Playing Baroque flute at my friend's wedding reception

Steve and Kelly

Today was a very special day.

It was the wedding day of one of my best friends, Steve, whom I first met in Pittsburgh over a decade ago. Abby and I were thrilled to have been able to travel to be there for Steve and to meet and get to know Kelly.

It suddenly started raining very hard at the outdoor wedding, which caused a lot of improvised changes in plans, but the rain cleared up eventually and everything went well: the details do not matter when we’re talking about love and friendship and family. It was a lovely ceremony; the couple customized their own vows, which were funny as well as deeply serious and moving.

Planning for my small musical role

I had a small role to play. When Steve had told me about the wedding, I had immediately asked him if he would like me to play some music for him (since all the weddings I’ve been to have involved a DJ or some friend handling iTunes off a laptop at some point). Eventually, after more important details were planned out, such as a string quartet hired to play before the wedding and during the ceremony, it was decided that I could play for maybe ten minutes after dinner at the reception in order to transition to the toasts.

I decided to bring my plastic Baroque flute as being the best instrument to withstand easy travel to New Mexico.

So I memorized some of the traditional music I’ve played before on Baroque flute, taking selections from an Irish/Scottish/Acadian set of scores as well the French traditional dance music I got from Gregory.

How the music situation turned out

First of all, because of the rain, the string quartet had to stay inside, so there was no music for the ceremony itself, unfortunately.

Second, because of the rain, the sound system driven in by the bride’s brother got wet and was inoperable, so there was not going to be an iTunes-based background music during the dinner reception.

So ironically, my little music performance after dinner turned out to have some more prominence than I expected, simply because of the rain. I played a selection of songs, solo, including spontaneous ornamentation during the repeats, of course. I did not play entirely without stumbling, but was pretty inspired because Steve’s niece, about two years old, ended up turning around on her chair, standing up to face me, and smiling and dancing to the music!

I was touched that a number of people came up to me later and said they enjoyed the performance. Somehow, in a single moment, I remembered why I have chosen the musical path I deliberately put myself on earlier this year.

Franklin playing Baroque flute


I felt very honored to be able to attend my friend Steve’s wedding and to provide a bit of musical entertainment for the guests at the reception. And to see his niece all excited and dancing while I played basically made my year.

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