by Amanda Retallack / Photography by Jamie Maldonado
Eleanor Boyd of Evergreen Strings shares why creating beautiful music is more than just a business.
The cello leaned against her shoulder as Lisa Lininger effortlessly bows its strings to release a hypnotic melody. As her fingers moved along, slow sounds from a viola and two violins made their way into the tune of “One Hand, One Heart.” The quartet looks on as, across the room, the bride and groom take to the dance floor for their first waltz as a married couple.
“We all enjoy what we are doing,” said Eleanor Boyd, one of the quartet members. “We are sharing our musical talents and abilities that God has given us to bless others.”
Eleanor and three friends – Thalia Jones, Sherry Paetznick and Lisa Lininger – make up the string quartet Evergreen Strings. Based in the East Texas area, the foursome, who all play in symphony orchestras provides live music for weddings and other special occasions. Just using strings alone, the quartet can provide sounds from a violin, cello, viola, harp, and guitar. Outside the string family, they have talents with the accordion, trumpet, flute and piano.
Eleanor explained that about eight years ago she was approached by a friend who was looking for a group to play for her daughter’s wedding. “At the time, three ladies (fellow string players in the symphony) and I had been getting together to play quartets for fun,” she added. “So, I told my friend that I could supply a group for her and our quartet was formed.”
After Evergreen Strings made their debut, the ball started rolling for them through recommendations and repeat customers. They advertised some and played an occasional bridal fair to get their name out to the music-loving public. “Playing the bridal fairs gives us good exposure to the wedding market and other events. I appreciate the opportunity for people to actually see and hear us play, then they know exactly what they are getting,” Eleanor said.
“We are sharing our musical talents and abilities that God has given us to bless others.”
Since the women of Evergreen Strings live in several different East Texas locations, it sometimes can be difficult to get them all together to play for a prospective client. Through the years, it has been necessary to use many different string players, and Eleanor assures that there are enough players experienced with the group that it is possible to provide quartets in two locations on the same night. “Now, when prospective clients call and ask if we are available for a certain date, I always say ‘yes!’ and then I start calling players,” she added with a smile.
Evergreen Strings isn’t just a business, Eleanor added. “The members and I have said that when we stop having fun and playing weddings becomes just a ‘job,’ we will quit. Over the years, we have acquired people in our group who are pleasant, positive, easy to work with in addition to being experienced professional players, and we enjoy that,” she said. “It’s also very rewarding to have someone say ‘The music was exactly what we had envisioned. We were very satisfied. We will recommend you to others.’ ”
Evergreen Strings, first and foremost, strives to serve people with a spirit of excellence in providing music for their event and also to meet clients’ needs and desires as much as possible. They have certain standards that are maintained: There’s a formal dress code so that they look good as well as sound good. They act as ladies and gentlemen wherever they go. They arrive at an event an hour before they start playing. And they use contracts for both the clients and musicians so that all parties agree to certain terms.
Brides can obtain their best service by giving them as much notice as possible before their wedding date. For your big day, make it even more special by calling on Eleanor and Evergreen Strings.