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The BIG FUN Orchestra

Our Philosophy…

Remember that your guest’s attention will be drawn to the music as soon as they enter the room. And if you have a real party band, they will not be as interested in how elaborate your floral arrangements are, nor will they want to eat so much that they are too stuffed to dance. But your guests will most likely eat another three meals the next day. The food will soon be forgotten. However the excitement that they experienced during hours of dancing will create a lasting memory about your reception. I’ve had numerous clients tell me about how they “…went to a brunch months after the wedding and our friends were still talking about The BIG FUN Orchestra and how much fun they had.”

And what kind of photos will the photographer snap at the reception? Will they be pictures of guests eating baked salmon or having a blast on the dance floor? Will the reception end when the food is eaten and the photos are taken? Who creates the party? Let’s face it! The ultimate success of your reception is riding on the entertainment… GET THE BEST!!!

Below is a very revealing poll taken by regarding the most important element for a wedding reception. The response is overwhelmingly in favor of entertainment as the most important element of the reception, coming in at 46%, with food in second place at 25%.

 What do you think the most important element of the Wedding Reception is?

 The food – 846 votes (25%)

The photographer/videographer – 218 votes (6%)

THE ENTERTAINMENT – 1538 votes (46%)

The flowers/decorations – 188 votes (5%)

The location – 486 votes (14%)


Reception Timeline…

Often when clients call me regarding The BIG FUN Orchestra, they ask, “How many songs will I get in four hours?” The answer to that question depends upon the reception schedule. My band usually performs at least eleven to twelve songs per “set” (a set is approximately 55 to 60 minutes of live music). This should give you between 44 and 48 songs during a four-hour reception. We will take a 15 to 20-minute break between each set and play recorded music to keep the “flow” going. Our goal is trying to establish a momentum to the party during each of the sets. If you interrupt the “flow” in the middle of a set to have a toast or cut the cake, you will clear the dance floor and kill the momentum of the party; not to mention the momentum of the band.

My advice is to plan for cutting the cake during the band’s first break. This would place the cake cutting between the band’s first and second sets. The BIG FUN Orchestra usually starts the reception off with what we call “dinner” music (dinner music consists of jazz standards and soft love songs like you would expect to hear at a fine restaurant). The dinner music should begin when the first guests begin to arrive.

After the wedding couple arrives, hopefully at approximately 30-minutes into the reception, the wedding party can be announced and the customary “first dances” should occur. It must be noted that proper etiquette considers it inappropriate for guests to dance before the wedding couple have danced their first dance together. Therefore this must take place prior to the band beginning the dance music portion of the reception. By the time the dances are completed, it is usually time for the band to take its first break. Our bandleader will announce the cutting of the cake before he/she leaves the stage area.

We will have a CD player, or MP3 player available to play some soft music in the background while we’re are on our first break. When the band comes back from the first break, it should be time to begin the dance party. The BIG FUN Orchestra usually starts the second set off with a wide variety of musical styles ranging from great oldies and swing to party favorites. This is when The BIG FUN Orchestra gets to know the crowd and establish some guidelines regarding what songs should be played later.

 Toasts can take place immediately after the cake cutting or during the band’s second break (between the second and third sets). Again, allowing the band to continue to build the momentum of the party and raise each set to another level of intensity.

A good time to have the bouquet toss, garter toss, etc.(if appropriate) is during the band’s third and final break. The band will come back and keep the crowd dancing with popular favorites while the blissful couple makes their plans for the big getaway.

When it is over it goes into the history books, under one of three chapters, disastrous, mediocre, or SPECTACULAR!

“Mr. Fabulous” – Tony Grandberry

“Mr. Fabulous”…that’s the moniker Tony Grandberry has garnered, borne from the reaction of countless fans saying “he was Fabulous” after seeing one of Tony’s performances. Since arriving from Philadelphia in the summer of 2012, Tony has taken the Palm Springs area by storm!

The following April, Tony was a finalist in the acclaimed McCallum Theater 2013 Open Call. In October, Tony became an integral part of the rebirth of The Purple Room. Every Friday and Saturday night Tony joins the, Chicago based, Gand Band as their vocalist. The collaboration has been electric and has revitalized the, once proud, Sinatra hang out into the #1 live entertainment venue in Palm Springs!

Tony’s versatility to cover multiple musical genres is what sets him apart and keeps him in demand. From the “Rat Pack” to Motown, from Gershwin and Cole Porter to Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, the breadth of Tony’s repertoire continuously wins over new fans.
Tony has performed with acclaimed artists such as his Grammy Award winning cousin, the late Grover Washington, Jr., Peter Nero (Philly Pops), Najee, as well as, the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” house band, The Max Weinberg 7, at a Presidential Gala. In fact, in was Grover who dubbed him “The Crooner” because of his smooth and silky style.

The growing demand for Tony and his engaging persona has resulted in numerous public and private performances around the world. Hong Kong, Atlantic City, Key West, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and New York City are a few of the exciting locations in which Tony has performed. A personal highlight was sharing the bill with Al Green, Patti LaBelle and trumpeter, Chris Botti at the Bermuda Music Festival!

The fluidity of Tony’s musical approach allows him to cultivate any particular musical genre that’s strikes a chord with the audience. The ability to “play any room” may be his greatest strength. This is especially important when playing a venue for the first time or when the clientele constantly changes. His history of developing strong and loyal followings is based on one simple rule: Make people feel good! That ability helped turn 3,000 people in Bermuda from saying “I’ve never heard of Tony Grandberry” to screaming “More, more, more” after his 45 minute set!

“Mr. Fabulous” in Bermuda

“Tony Grandberry’s set at the Festival on Friday evening lent an appropriate touch of ‘retro’ to an affair looking back over its ten-year existence. Gifted with a smooth baritone, and able to move into a tenor’s range with ease ,this crooner gave us The World Is A Ghetto, the Marvin Gaye classic, What’s Going On, and the first of two versions of My Funny Valentine we were to hear during the evening. He was backed by a group consisting of piano, bass, drums, and alto saxophone. They gave the impression of being an up-scale lounge band, very good, and a bit surprised to find them in a festival. They took their opportunity, and certainly turned out to be crowd -pleasers. Tony dedicated One in A Million, to Premier Alex Scott and his wife, and followed with that gem Living for the Love of You. Whoever had the idea to place a real Fender Rhodes on stage was inspired. So much of what was recorded in the 70’s and later bore this trade-mark sound. The first two chords of the subsequent number, dedicated to the recently deceased master crooner Luther Vandross, was all that was needed to bring a squeal of delighted recognition from the crowd: House is Not a Home. A whole generation’s come along identifying that tune with Vandross, but older heads might remember a certain Dionne Warwick launching the Bacharach/ David classic. But such was Luther’s power to stamp what ever he did as his very own.”

The Royal Gazette – Bermuda