Transparency: Music


If flowers create the visuals for an event, music creates the soul.

As we continue our discussion about transparency, I could think of no one better than my good friend Valerie Romanoff to address the issue of music as it relates to event planning.  Having worked on many events together, I can say with full confidence that Valerie is a “musical designer” whose genius lays in keeping the dance floor full all night–along with the incredibly gifted Starlight Orchestra.  Suffice it to say that she is at the top of her game and one of the best in our field.

While it’s easy to acknowledge the importance of hiring talent, the simple truth is that most people have no idea how much work goes into assembling a first-class band.  In light of this, I will do my best to highlight some of the expenses.

Music Preparation:

-A musical arranger to prepare a specific play list for each individual event.

-A music librarian to catalogue and archive these materials.

-A music coordinator to send materials to the musicians

-A music programmer to prepare the audio files that are used for live performances of contemporary music

-A musical director to assist in rehearsing (sometimes two are needed)

Technical Production:

-An in-house production manager to coordinate and serve as a liaison between a sub-contracted sound company, the venue, event planner, and bandleader.

-A sound company (Approx 20% of the fee for the band goes toward paying for the equipment, trucking tech crew, audio engineer)


– Each band member and their understudies

– A musician liaison

– A wardrobe coordinator

– Casting and choreography

Office Staff:

-Customer relations.

-Management of IT, digital media library, equipment etc.

-Creative team to work on special projects for specific events.

Wow, I never imagined hiring a first-class band was so complex, did you?  I really hope all of my clients are reading this blog.

Now, let me test your ability to price one of the best bands in New York City.

Imagine you are looking to book a 12-piece band (with all of these services included) and intend to have them play for 4 hours.

Is the cost

A. $10,000

B  $15,000

C  $17,000

D  $20,000

Check back tomorrow for the correct answer and more information on pricing DJ’s and music for the cocktail hour and the ceremony.

(Photo courtesy of Starlight Orchestra Blog)