In the first of our November weekly specials, we’re bringing you the very best performers for your wedding ceremony, from a gospel choir to a guitar and violin duo. Strike up the band!
How did the choir form?
We are Gerad, Alexandra and Paul McArthur, a Scottish family-run brand. Individually, we’ve performed all over the world in touring productions, West End shows and onboard luxury cruise ships. However, after 18 years of working in the entertainment industry, choir director and oldest sibling Gerad decided to start us on a new adventure and the GeO Gospel Choir was born nearly five years ago.
What are your most memorable wedding moments?
Being asked by Kevin Bridges to perform at his nuptials in Loch Lomond was incredible. He had such an intimate wedding with only close family and friends in attendance, so it felt special to be involved. We provided the entertainment for the champagne reception overlooking the loch, and then we sang as Kevin, Kerry and their bridal party made their way to sit at the top table.
What’s your repertoire like?
We’re not your typical gospel choir: while we still cover traditional favourites like Amazing Grace and Signed, Sealed, Delivered, we also perform contemporary songs with a gospel twist. A few family favourites include Say You’ll Be There by the Spice Girls, Kygo and Whitney’s Higher Love and A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman soundtrack.
How long have you been a wedding singer?
I have been performing at church ceremonies for almost 15 years and secular weddings for around 10 years.
What’s your favourite part of the day?
Definitely when the bride walks down the aisle. It’s such an emotional moment when she steps out and the music is playing. It gives you goosebumps.
What are your favourite songs to perform?
At a church, I love to sing Ave Maria, Panis Angelicus, The Lord Bless Us and Keep Us and more. At a non-religious wedding ceremony, some of my top choices are Can’t Help Falling In Love With You, Songbird and A Thousand Years.
Describe your performance style
Our performances are relaxed and fun. We can blend into the background to provide an ambient soundtrack for your drinks reception, or provide something a bit more striking for your ceremony.
What makes you stand out?
We believe our unique takes on the covers we perform set us apart from others. Have you ever heard anyone else do a blues-style cover of Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics?
What do you wish more people knew about being a wedding band?
It takes a lot of work behind the scenes. We write our bespoke arrangements ourselves and then practice together every week to make sure they are ready!
What sets Piping Services apart?
Our experience – this year is our 25th anniversary and we’ve performed at around 10,000 weddings over that period.
How would you describe your performances?
Having a Highland bagpiper always makes an event seem like more of an occasion – we certainly aren’t subtle! We make a big impression, whether we’re playing a tearjerker as the bride makes her way down the aisle, or something upbeat to get everyone clapping along when the couple leaves the ceremony as newlyweds.
What do you wish more people knew about performing at weddings?
An experienced wedding professional will do so much more than just turn up and play. You’ll often find us ensuring all the kilt outfits look perfect, or aiding the venues with rushed room turnarounds.