Often at Hank Lane Music we are asked, “What is new and different?” in terms of today’s wedding ceremony music. For most people, wedding ceremony music when held at the same location as the wedding reception (ie., not in a church), means traditional Classical or sometimes religious music. From timeless Classical music selections such as Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel to the Bridal Chorus by Richard Wagner (“Here Comes the Bride”) or the even the religious, such as Ave Maria for Christian weddings or Erev Shel Shoshanim for Jewish weddings, the wedding ceremony takes on a certain seriousness that befits the occasion. The music for wedding Preludes, Processionals including for the bridal party (parents, groomsmen (ushers), bridesmaids, flower children and ring bearers) for the bride and Recessionals typically follows suit. However, in recent times we have noticed an increasing number of today’s brides and grooms who want something more that they can personally relate to, not something that was written hundreds of years ago.
In an effort to address the changing musical tastes of our brides and grooms, several years ago Hank Lane Music created the Hank Lane Rock Orchestra. It has not been uncommon at all to hear increasing amounts of more modern music at wedding ceremonies. Nor is it unusual, for example, to hear any number of love songs by The Beatles, such as In My Life or the beautiful Here, There & Everywhere. And there are many more from the Fab Four to choose from. Music from movie soundtracks have been popular for many years going as far back the the Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet in 1968 or the theme from 1978’s Ice Castles (Through the Eyes of Love) by Marvin Hamlisch & Carole Bayer Sager. Movie themes remain popular for wedding ceremonies. More recently, brides and grooms have chosen the softness of the Feather Theme from Forrest Gump (1994), the sweeping sound of James Horner’s The Ludlows from The Legend of the Fall (1994) or the hauntingly beautiful Buongiorno Principessa from Life is Beautiful (1997). No one is suggesting, however, that wedding ceremonies become all contemporary in nature. The Hank Lane Rock Orchestra was created specifically to bridge that gap with beauty and power of today’s music. The traditional can certainly be combined with the contemporary as was done by Hank Lane Music with a small paired down ensemble of keyboard and strings on the NBC’s Today show live on national television. See clip of Hank Lane Music on The Today Show
The full complement, however, of the Hank Lane Rock Orchestra combines the majesty of strings…violins, violas, cellos and harp with a rock ‘n roll rhythm section consisting of keyboard, guitar, bass and drums. All the better to not only play Bach and Beethoven and the The Beatles, but also rock classics from such artists as the Doobie Brothers (Black Water), Peter Gabriel (The Book of Love), Led Zeppelin (Kashmir), the Moody Blues (Nights in White Satin) and Journey (Open Arms), to name just a few in the group’s repertoire. R&B classics have also been added to the mix, as was done recently at the much publicized 2010 wedding of NBA star Carmelo Anthony and Lala Vazquez at Cipriani 42nd Street, with songs by Stevie Wonder (Ribbon in the Sky), Ne-Yo (So Sick), India.Arie (Heart of the Matter) and of course, Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind. At a March 2011 wedding at The Pierre hotel, the Hank Lane Rock Orchestra played music ranging from Andrea Bocelli’s Vivo per Lei, Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap, Stereo Love by Edward Maya, U2’s Beautiful Day and Katy Perry’s Firework for the young kids walking down the aisle. The maids of honor walked down to Love’s Devine by Seal while the bride came down to A New Day Has Come by Celine Dion. All of these were original arrangements by the Hank Lane Rock Orchestra. In virtually all cases the orchestra plays for the cocktail hour as well.
This musical approach is obviously not for everyone. If this is your musical cup of tea, one of the Hank Lane event specialists will be happy to guide you as to the best size configuration that fits your budget. A complete list of musical repertoire selections is also available. The repertoire is constantly growing, as we continue to customize the wedding ceremony for each individual client. For an abbreviated audio clip of the Hank Lane Rock Orchestra performing Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir at a recent wedding ceremony, click on the link below: