Wellington String Quartet
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Chicago String Quartet with sound system

The Wellington String Quartet is a group of conservatory-trained violinists, cellists and string players in Chicago who have over a decade of experience performing at all types of events and hundreds of wedding ceremonies. We play at all types of outdoor weddings as well as religious services.

Welcome family & friends with string quartet music as they arrive before the wedding ceremony.  If the wedding ceremony is in a small garden, we will make the live music sound warm and delightful. In cathedrals, we will make the music sound religious and grandiose.

Celebrate with modern music by Katy Perry, Coldplay, Stevie Wonder, and 60's hits by The Beatles during the cocktail hour - all in string quartet setting!   Our state-of-the-art sound system ensures that all your guests will be able to hear the musicians in the background while they are talking during cocktails or while dinner is being served.  We have all the musicians and resources to make your day musically charming and unforgettable!

Audio Samples

Wedding Music   Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach)
  Entrance of the Queen of Sheeba (Handel)
  Ave Maria (Schubert)
  Canon (Pachelbel)
  Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart)
  Rondeau (Mouret)
  Andante from Piano Concerto No. 21 (Mozart)
  Ave Maria (Bach)
  Meditation (Massenet)
  Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel)
  Hornpipe No. 2 from Water Music (Handel)
  Air on the G string (Bach)
  Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
  Ich Liebe Dich (Grieg)

Biographies of Musicians

String Quartet

chicago string quartet wedding

Julia Birnbaum, originally from Maryland, started playing the violin at age 5. Ms. Birnbaum received her degree in Violin Performance from Northwestern University under the tutelage of Blair Milton. Ms. Birnbaum recently completed a two-year fellowship with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She also completed the certificate program at Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore under Rebecca Henry. Julia served as concertmaster under Maestro Lorin Maazel at the Castleton Festival in 2011 and also attended Aspen Music Festival, American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, CIM's Encore School for Strings, and Indiana University String Academy. She has performed with the New World Symphony, Illinois Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Chicago Arts Orchestra, Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago Composers Orchestra. Julia is also an active chamber musician and violin teacher in Chicago area. Ms. Birnbaum teaches private and group lessons through the Chicago School of Music.

wedding violinist chicago emanuel ban

Emanuel Ban, founder of the Wellington Strings, began studying violin at the age of eight, and his violin and viola teachers included Desiree Ruhstrat, Olga Kaler, and Rami Solomonow. Emanuel was the recipient of the 2003 Park Ridge Civic Orchestra and the 2005 Indianapolis Matinee Musicale scholarships. He was also a finalist with the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra and the DePaul Symphony Orchestra concerto competitions in 2006. He completed both his Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Violin Performance at DePaul University. Emanuel currently freelances in Chicago and performs with orchestras such as the Lake Forest Symphony, New Millenium Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Arts Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Peoria Symphony, and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Indianapolis.

wedding ceremony string quartet cellist

Sarah Marsh, a Chicago native, has been playing the cello since she was ten years old. She has two degrees in music performance, from DePaul University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her principal cello instructors and influences are: Mark Kuntz, Christopher Costanza, Nazar Dzhuyrn, Paula Kosower, and Katinka Kleijn, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Sarah has performed to critical acclaim in concert halls worldwide with many classical music legends, including: Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, and Pinchas Zukerman. Sarah has performed with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Renovo String Orchestra, and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. She currently maintains an active, private studio of cello students in her River West home. She performs on a 1985 Alfredo Primavera cello from Cremona, Italy.

string quartet wedding chicago

Lerryn Schaefer, a professional violist in Chicago, began her musical training in Eugene, Oregon. Lerryn earned a Master of Music in viola performance from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Music in viola performance from the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers include Rami Solomonow, Matthew Michelic, Leslie Straka, and Jacquelyn Schwandt. She performs with several local and regional orchestras and opera companies. She is also an active chamber musician and teacher in the Chicago area. Lerryn currently teaches violin and viola at DePaul University's Community Music Division and at Knight Music Academy in Lake Zurich. She has performed in master classes for Michael Tree, Abram Loft, Charles Castleman, and the Pacifica, Ebéne, and Brentano String Quartets.

Recent Testimonials

I just want to commend you on a job well done. All pieces were played beautifully, in particular the Chopin nocturne was a standout. Everyone really enjoyed the music. I will be writing a Yelp review in the future, if it helps create more gigs. Thank you again.~ August 2013, Dinah S., St. Peter and Paul Parish

....we really enjoyed having you at the wedding. The music was perfect, many guests asked me your name.~ August 2013, Mari A., Mid-America Club

Thank you for your musicians' excellent work at our wedding. They were outstanding! ~ July 2013, Matt and Nicole, Piper Hall, Loyola University

I just want to thank you for your beautiful string quartet music at my daughter's wedding. Everyone commented on how beautiful it was. It helped make Jaclyn's day even more special. You were all extremely professional also. I'm looking forward to hearing you again at Nina Alverdy's wedding in August and I will highly recommend you to anyone looking for a string quartet. Thank you again. ~ July 2013, Audrey Abraham (mother), Westmoreland Country Club

I wanted to tell you how pleased we all were with Emanuel and Gabriel's performances at Saturday's wedding. The ceremony music was so lovely, I'm just sorry that I could not have sat in on the entire prelude to the start of the ceremony. Thanks to you all for hunting down those Celtic pieces, they turned out beautifully! I loved the cocktail hour music. The guys seemed to really be into it, and I got some great feedback from our guests, especially on the rock songs! Overall, the performance was exactly what I had in mind! Well done! ~ April 2013, Mary Lee Culligan (mother), Women’s Athletic Club:

To the wellington strings, just a note to tell you all how much i enjoyed your music at my daughters wedding friday night. i will recommend you always, and as i told you, i have one more daughter to go... i expect a discount after three!!!! --jim pauletto-- (father) ~ Lisa Pauletto, Mt. Prospect, October 2012

Everything was great, thank you so much for making our day special! ~ Julia and Chris Paladino, Salvatore's Ristorante, July 2012

Thank you so much for being such a special part of our wedding day. We watch our wedding video all the time and your music is just SO beautiful - it's perfect! We received SO many compliments from our guests. We hope you all weren't too cold outside! Thank you for being so professional and accomodating. We recommend you to everyone we can! =-)  ~ Ellen & Dave Fingado, White Pines Golf Club, Bensenville, October 2011

I just want to thank you again for the wonderful music at our wedding!!! I had so many people tell me you guys were wonderful!!! It was a great touch to our wedding!!! Thanks again for playing!!! You guys were great!!! I will definitely recommend you guys to anyone I know!!! Thanks again!!! ~ Heidi & Dave, Illinois Beach Resort, September 2011

Let me just say, you guys sounded beautiful. We received many compliments on the music at our ceremony. Listening to 'Wonderful Tonight' as I was watching my bride walk down the aisle sent chills down my body. One of the most amazing moments in my life. So I thank you again. My mother in law found you guys on a google search. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you at the church. I was kind of being pulled in a million different directions. But thank you again. We will recommend you guys for other events. All the best to you and your company. ~ Jimmie Benda, Oak Lawn, June 2011

I just wanted to say thank you for doing such a fabulous job with the ceremony and cocktail hour music!! I have heard nothing but good things from our guests! It means a lot to both Joel and I that you were so professional and were quick to repsond to us. I hope the set up wasn't too awful for you guys during the ceremony. Thanks so much again and I will be recommending you to my friends:) Take care! ~ Barrie and Joel Vause, Wicker Memorial Park, August 2011

Thank you so much for helping to create the most amazing and beautiful day of our lives. Your music was absolutely fabulous and created such a wonderful mood at such a beautiful location. Everyone has complimented me on the music! So let me pass all that along to you. I’m so grateful that you encouraged me to have you play during the cocktail hour too! It was such a wonderful time. We cannot thank you enough. Please let me know if I could do anything to help you out (reference/recommendation). I will also send some great pictures of you guys soon! =-) Thank you! ~ Jenny & Josh Vanterpool, Illinois Beach Resort, June 2011

...the music you provided for Liz and Jim's wedding at the Intercontinental Hotel was outstanding! Your assistance in choosing the music was very much appreciated and our guests continue to compliment us on how beautiful the music was. I can't thank you enough and we will be recommending you whenever we can. Best wishes for a wonderful Holiday! ~ Jack Querio, InterContinental Hotel, November 2010

I just wanted to thank you for the lovely music you performed at our wedding! You both did such a wonderful job, everyone was impressed by your talent. I wish I could have actually met you in person at the wedding, but the day flew by in a blink of an eye and I could barely keep up with chatting with the wedding guests. Thank you for putting the extra effort in to provide the style of music we were looking for......we couldn't have asked for better musicians! ~ Laura Naughton Czumaj-Bront, St. Paul the Apostle Church & Byron Colby Barn, October 2009

Thank you so much... You all played beautifully... I will recommend you as often as you like if thats okay. My whole guest list commented on you all night how great you all sounded. ~ Erin Whealan, St. Margaret of Scotland Church, October 2009

I was able to hear the string quartet during the ceremony and the cocktail hour. The quartet was absolutely stunning... it had a terrific sound... Your group picked the perfect piece for our parents entering. We were all very pleased with the string quartet, and we received many compliments from our guests throughout the evening. Yours will be the first name we mention whenever we talk to anyone needing live music for an event. Thanks much, and cheers! ~ Clifton Brock, pianist, Pleasant Home mansion, September 2009

Thank you so much for all your help to make our day special. The music was beautiful. We got so many compliments on all of the music. Also, thanks for taking time to find the music for the candle lighting song and the wonderful singer. That was awesome!!!! Your group made our day very very Special. You were all very professional and kind. I will certainly recommend you to others. Thanks again. ~ Claudia Gregori, Hunt Club Meadows, September 2009

I just wanted to write you and tell how wonderful you were....My wife totally loved her day that much more because of what you brought to the whole experience....thank you again ~ Jose Bedolla, Odyssey Country Club, August 2009

I just wanted to thank you and the musicians who played at my wedding on Friday. The music could not be better, and it made my wedding ceremony wonderful. It was classy and beautiful, and the Ave Maria left everyone speechless!! ~ Ana Marcela Herrera, Saint Mary of Celle, May 2009

Of all the vendors who made our wedding day special, we were especially grateful for Wellington Strings. Many of our guests, whom also included musicians, let us know how much it meant to them. We were thrilled about our off-repertoire musical selections. We will be watching AND listening to our wedding video with great pleasure in years to come. ~ Anna Teresa Evans and Phil Evans, Byron Colby Barn, November 2008

I booked Wellington Strings for my wedding in August 2008. I cannot speak highly enough about the Wellington Strings' responsiveness and professionalism, and the musicians' splendid performance! ~Jennifer Tsai, Pazzo's Cucina, August 2008

The music was so beautiful, so professional, and so worth the cost!!!!!! I was nervous prior to walking down the aisle with my father so while waiting I focused on the music being played and closed my eyes -- the music totally relaxed and made me smile. I was so happy. I would recommend string trio to anyone/everyone debating string performance at ceremony. Your performance exceeded my expectation!! ~ Michelle Betance, Pazzo's Cucina, June 2008

The music was so wonderful for my daughter's ceremony.... you and your group did a fantastic job.  We have received many compliments from our friends who attended the church ceremony on how much they enjoyed listening to the string quartet. ~ Maureen Collins, St. Mary of the Lake Church, June 2008

October 2014, Mike J, Spiaggia
  1. Thank you for proving such beautiful music for our big day! I received so many compliments. Please extend our thanks to the others in the quartet. Your music truly set the tone for the perfect wedding!.........Thank you again for all your work. I will certainly recommend you to anyone looking for a string quartet. You were fantastic!

September 2014, Kim M. (bride), Catigny Park
  1. I just wanted to thank you guys for the amazing job you did! I apologize for not being able to thank you in person! I was so overwhelmed!! Your beautiful music was the icing on the cake to our perfect day!!! We appreciate you and will definitely spread the word to help you out!!! Thanks again

August 2014, Jessie Martinez (wedding planner), 63rd st. Beach House Promenade
  1. I just wanted to thank you so much for your help making Lindsay and Scotty's wedding amazing. Not only is your team extremely talented, they are incredibly resourceful as well. Thank you so much for going above and beyond with your talents and time. If you could pass my gratitude along to your team that would be amazing! I look forward to working with you again.

July 2014, Mike & Monica, Lilicia Park
  1. I just wanted to say thank you so much for your great service on our wedding this past Sunday. You played amazing and we are very happy with your work and it just made our day even more special.

June 2014, Scott V., Illinois Beach Resort
  1. Just wanted to thank you again for coordinating everything for last Sundays service. The ceremony, cocktail reception, and dinner couldn't have been better. The trio was perfect and everyone raved about them!!

April 2014, Eddie & Cara, St. Hyacinth Basilica
  1. We wanted to take a minute to say, thank you so so so so much!!! The music was perfect and it sounded AMAZING! We were given several compliments on how wonderful the music was at the ceremony. If any of our friends get married in the Chicago area & need strings....we will be referring you. Your team did a tremendous job!!!!!!! Thank you so much!

March 2014, Erika M., Pazzo's Cucina
  1. You were so great! The music was so beautiful. We had many compliments about you from our guests! Thank you so much for everything.

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