Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose Fifth Avenue?
For a multitude of reasons, but primarily because we care. We truly recognize and respect the moral implication of you entrusting us with the entertainment for your all-important event. We feature an elite staff of true musical geniuses who want nothing more than to help you bring your vision of your event to fruition. If the old saying, “the music makes the party” is truly accurate, we may well be the most important call you’ll make.
How long in advance should we book our entertainment?
This is a question I get asked almost every day! The answer is book in advance as far as possible. Why? Because the best entertainers and bands always get booked early. Some of our entertainers are already booked two years out. It’s not uncommon at all. My advice is always; “Don’t wait until it’s too late and end up disappointed.”
Do your musicians play together all the time?
Yes, they do. Good musicians know that there is an intangible language, a sense of unspoken communication and intuition which develops between musicians and singers who perform together continually.
Where do you travel?
Fifth Avenue personnel have performed at corporate and private special events throughout the United States, Canada, Hawaii, Madrid, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia. We will gladly consider appropriate international engagements. Having toured extensively with major stars, we are familiar with all issues of location engagements. We are extremely detail-oriented, and are accustomed to dealing with extensive travel arrangements, on-site accommodations, interaction with local vendors, equipment rentals, staging, lighting, technical requirements, transportation, etc.
How large are the bands?
The size of the presentation depends on several factors. First and foremost are the client’s concept of what they have in mind. Second, of course, are budgetary considerations. Size of the venue must obviously be considered, as well as the number of guests. Naturally, specific styles of music dictate specific instrumentations. In many cases, we customize our presentations specifically to our clients’ needs and desires. However, for the sake of general information, our bands generally begin at six to seven-piece instrumentations when clients are interested in a lot of dancing and partying. As often as not, the instrumentation swells to nine or ten pieces, depending on specific needs. Corporate events are often much different. While in some cases, the musical needs may be concise and thematic (ex: four-piece Dixieland band/ five-piece “Gipsy Kings”-style group/ four strolling violins, etc.) larger events may call for 18 to 21-piece Big Bands.
What is your criteria for designing corporate events?
First, we define our client’s objectives. What are they trying to achieve? On what scale are they seeking to do their presentation? What are the audience demographics going to be? Creativity, research and communication are the cornerstones of creating a unique special event. (See Corporate Events).
What do you suggest for wedding ceremonies?
In all cases, our clients’ budgetary considerations must come first. In each case, our goal is to musically underline the emotion and theme…the “feel” of the moment. A majority of wedding ceremonies feature lovely, effective instrumentations like a keyboardist and flutist, a harpist or a small classical chamber ensemble. We are happy to supply any and all of these combinations. Given the experience, creativity and track record of our unique staff, we also enjoy offering more specialized presentations for wedding ceremonies, as well. How about a small Gospel choir singing “I Swear” as the bridal party walks down the aisle? Or a group of a’cappella singers who’ve been with the Drifters and O’Jays singing James Ingram’s beautiful “One In A Million You” as the bride walks down the aisle? Or maybe a group of heralding trumpets… or a bell choir…. We’ll be glad to sit down with you and brainstorm!
How about cocktail hours?
Your vision/ budgetary considerations/ our creativity: collaboration designed for success.
Corporate clients often want to make a statement at the first moment their guests arrive. A large, colorful Mexican Mariachi ensemble at the entrance to the venue as guests valet their cars, while a small salsa band plays spicy music in the foyer? Or authentic Dickensian Christmas Carolers strolling through the crowd for a holiday celebration, while a singer/pianist reminiscent of Nat King Cole croons “….chestnuts roasting on an open fire” by the bar area?
Wedding cocktail hours can be anything you want them to be. Often, elegance and a prelude for things to come are appropriate. Maybe you’ll want to keep things elegant and traditional with a soft, elegant jazz trio playing Harry Connick-style favorites or…. a continuation of lovely classical music by a chamber ensemble. Or maybe you’d like to contrast the sentimentality of the wedding ceremony with a burst of energy! How about a Caribbean steel drum band or some a’cappella doo-wop singers…. or maybe a Manhattan Transfer-style vocal quartet singing swing favorites or a “Gipsy Kings”-style quartet?
How do we pick the kind of music we want?
The repertoire for the event will be based on two elements:-first and foremost your input. This is your event and we want it to be the way you want it to be. Secondly: if you give us the leeway to do so, the band will also be calling songs and styles of music based on your stated goals. If you’ve told us you’d like your guests up and dancing, we’ll act accordingly. If you want a specific theme and ambiance underlined, that’s the way it will be. However, in no case will any music which you’ve deemed undesirable be played. We are here to be of service to you. Period.
What about your Disc Jockey presentations?
Although we are primarily a live music company, we are as selective about our disc jockeys as we are about our musicians. Rather than offer a barnyard full of people of varied abilities, we utilize a small, elite staff of excellent entertainers. Our criteria? Each of our deejays knows music. They have studied musical trends and they understand the ins and outs of pacing the music for an important special event. They are energetic, attractive, enthusiastic, experienced and utterly reliable. They bring back-up equipment in case of equipment failure. Each of their libraries of CD’s numbers in thousands. They are personable and fun, but they do not conduct themselves like gameshow hosts. Fifth Avenue offers our deejays both on their own as separate performers, and in combination with our live music presentations.
Do you do continuous music?
Absolutely.We have several different options regarding continuous music. Please inquire about various options.
How do I proceed?
Almost from the inception of Fifth Avenue Orchestras & Entertainment, we have gratefully been very, very busy. Should you be interested in engaging our services or obtaining further information, we suggest calling our office at (818) 368-3299. We will be glad to answer all your questions. In answer to an often-asked query, we do not hold dates without paperwork. Should you wish to reserve a specific date, please call to verify our availability. We will then place a 72-hour hold on that date for you, and either fax, email or mail an appropriate agreement to you. Receipt by us of a signed copy of that agreement, along with the requested retainer, will constitute a firm commitment. We sincerely appreciate your consideration.