Musical Heart Strings is a professional string ensemble (or piano & strings), performing together for 16 years and offer an extensive repertoire, including classical, jazz, pop, rock & roll and even some heavy metal. Influenced by the Vitamin String Quartet, we arrange most of the music ourselves to be original covers performed only by us. We are available for hire for any gathering: weddings, parties, funerals, corporate events, graduations, or even for serenading a romantic dinner for two. We can play acoustically or with amplification. Feel free to browse our site and listen to the sound bites. If you wish to hear more, we can record from on our list especially for you (at no charge).
We hired Musical Heart Strings (pianist, cellist, violinist, viola) to play at our wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. Kerry and Gretchen's quartet did a terrific job! Their beautiful music filled the room and really set the mood! Our guests loved it. They were highly responsive, professional and flexible. We asked them last minute to add another player to make a quartet instead of a trio, and they quickly secured a cellist per our request. They have a great, extensive set of music that we were able to choose from for the ceremony (all classical music), and then we asked them to play more movie scores and modern music in our two rooms for the cocktail hour (pianist in one room and strings in the other room). Our program ran 15 mins late, and they offered to continue playing until the end of our cocktail hour. Their extension was a little steep ($25 per musician for an additional 15 mins) but other than that, we were extremely happy about their performance and professionalism. I would definitely book them again if I was hosting another event requiring live music!
We hired Musical Heart Strings for our recent wedding at San Francisco City Hall, and we cannot say enough wonderful things about them! They were so communicative throughout the booking process and very easy to work with, and their rates were on par with what we expected to pay. I loved that they offer audio snippets on their site - it made it easier for my husband to choose his music for his portion of the ceremony. On the day of the event, everything went very smoothly - they were there early, set up quickly, and did a beautiful job - our guests loved them! Thank you so much for helping to make our day so special!
Response from Musical Heart Strings:
Danielle, you are a gem! Thank you so much for the kind words. We appreciate them greatly. We wish you and Jared so much happiness.
Kerry and Gretchen are amazing! They were so easy to work with. Their musical skills are fantastic, they gave you all of the freedom to pick what you wanted while also providing suggestions to select from during a very busy time. They modified their dress to match our wedding colors and theme. They are simply wonderful to work with and made the event so much fun! Our guests were very impressed and had such a wonderful time. They will truly make your occasion a memorable one :)
Response from Musical Heart Strings:
Thank you, Sharyn. The wedding was fabulous, and I'm still in awe that you did the entire planning and decorating yourself. That was one lucky couple! And the Giants theme was so fun! A very memorable wedding indeed!
My hubs and I came across Musical Heart Strings at one of the local wedding fairs in San Francsico about two years ago when we first got engaged. At the time, having strings at our wedding was not on our radar. However, when We heard them play the theme song from Games of Thrones we were smitten! From there, we saw them play a few more times at local restaurants just to see them perform in different atmospheres. We were sold! We booked them for our wedding last weekend in Aptos CA. They were wonderful! They played exactly the type of sweet romantic music for our ceremony in the redwoods, but then busted out their more upbeat trendy music for our cocktail hour. Our guests and venue raved about how amazing they sounded outside! They were so easy to work with and I had to do absolutely nothing the day of the wedding as they came in seamlessly, worked with my coordinator, and got all set up. They were the perfect addiction to our wedding!
Five plus stars for Musical Heart Strings! =D
We met MHS at the Presidio Bridal event in San Francisco over a year before my wedding. We knew right away that we wanted them to play at our wedding. They were one of our best vendors. We got married during Memorial weekend at the Observation Post Presidio in San Francisco.
MHS have been great from the very beginning. The email communications from the very start were fast in response time and sweet. On our wedding day our family and friends complimented on how beautiful the musical arrangements were. Everyone's favorite were of course, Game of Thrones and Indiana Jones.
Gretchen, Kerry and Megan are definitely very talented, sweet and delightful to work with. I'm subscribed to their email newsletters and will definitely come out to Danville to listen to them play again. I definitely recommend MHS to anyone that is looking for beautiful music arrangements that will be a memorable experience on your special day.
“A Thousand Years” C. Perri
“In Dreams” Lord of the Rings
“Beauty and the Beast” A. Menken
“A Whole New World” A. Menken
“Bittersweet Symphony” R. Ashcroft
“Storybook Love” W. DeVille
“La Vie En Rose” E. Piaf
Game of Thrones Theme/Rains of Castamere
Processional (4 Pieces)
“Life on Mars?” D. Bowie - Groom/Groomsmen and Officiant
“All I Ask of You” A. L. Webber - Parents
“Hoppipolla” Sigur Ros - Bridesmaids/Flower dog
Canon in D - Bride
Indiana Jones Theme
Jurassic Park Theme
James Bond Theme
“This Must Be the Place” D. Byrne
“Love Story” Taylor Swift
“Bohemian Rhapsody” Queen
“Over the Rainbow” Wizard of Oz
“Everything is Awesome” from Lego Movie
Spring from “The Four Seasons”
Addams Family Theme
“Viva la Vida” Coldplay
“White Wedding” Billy Idol
“You’re My Best Friend” Queen
“Jump” Van Halen
“Brown Eyed Girl” V. Morrison
We booked the string trio, and from our first contact with Kerry through their final song at our reception dinner, we were so happy with our choice and thankful we were able to book them. Their extensive repertoire (from wedding classics to contemporary pop songs) and lovely sample recordings drew us in, and their professionalism meant that everything went incredibly smoothly once we were booked. Their rendition of our processional song (for which they acquired the sheet music and rehearsed for a small additional fee) was breathtaking, and at the dinner reception they even went the extra mile in playing some last minute requests. Our wedding would not have been the same without Musical Heart Strings and I can't recommend these talented musicians highly enough.
Response from Musical Heart Strings:
Thank you so much Nicole and Nick. Your wedding was truly special. And the singalong rendition during dinner of Bohemian Rhapsody was the best EVER. We will never forget your wedding!
I cannot say enough good things about Musical Heart Strings. My husband and I were married at Saint Francis Solano Church in Sonoma with our reception at The Lodge at Sonoma, and MHS played our ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner. The backdrop of their music was just perfect. We chose the quartet (with keyboard), and Kerry, Gretchen, Matt and Megan did an incredible job. Since it was a full catholic mass, we had specific musical requirements and even a couple songs that they gladly learned for our service. They also worked with a cantor at the church for the hymns. It was above and beyond! Their selection at our cocktail hour and dinner was perfect (there was even a sing-a-long to Bohemian Rhapsody). If you're looking for a string quartet, look no further. You can't beat Musical Heart Strings!!
Musical Heart Strings made our wedding ceremony and cocktail hour spectacular! I cannot imagine our wedding without them! They have a fantastic repertoire and can also make custom arrangements. We loved the mixture of classical and popular songs. We also decided to have a custom arrangement of “Better Together” for our recessional song and it was awesome! We are still receiving compliments on our wonderful string trio months after our wedding! Kerry and Gretchen are friendly and professional! They promptly answered all of my questions and had fantastic recommendations. I highly recommend Musical Heart Strings for your wedding or special event! They truly made our wedding special and unique.
My words will never begin to describe how wonderful these ladies are. We arranged for Gretchen and Kerry to play at our daughter’s vineyard wedding. The bride had a particular song in mind for the processional that unfortunately was not part of Musical Heartstrings repertoire. After speaking with the group, without hesitation, they agreed to find the music and play it at the wedding. Even more unfortunate, they were only able to locate the music for guitar. They were quick to suggest learning the piece by ear. The result was fantastic. These ladies are so professional and accommodating. Smiles never leave their faces. They were happy to take and quick to play guest requests. When on break, they quickly jumped up to help with an audio problem that was occurring which was unrelated to their performance. It was as though favorite cousins offered to play at the wedding and reception. I can’t say enough about this group. Both their music and personalities were beyond magnificent. You will not go wrong with this duo!
Gretchen and Kerry of Heartstrings did a phenomenal job at our company holiday party. They have a wide selection of music that appealed to all of our guests. They were very responsive to emails, phone calls and always clear answering any of our questions. It was a pleasure to work with them from start to finish. We would love to have them at a future event!
Quintessential: Representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class. As a wedding coordinator in Wine Country, I need string musicians who can play beautifully in any range of conditions, from outdoor in the hot July vineyards to a balcony in January with a cold breeze blowing through. Gretchen Egen and Kerry Borgen have played music that made me wish I was Cinderella riding to the ball, then turned around and jazzed it up until the guests were doing a "sing-a-long" and begging them to stay! Either my clients or I have hired them a score of times during the past year and have always been thrilled. Denise Kramer, Denise Kramer Weddings
I mainly dealt with Gretchen when I hired heart strings! I must say they are very good at what they do! My reception was truly a hit because I had them play music at my cocktail hour and also while my guests are being seated into the ballroom! Everyone felt like they were in the scence of that movie "titanic" when guests of the ship were enjoying the music played by those famous musician! Heart strings are very professional! Look no further when looking for a violinist and a cellist! Their music pieces are simply amazing! They will also give your reception that fancy, over the top feel! Thanks guys for giving my reception that epic ambiance! Will hire you again when the next event comes!
We were so pleased with the musical backdrop that Gretchen and Kerry gave to our small vineyard wedding. They provided an elegance to our ceremony that truly completed the day's perfection. Though not only were they incredibly talented and professional, they were also very flexible with our wedding party's diverse range of musical taste. While the prospect of a Jamaican/Italian wedding might scare off some musicians, Gretchen and Kerry were more than willing to accommodate both backgrounds with style. Our small wedding had a blast dancing and singing along to their selections. They're the perfect addition for any wedding day, and we'd recommend them in a heartbeat.
Classical ensemble does not express the range that Heart Strings will bring to your event. They brought a wonderful energy to both our holiday party and the 90th birthday celebration. We look forward to the next event when we can share and enjoy there positive energy and incredible talent.
Price Range: $670 and up
Gig Length: 120 - 540 minutes
Languages: English, Spanish
Insurance: $1,000,000 - Liability Insurance
What to Expect
Most people are interested in a 2-hour booking. We arrive 1/2 hour early to set up, unless you wish for us to bring amplification, in which case we arrive 1 hour early. For weddings, we typically play 15-30 minutes as a wedding prelude, then we play the wedding processionals, ceremony music (if any), and a recessional or 2. Often we move to another location for the cocktail hour. As soon as we are set up, we play for the cocktail hour. If the client requests certain pieces from our repertoire, we always play them, and try to have the client nearby when we do. If the booking is longer than 2 hours, we may take a 10-minute break for each hour hired, although often we rarely take much of a break.
We also have suitable music for dinner and dancing should you choose to hire us for more than 2 hours. The additional rate is $100 per hour per musician.
If the client gives us a color scheme for the event, we will try to accommodate with a splash that color scheme, like a scarf.
To prepare for your event, we are very punctual with emails and phone calls. We are always happy to assist you with any questions you make have, and if you want some advice on picking music, we are happy to help.
If you also hire us to make a special arrangement that is not already in our repertoire, we will make a top-notch arrangement by listening to the original group performing the piece and making the arrangement sound very similar to the original.
We can also be a larger ensemble including string trio or quartet, and piano trio or quartet. To hear the difference, click on the two note icon in repertoire for a duo, the three note icon for trio, the four note icon for the string quartet, and piano for piano quartet.
One client wrote "you are all folks have talked about since that evening. You exceeded our expectations, and made us look like rock stars so thank you so very much." We are proud to report that we have over 90 reviews about us online on various website combined, not included people who post the same review on several websites. All of our reviews are posted on our own website.
Our repertoire is very extensive. We can play classical music, like Pachelbel Canon, Bach Air, Schubert Ave Maria, Handel's Watermusic, etc. We can also play rock music, like Stairway To Heaven, Great Balls of Fire, My Girl, etc, as well as a large repertoire of music by The Beatles. We can even play Lady Gaga or AC/DC. We can also play Irish music, Joplin rags, cocktail hour music (like At Last, Unforgettable, Moon River, etc.), tangos and other Latin music, French salon music, Italian music, and even music from the 1920s. We also try to stay current with music from the past year. Our latest client favorites are Bohemian Rhapsody, Y.M.C.A., Budapest, Eye Of The Tiger, Tetris Theme, Hotel California, and of course, Game Of Thrones.
Much of our music is arranged by the various members in the group, so for a nominal fee, if what you want is not in our repertoire list, we can make an arrangement to fit your needs. Our most recent arrangements include Yellow (Coldplay), Viva La Vida (Coldplay), Born The Way (Lady Gaga), I'm Yours (Jason Mraz), Lucky (Jason Mraz), Make You Feel My Love (Adele), 3 pieces by the Rolling Stones, and Unchained Melody from the movie "Ghost", the opening music to "Far From The Madding Crowd", Don't Bring Me Down (Electric Light Orchestra), Take A Chance On Me (ABBA), A Thousand Years (Christina Perri), Rolling In The Deep (Adele), and Life On Mars? (David Bowie), and Hotel California (The Eagles).
We have a two-hour minimum for our bookings, and we arrive 30-60 minutes before the booking (not included in the 2-hours).
We can also provide our own amplification (needs power) for no additional fee, in which case we will arrive 1 hour before we are to play in order to set up the amplification.
Additional Booking Notes
We are a very self contained ensemble. We bring our music stands and iPads, so if there isn't enough light, the iPads are backlit, so it's not a problem. Also, we use bluetooth page turners, so we can have all the music you've requested in a setlist so we can quickly go from one piece to another, making more time for music, and less time for searching, turning pages. Also, with the iPads there is no longer a need for wind clips when we are outdoors, making transitioning from one piece to another very seamless.
If you are interested in having the ensemble amplified, we bring our own amp and mics, but would need an electrical outlet close by so we can have power. There is no additional fee for amplification.
We have a very extensive repertoire of over 600 pieces. Please visit our website at (link hidden) to view the entire list. If you interested in hearing sound bites, simply click on the icons. the 2-note icon is our violin/cello duo, the 3-note icon is our string trio, the 4-note icon is our string quartet, and the keyboard icon is our piano quartet. Almost all of the music is available for all instrument combinations, regardless if we have samples up.
Influences & Inspiration
Vitamin String Quartet
If outdoors, we need protection from direct sunlight or rain
Armless chairs will be needed if the musicians will be sitting while playing.
If you want us to be amplified, we will need access to an electrical outlet for our equipment. We can provide up to 75 feet of extension cord, although it's preferable to have the outlet a bit closer.
San Francisco, CA
Recent review: Lara was amazing! Such a sweet soul! And the harp was such a hit people loved her sound. Would…
Bay Area, CA
Recent review: Luca is great. He is a fantastic guitarist and very friendly. He is willing to be as flexible…
Recent review: Despite our last-minute request, they happily agreed. They arrived early and had improvise a…
San Francisco, CA
Recent review: Our attendees loved these carolers!