Simon Montgomery Duo 20th March 2011

Simon Montgomery and Ben Hall 20th MarchGig Details.

Band: Simon Montgomery Duo Featuring Ben Hall

Date: Sunday 20th March 2011

Venue: Ukrainian Orphanage Fundraiser – Como


On Sunday the 20th of March 2011 my duo, available for booking through the Wedding Music Planner, performed as a part of the entertainment lineup for a high tea being held in Como, Western Australia. The high tea was a fundraiser being held to raise funds to provide equipment and resources to accompany a group of health science students from Curtin University on an upcoming trip to the Ukraine to work in orphanages with children with mental and physical disabilities.

Ben Hall - Jazz Vocalist

Ben Hall

Ben Hall, the singer with the duo, was approached to see if he knew anyone who would be able to donate music that would be able to create the ideal atmosphere for this event. The desired atmosphere was a cocktail / background style music that would provide a level of class and sophistication which people could either listen to as a main performance or have in as background noise whilst potential donors socialised. As Ben has performed many gigs with me through the Wedding Music Planner including Rotarian shows, private functions and wedding receptions he knew that this would be a great opportunity to further promote the services some of the services I can provide as both an entertainment event organiser and also a musician. The proviso on us providing the entertainment for the afternoon was that we would be able to do any promotional work we liked, this included being able to distribute information on the Wedding Music planner and business cards to the guests in attendance.

As the event was being held in a rather large outside area I had some concerns with regards to the quality of sound and the constraints with regards to Ben’s vocals not being able to be heard clearly by all of the guests. I decided that the best way to remedy this was to provide a small PA system for Ben’s vocals to go through, this setup was very simple consisting of a SM 58 microphone, a small Yamaha sound desk and a single EX10 speaker plus a stand. This proved to be very useful to the event organisers who hadn’t prepared any PA system for them to do their announcements, including the drawing of the raffle prizes that had been generously donated by various businesses from around the Perth metropolitan area.

Simon Montgomery - Pianist

Simon Montgomery

This level of professionalism was supported by the choice of songs that we presented over the period of 45 minutes. Our set commenced half way through the afternoon at the conclusion of a performance by a violin duo. The repertoire we selected for the afternoon consisted of a variety of songs, both instrumental and vocal features, that are a regular part of the repertoire for my trio and quintet with whom Ben sings regularly. The set commenced with me performing the jazz standard “Autumn Leaves” as a solo piano piece and following this with one of my original jazz compositions “A Long Way To Go” . Ben then joined me to sing the jazz standard “All of Me” and followed this with the jazz standard “Fly Me To the Moon” in this song he also entertained the audience with a vocal “scat” solo over the entire form. In the middle of the set I performed another two instrumental songs on piano one of these was another orginal composition “When I Heard” the other tune was the jazz standard “All the Things You Are”. Ben rejoined me on stage at the conclusion of these two instrumental tunes for a version of “Tangerine”, “Have You Met Miss Jones” and then a version of “Moondance” to complete the set.

Throughout the performance the audience listened with a high level of attention to every song. Ben Hall’s smooth tenor vocals contain a hint of jazz greats including Sinatra and Buble and his presentation in appearance commanded the attention of every person at the event without being demanding or overpowering. This was became noticeable at the conclusion of the set with the unexpected applause that was received as well as an increase in the background noise levels as people resumed conversation that they had postponed throughout the duo’s set.The appreciation shown by both the hosts of the event and the event organisers showed that the level of excellence of entertainment surpassed their expectations and help contribute to the overall success of the afternoon.

Ben Hall - Jazz Vocalist 20th March 2011

A big thanks is needed to be given to the event organisers and the event hosts for their friendliness and willingness to help us as a duo be able to provide music that built a great atmosphere and ambience. Their assistance in helping us setup, providing us with food and drink throughout the afternoon, parking in close proximity to where we needed to perform and a nice shady space to entertain from. All of these contributed to us performing to our utmost best and in doing so created the best possible atmosphere we could for their function.

The Simon Montgomery duo is one of many of the ensembles available to be booked for events including wedding receptions, private parties, fundraisers and corporate events. More information can be found on their profile page or by contacting myself through The Wedding Music Planner.

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