Elegant Wedding Music, Commencement Speeches, and Memorial Day

by Robbie Schlosser · 22 comments

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.

Magnolia Jazz Band in Carmel,  2010

Magnolia Jazz Band in Carmel, 2010

Three things.  First, May is nearly over, and we’ve been providing elegant wedding music all spring.  This summer promises even more.  Recent years, too.  Here’s a photo from January 2010, captured from Andrew Hsu’s wonderful video.

Second, today the United States celebrates Memorial Day.

Third, all this month and next, school graduation ceremonies feature commencement speeches.

How are the holiday and graduations related to elegant wedding music?  Here’s one way:

Memorial Day is the occasion for all citizens to honor those of us who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend an ideal.  In this case the ideal is to preserve our republic’s experiment in democratic rule.  It is NOT three days of “no work and all play”.

Commencement speeches urge graduates to pause and consider what ideals are worth striving for and wise ways to pursue them.  Across the country, noteworthy people are delivering variations on just a few themes:

  • Follow your heart.
  • Live thoughtfully.
  • Apply yourself with passion.
  • Serve your community.
  • Honor yourself and your neighbors.

And I’m sure you can think of several more.

Sound a lot like the Ten Commandments or the Boy Scouts Oath, don’t they?  No coincidence.  Lest we forget, in the excitement of the moment, these speeches remind us of timeless virtues that sustain our fragile civilization.

So fragile.  In one perspective, our civilized life is just one risk after another.  The younger we are, the more we boldly see our risks in terms of what we stand to win.  As we grow older and more cautious, we factor in more thoughts of what we stand to lose.

As I see it, marriage is one of the greatest risks a person can take.  No?  Well, it ought to be.  A person marrying is embracing a lifelong commitment, bound by the most solemn pledge of honor, loyalty, and duty.

No matter that the US divorce rate hovers around 4 per 1000.  That appalling statistic just reinforces how fragile and vulnerable marriage is these days.  So many ways those fond wishes can be crushed.

Wedding ceremonies call attention to the happy couple’s willingness to risk everything to preserve their dream.  Marriage is the ultimate pledge and calls for all those virtues we hear in commencement speeches.  I’ve found that including elegant wedding music is a wonderful way to bring a serious touch, a pleasant, stylish note to the joyful festivities.

In my experience, music always helps people celebrate.  You’ll find all kinds of music at wedding ceremonies, and that’s as it should be.  Unlimited ways to personalize the festivities.

I’m privileged to provide elegant wedding music.  We create a beautiful, romantic mood to celebrate in style the commencement of an enduring relationship.

How about YOU? How do you help people honor marriage vows?

Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Please comment and continue this conversation. I’ll reply to you, and so will others who share your interest. You’ll make new connections.

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The Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood. In the meantime, please join our Magnolia Jazz Band fans on Facebook to receive daily tips for planning wedding and party music and to receive reminders for our public events.

Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

By the way, does a friend need help selecting wedding or party music? Do them a favor: EMAIL this article, or SHARE it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

And if you find my blog useful, please LIKE it, TWEET it, and SUBSCRIBE for more ideas. Use those cute little icons below.

Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Robbie@MagnoliaJazz.com. Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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Sue Bock

I consider any kind of life an adventure.  It takes different forms for all of us.  With that said, any adventure of our past if associated with music becomes a cherished memory.  Thanks for helping many achieve a cherished memory.

Sue Bock

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Sue.  Glad you liked my blog.  You have a great perspective, treating every day as another adventure!  Lots of things can make these adventures memorable, and music certainly ranks high on the list.  I’m glad to be helpful that way.

Cheryl McDonald

Music and food make celebrations memorable and personal. Sounds like you are doing your part Robbie to make wonderful important events into great memories!

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Cheryl.  Glad you liked my blog.  You said “Music and FOOD”.  Now you’re talking!  My favorite is jambalaya — the way I make it, and also every other way, too.  What’s your favorite food?  We’ll talk about music later…-Robbie

Cheryl McDonald

My Mama was born in Eunice LA so I know about ettoufee jambalaya, crawfish and the Cajun two Step and Zydeco. We used to order sausage and taso from a little butcher shop in Eunice. Now Mama is gone, relatives are gone and not sure if the shop is still there. The butcher shop in the Ferry building had taso last time I was there but have not had any really good andouille in awhile. Do you have any good sources?

Robbie Schlosser

Hi, Cheryl.  Thanks for your reply.  No, I’m afraid I have no good sources, except I’ll occasionally visit websites like K-Paul’s and order something wonderful to be FedExed here.  

My sense of much of that wonderful cajun cuisine is that it’s always been a “clean out the cupboard” kind of recipe — whatever you find in the refrigerator goes in, and season it the best you can.  Sure, you’ll occasionally find some authentic andouille someplace, but I always love creating a good hearty pungent jambalaya with whatever we got around here.

How about you?  With all your authentic memories, what do you like to cook?

Brenda Jones

Music was a huge part of our wedding even though we used a DJ.  Several of our friends are musicians and we incorporated songs from them from ceremony through reception, including having one sing a live acoustic.  We weren’t an “elegant music” crowd, but I can envision a reception that would be and it’s lovely.

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Brenda.  Glad you liked my blog.  And I’m glad you selected to include lots of music in your wedding.  THAT’S what matters, as far as I’m concerned.  Some small-minded musicians I know sneer at DJs, but if you got just what you wanted, he (or she) was the PERFECT choice.  Not every wedding wants “elegant”, but I really love entertaining at those that do.  Thank God they’re not disappearing!


We’ve had two family weddings in the past year, and for both, music was key. It created such a festive atmosphere, and of course set the stage for dancing. The dancing wasn’t just part of the ritual–it got people active and interacting, creating such a sense of spirit and good will. So the music really was integral to the party. I don’t know if it was elegant (there wasn’t music with the ceremonies themselves), but it was certainly important.

Glad to see you back at Blogger Monday!

The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Judy.  Glad you liked my blog, and I’m glad to participate in blogger Monday again.  Even if it falls on a Tuesday this week. Sounds like those two weddings you attended were spectacular — totally enjoyable at the time and rich with wonderful memories.  At any wedding, the music is always just one of many ingredients, but I’ve found, as you did, that its contribution always is enormous.  Whatever the genre, your music must have been elegant in its way — pleasingly stylish, appealing, and top quality.  Glad everyone enjoyed such good times!

Susan Berland

I help people honor their vows by designing elegant, beautiful photo books of their special day to commemorate their joy, their love and the commitment you spoke of so beautifully. Looking back at those pictures and that day, they can remember the hope for their future and the love they committed to one another.

Susan Berland

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Susan.  Glad you liked my blog.  Sounds like we’re in the same business here, just using two different techniques.  Do you take weddings photos as well, or do you focus on organizing the photos that others take?  I occasionally entertain a wedding where the bride & groom put a few snapshot cameras on each table and encourage their guests to document the festivities.  Seems to me this is a great situation begging for your help.

Susan Berland

 Thanks for asking, Robbie. No, I don’t take photos except for my own pleasure! I do organize the photos others take and design and create books from the best ones. And yes, it is a great situation begging for my help!

Robbie Schlosser

Hi, Susan.  Thanks for your reply.  I agree, some brides would love your help.  Would you like me to list your “photo-organizing” services in the “Recommendations” section of my website?

Maureena Bivins, PhD

Marriage used to be considered a sacred institution.  I enjoyed reading how you honor it by the choice of music that you recommend for weddings and receptions. I have been married 40 years and am grateful the my husband and I have been equally committed to its success.   

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Maureena.  Glad you liked my blog.  I love your phrase “equally committed to its success”.  That quality of integrity is too often missing in our society that makes celebrities out of scandalous people who change partners as easily as they change shoes.  Oh, I must be getting old!

Vicki Dello Joio

I have to admit I don’t participate in a lot of weddings, except for the brief time it was legal for my community here in Ca. I do love being there for public testaments of love, but have to confess I often experience a little sense of alienation  about this topic. At the same time, the fact that GLBTQ folks can get married anywhere sometimes feels like a miracle to me, so different from being a young queer growing up.

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Vicki.  Glad you liked my blog.  While I was writing I thought of you, and I was careful to be sure to say the “happy couple”, rather than “bride and groom”.  Like the rest of the world, I’ve been growing more sensitive to your plight, and I’ve entertained at a number of LGTB weddings.  As far as I’m concerned, all sincere testaments of love are precious and worthy of celebration, and I’m always privileged to help with my music.

Vicki Dello Joio

Thank you for your sweet sensitivity, Robbie. I will be sure to connect with you if/when my beloved and I marry.

Robbie Schlosser

Hi, Vicki.  Thanks for your thoughtful reply.  Anytime, anyway I can help, let me know.  Meanwhile, I’m sorry to miss your show this weekend — hope it’s a huge success!


I help people honor their wedding vows by drinking their champagne and eating their food and cake.  I make a point of not having affairs with married men (or women for that matter) and I keep my nose out of their business (mostly).

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Rowena.  Glad you liked my blog.  I’m enjoying yours, as well, and I always chuckle with your sense of humor.  In this case, helping people celebrate their marriage is a wonderful thing, and so is avoiding making trouble.  You done good!

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