vocalist to strain his or her voice. To obtain optimal results, we must ensure that the vocalists can sing the sheet music comfortably and surely in their optimal vocal ranges.

Sheet music can be written and arranged in primarily SIX formats such as:

  • Full score with orchestra
  • SATB with orchestra accompaniment
  • SATB with piano accompaniment
  • Vocal/Guitar arrangement
  • Vocal/Guitar/Piano arrangement
  • Piano arrangement

Even though the vocalists have determined the correct key of the sheet music, the accompaniment is just as an important component as the key of the sheet music. Here are some arrangements to take into consideration:

Some accompaniment/arrangement parts may have the vocalists singing a cappella (alone) at the beginning with the accompaniment coming in later, in which case that particular version may not be what the bride and groom are looking for to achieve optimal results.

Some accompaniment parts can also be arranged with low sounding melodic and harmonic lines in the bass, in which case the string quartet or the string trio that the bride or groom reserved will not be able to perform the accompaniment inasmuch as the accompaniment is written in the bass clef.

To achieve optimal results, we must ensure that not only do the accompaniment parts complement the vocal lines throughout the piece, but also that the accompaniment parts can be performed on the instruments that the bride or groom has reserved.

Here are the procedural steps:

  1. Serenata Strings and the vocalists must be in constant contact throughout these procedural steps.
  2. The vocalist of the groom or bride’s choosing must determine the specific key in which he or she will be singing the sheet music.
  3. The vocalist of the groom or bride’s choosing must determine if the accompaniment part will complement his or her vocal line.
  4. The vocalist of the groom or bride’s choosing must ensure that the accompaniment parts can be performed on all the instruments accompanying him or her on the day of the wedding.
  5. The vocalists must obtain the correct vocal version for Serenata Strings in a timely manner.

A handful of vocalists will also request recordings to rehearse with.  Although Serenata Strings records in a professional recording studio, it is not possible to professionally record every special request that we receive based on the schedule of the recording studio.  As a substitute, we will gladly provide a I-Phone MP3 recording.

Please note:
Due to the very demanding weekday work schedules, our musicians can only meet during scheduled bridal shows to record special requests on our iPhones.