The Evolution of the Ceremony Song by Lou Lanza

Advice From Pros and Brides

Lou Lanza

On the many recent ceremonies that I have been a part of as a vocalist, musician, or as a coordinator the most striking trend I have noticed is the variety of styles and selections. Naturally, the evergreen type of selections have still been popular. Pieces such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Purcell’s Trumpet Voluntary, & Mendelssohn’s Wedding March have been popular choices well before any of us were born and probably will still be long after we are gone. Classical styles and traditional choices will still be in vogue for those of that bent. However, new pieces are making inroads on the way to becoming new standards. It is not uncommon for me to have requests such as The O’Neill Brothers’ Canon in F, the Beatles’ Here, There, and Everywhere, & Bruno Mars’ Just the Way You Are at secular or non traditional settings. Also, I recently was a part of a church ceremony where because of the Catholic and Jewish roots of each family, the religious side of things was integral, BUT we needed to make sure that everything came from Old Testament scriptural readings in order to be sensitive to the differences as well as the commonalities of the belief systems.

Instrumentation has also gone in new directions. Certainly solo piano, guitar, or harp are still tops on the list, sometimes augmented by voice, violin, flute, or trumpet, as well as string ensembles of varied size, BUT two voices joined by chorded instrument(s), non traditional pairings (piano & guitar), as well as custom made-to-order ensembles are becoming more the norm as opposed to the exception. One more interesting development I have observed are differently styled groups playing material not traditionally associated with their instrumentation. For example, a jazz trio (sax, keys, & bass) playing and swinging classical music or a string quartet playing classic rock. We at BVTLive!, and specifically the Inspired Emotions Division, strive to bring you the very best musicians in the region and make the vision of your special day into a reality.

Lou Lanza is a native Philadelphian who thrives on the cultural and musical heritage of that city. Lou has music in his genes – an opera singer grandfather, a classical violinist father, and a pianist/organist & vocalist mother. His jazz influence came from another of his relatives, Vince Trombetta, a saxophonist & arranger who served as musical director of The Mike Douglas Show. Donald True Van Deusen of the the Philadelphia Inquirer said “there is an intensity to his singing that is unique, upbeat and hip; his musicianship is extraordinary.”

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