August 14, 2018
When it comes to funerals, entertainment isn’t often the sort of thing that crosses the mind. It certainly won’t be a jovial, happy occasion, but when it all comes down to it, a funeral is for celebrating a life and in that respect we do occasionally receive enquiries for entertainment at funerals. With this in mind we present a few of our most common requests for saying goodbye to a loved one.
Perhaps most often selected by those who were in the military and served their country, Fanfare Trumpeters are a traditional way to show respect. Brass instruments are often used in the line of duty and there is something morose and mournful about the tones they most often emit. Whether your loved one was in the Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force, there’s no denying that this particular entertainment idea is a beautiful way to say goodbye.
If the deceased is Irish or Scottish then booking a bagpiper is often very common, or perhaps a friend or relative might be adept at the instrument to perform instead. The playing of pipes at ceremonial occasions has been going for centuries and is an excellent way to both begin and conclude a funeral, and is sure to strike just the right tone for the ceremony itself.
The idea that funerals have to be sad occasions is not necessarily true, indeed my brother once wore a Hawaiian shirt to one in honour of the personality of the person he had lost, and booking a gospel choir is perhaps the most popular form of ‘a spin on tradition’ that occur at funerals. A church choir is most common but in some communities the gospel choir might well be preferred. Able to sing a number of different songs, they will undoubtedly learn a favourite if requested.
In all of music, we aren’t sure if there is anything as uniquely elegant as the harp. Able to provide a light sound to any occasion, the plucking of the strings makes for an excellent choice for a funeral and is one of our most requested musical options at a funeral. Our harpists are able to play classical or contemporary tunes and just like the gospel choir are able to learn a song that was special to the person being commemorated on the day.
You could book a poet for a funeral but in truth, the poetry is best when delivered by someone who knew the deceased. They may even like to write a poem themselves. This is slightly different to a eulogy, which can also be very popular and is sure to be well received by mourners. It’s best to remember that a eulogy doesn’t have to be a straight ‘facts of a life’ but can be a humorous take on memories of a person. Laughter is certainly allowed as John Cleese showed at Graham Chapman’s funeral.
Cover photo by Marc Scaturro.
Planning an event? Get in touch
Here at Sternberg Clarke we know how to handle a challenge and we stop at nothing to ensure your event is a night – or day – to remember. Check out our create page and learn more about how we can customise your entertainment to match your needs.
Thinking about booking one of our many talented music acts? Visit our contact page and send us a message.
Holding an event outside London?
Our sister company, Trevor George Entertainment, cater to any and all events and weddings outside London. You can find their website here.
By Henry Fosdike