Thank you very much for considering School of the Arts students to perform for your event. We have students of all ages and abilities that like to play out in the community. We do receive a lot of requests, and we cannot organize a group for every event. We will send out the information you email to us, and students will contact you directly. If you don’t hear from anyone within a few days, email us again and we’ll make another announcement. There are times of year that are difficult to get students because of exams or other school commitments. If students are not too busy, and the gig is attractive enough (service hours/food/money), we can usually find some interested students to play for you.


Weddings Are Different

If you are inquiring about having students perform at a wedding, please understand that weddings are different because of their importance to the families and especially the bride and groom. People notice and get upset more about mistakes, and when we add this high pressure performance with a number of unpredictable variables—like how long will it take for different people to get down the aisle, how many brides maids, mothers, grandmothers are there—these high stakes performances are very tricky to do well.


When people ask me to have my students play at weddings, I tell them that the most important day of a young bride’s life is exactly the type of day you want to hire professionals. Below are the names of some professionals that frequently perform for weddings in the Charleston area.

  • Julie Diamond Ensembles http://juliediamondensembles.cominfo@juliediamondensembles.com juliediamond@comcast.net 843-819-3435

  • Andrew Mille, classicalcharleston@gmail.com, 843-693-0004

  • Tim O'Malley, teomally@gmail.com, 843-513-8088

  • Lauren Williams, lleemusic@gmail.com, 843-532-8656

That said, some of our students do get asked to play weddings; they are extremely talented students that perform very well for their age…but they are still kids who do not have the experience that professionals have. Students of this caliber may ask for $100 each for a wedding. If, after hearing all of this, you still would like me to ask my students to contact you, please send me the information listed on the right, and I’ll have a student call you. If you are a professional who would like your group added to the list above, please let me know (christopher_selby@charleston.k12.sc.us).


To Request Student Musicians

Please email the following information to Dr. Selby at this address: christopher_selby@charleston.k12.sc.us. We recommend that you copy and paste the 9 bullets below into an email with the information filled in. We will take this information and post it on our gig board.

  1. Point of Contact (your name):________________

  2. Contact Phone and Email: ________________

  3. Type of Group Desired: Solo, Duet, Trio, Quartet, more?_______________

  4. A Description of the Event (number of attendees, is it background music or a performance, indoor or outdoor: ________________

  5. Event Location (Please include address):________________

  6. Event Date:________________

  7. Performance Times (Include start time, end time, and breaks):________________

  8. Payment per performer:________________

  9. Description of Preferred Performer Attire (Tux, casual, something in between)________________

How Much To Pay?

Many people ask: What is a fair amount to pay students? Generally $25 per student per hour is a good starting place if it is not a wedding; you can get a student string quartet for about $100 (A professional quartet is about $600/hr). Some students ask for more money, and that is between you and the students. If your event is for an “underserved” population, it is possible that the students may be interested in getting community service, instead of money. Most students prefer cash, naturally, but some students will perform for community service and food. See the information for Non-Profit Performances in the next column.


Non-Profit Volunteer Performances

If you are a non-profit organization needing students to play for free, SOA is a great resource. Complete THIS FORM and email it to Dr. Selby, and we will request for your organization to be listed on our approved list for community service. Organizations on this list are highly sought after by students looking for service hours. Do not pay students when they work for service hours, but food is always a helpful way to bring in kids.

Final Important Points:

  • When you confirm your event with a student, make sure to get the names of all students who have committed to play for your event. Then email me the names of the students, and request to have your event removed from our gig board. This helps avoid confusion and double booking.

  • Please do not ask musicians to play in full sun or when precipitation of any kind could touch the instruments. Outside is okay, but only when players are protected from the elements.

  • The school district will not provide supervision for students; please make sure someone in your event is available to help students with questions or needs that they may have.

Lastly, remember that they are kids! Our kids are some of the best student performers in the area, but if you are looking for professionals, we encourage you to contract professionals. Thank you!