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solar strings string quartet newcastle upon tyne

Solar Strings

String Quartet based in Newcastle upon Tyne

Price from £609
The string quartet with experience, professionalism & an extensive repertoire of classical, jazz, tangos, film themes & slick pop tunes. Solar Strings are the perfect choice for any wedding, dinner, corporate function or private party in the North!
5 stars - Solar Strings are Highly Recommended 19 Customer Reviews

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Suite no. 3 in D - Bach
Air on the G String - Bach
Arioso - Bach
Wachet Auf - Bach
Sheep May Safely Graze - Bach
Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 - Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring - Bach
String Quartet no. 6 in Bb Major - Beethoven
Ode To Joy - Beethoven
Habanera from Carmen - Bizet
The Toreador’s Song from Carmen - Bizet
Minuet - Boccherini
String Quartet no.2 - Borodin
Hungarian Dance no. 5 - Brahms
Trumpet Voluntary - Clarke
Christmas Concerto - Corelli
Clair de Lune - Debussy
The Girl with the Flaxen Hair - Debussy
The Flower Song from Lakme - Delibes
O Sole Mio - di Capua
Chanson de Matin - Elgar
Nimrod - Elgar
Salut d’amour - Elgar
Serenade for Strings - Elgar
Pavane - Faure
Panis Angelicus - Franck
Suite from Peer Gynt - Grieg
Wedding Day at Troldhaugen - Grieg
The Holberg Suite - Grieg
Aria from Xerxes - Handel
Entrance of the Queen of Sheba - Handel
The Water Music Suites - Handel
Concerto Grosso no.5 - Handel
Music from the Royal Fireworks - Handel
Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni*
Various string quartets - Haydn
Various string quartets - Beethoven
Palladio - Jenkins*
Liebestraum - Liszt
Meditation from Thais - Massenet
Wedding March - Mendelssohn
Alleluja from Exultate Jubilate - Mozart
Andante from Piano Concerto n. 21 - Mozart
Der Vogelfanger from The Magic Flute - Mozart
Divertimenti no. 1,2 & 3 - Mozart
Bei Mannern from The Magic Flute - Mozart
Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffman - Offenbach
Infernal Galop (Can Can) - Offenbach
Canon in D - Pachelbel
Troika (xmas) - Prokofiev
Nessun Dorma - Puccini
O mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicci - Puccini
Trumpet Tune - Purcell
Bolero - Ravel
Danse Macabre - Saint-Saens
Gymnopedies no. 2 & 3 - Satie*
Romance - Shostakovich*
Ave Maria - Schubert
Traumeri - Schumann
The Blue Danube Waltz - Strauss
Sleeping Beauty Waltz - Tchaikovsky
Nutcracker Suite (xmas) - Tchaikovsky
Concerto Grosso - Vivaldi
Largo from Winter - Vivaldi
Spring (from ‘The Four Seasons’) - Vivaldi
Summer (from ‘The Four Seasons’) - Vivaldi
Autumn (from ‘The Four Seasons’) - Vivaldi
Winter (from ‘The Four Seasons’) - Vivaldi
Wedding March - Wagner
The Skater’s Waltz - Waldteufel
Capriol Suite - Warlock

Mamma Mia - Abba
Thunderstruck - AC/DC
Heaven - Bryan Adams
Make You Feel My Love - Adele*
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith*
Rasputin - Boney M*
Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush*
Let’s Dance - David Bowie*
Life on Mars David Bowie*
Tainted Love - Cobb (Soft Cell)*
Yellow - Coldplay
You Spin Me Round - Dead or Alive*
Young and Beautiful - Lana Del Rey*
Annie’s Song - John Denver*
Come On Eileen - Dexy’s Midnight Runners*
I Just Can’t Get Enough - Depeche Mode
Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode*
One Day Like This - Elbow*
Sweet Talkin’ Woman - ELO*
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You - Elvis
Love Me Tender - Elvis
A Little Respect - Erasure*
Sweet Dreams - The Eurythmics*
Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac*
I’ll Be There - Gordy (The Jackson 5)
Lovely Head - Goldfrapp*
Pilots Goldfrapp*
Let’s Stay Together - Al Green*
Sweet Child of Mine - Guns n’ Roses*
Flightless Bird, American Mouth Iron and Wine*
Billy Jean Michael Jackson*
I Just Can’t Stop Loving You - Michael Jackson*
Thriller - Michael Jackson*
Your Song - Elton John
Don’t Stop Believin’ - Journey*
Sex on Fire - Kings of Leon
Local Hero - Mark Knopfler*
The Robots Kraftwerk*
Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin*
All of Me - John Legend*
All You Need is Love - Lennon & McCartney*
Hey Jude - Lennon & McCartney*
Eleanor Rigby - Lennon & McCartney
Penny Lane - Lennon & McCartney
Funky Town - Lipps Inc.*
Papa Don’t Preach - Madonna*
Could It Be Magic - Barry Manilow*
Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack*
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - MacColl (Roberta Flack)*
Just The Way You Are McFly*
Marry You - Bruno Mars*
My Love - Paul McCartney*
It’s All About You - McFly*
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Cars - Gary Numan*
Songbird - McVie (Eva Cassidy)*
I Feel Love - Moroder (Donna Summer)*
Blue Monday - New Order*
Listen Up - Oasis*
Wonderwall - Oasis*
Beethoven’s 5 Secrets - One Republic*
Perpetuum Mobile - Penguin Café Orchestra*
A Thousand Years - Christina Perry
Raspberry Beret - Prince*
Purple Rain - Prince*
Nothing Compares To You - Prince feat. Sinead O’Connor*
A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum*
Baby I Love You - The Ramones
Perfect Day - Lou Reed*
Truly, Madly, Deeply - Savage Garden*
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
Samskeyti (Heima) - Sigor Rós*
Von - Sigor Rós *
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship*
Fields of Gold - Sting*
A Song for You - Leon Russell (Ray Charles)*
Home - Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros*
Chandelier - Sia*
Cheap Thrills - Sia*
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol*
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now S- tarship
You’ve Got the Love - Candi Staton/Florence and the Machine*
Love Story - Taylor Swift*
The Greatest Day- Take That*
Rule the World - Take That*
Close To Me - The Cure*
Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks
My Girl - The Temptations
Bittersweet Symphony (intro) - The Verve*
Holding Out for a Hero - Steinman (Bonnie Tyler)*
From This Moment On- Shania Twain*
You Raise Me Up - Westlife*
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White*
My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder*
Signed, Sealed, Delivered Stevie Wonder*
Sunny - Stevie Wonder*

TV & Film/ Traditional
Kissing You - Armstrong (Des’ree)*
Goldfinger - John Barry*
Diamonds are Forever - John Barry*
From Russia with Love - John Barry*
James Bond Theme - John Barry*
Arrival of the Birds - The Cinematic Orchestra*
Allo Allo Theme - David Croft*
Theme from Sex and the City - Cuomo*
Game of Thrones - Ramin Djawadi
Jeeves and Wooster Theme - Anne Dudley
Grease is the Word - Barry Gibb*
How Deep Is Your Love - Barry Gibb
How Long Will I Love You - Ellie Goulding*
Nobody Does It Better - Hamlisch (Carly Simon)*
A Man and A Woman - Lai
The Gael (Last of the Mohicans) - Dougie MacLean*
Same Love - Macklemore & Lewis*
Grandstand Theme - Keith Mansfield*
Beauty and the Beast Prologue - Alan Menken
Tale As Old As Time - Alan Menken*
The Ecstacy of Gold - Ennio Morricone*
Family Guy Theme - Walter Murphy*
The Imperial March (Star Wars) John Williams*
The Throne Room (Star Wars) - John Williams*
Superman Theme -John Williams*
Faulty Towers Theme - Dennis Wilson
Irish Sherry - Trad.
Fiddle Dance - Trad.
Molly on the Shore - Trad.
You’re So Cool (True Romance) - Hans Zimmer

Blue Tango - Anderson
Over the Rainbow - Arlen
What A Wonderful World - Thiele/Weis (Louis Armstrong)*
La Vie en Rose - Gugliemi (Edith Piaf/Louis Armstrong)*
Close to You - Bacharach
Say a Little Prayer - Bacharach
Fueye…! (tango) - Charlo
Makin’ Whoopee - Donaldson
Caravan - Ellington
La vi Ilegar (tango) - Francini
Por Una Cabeza (tango) - Gardel
Embraceable You - Gershwin
Fascinating Rhythm - Gershwin
I Got Rhythm - Gershwin
Love is Here to Stay - Gershwin
Someone to Watch Over Me - Gershwin
Pennies from Heaven - Johnston
The Girl from Ipanema - Jobim
Paragon Rag - Joplin
The Easy Winners (rag) - Joplin
The Folks who Live on the Hill - Kern
When I Fall In Love - Young / Heyman (Nat King Cole)*
Bohemia Rag - Lamb
Moon River - Mancini
Cafetin de Buenos Aires (tango) - Mores
Cristal (tango) - Mores
La Calesita (tango) - Mores
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye - Porter
True Love - Porter
Anything Goes - Porter
Let’s Do It - Porter
I Get a Kick Out of You - Porter
Some Enchanted Evening - Rodgers
Suite from Oklahoma & The Sound of Music - Rodgers & Hammerstein
I Dreamed a Dream (Les Miserables) - Schonberg
A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square -Sherwin
Moonlight in Vermont - Suessdorf
EL 58 (tango) - Varela/Nery
El Choclo (tango) - Villoldo
Ain’t Misbehavin’ - Waller & Brooks
Mr. Wonderful - Weiss
Slippery Elm Rag - Woods
Tea for Two - Youmans
When I Fall In Love - Young

  • Professional and versatile quartet
  • Best rates in the North East N. Yorkshire & Cumbria
  • Repertoire ranges from classical to pop jazz tangoes film themes & trad.(also write arrangements)
  • Perfect for many events

Line up:

Default lineup: 4 members

Quartet: 2 x violin / viola / cello

* Professional and versatile quartet
* Best rates in the North East N. Yorkshire & Cumbria
* Repertoire ranges from classical to pop jazz tangoes film themes & trad.(also write arrangements)
* Perfect for many events

Solar Strings are a professional string quartet based in the North East of England. Consisting of four extremely dedicated professional string players the quartet is now one of the most established in the North East. With over ten years of experience in providing high quality live music at so many events the quartet has built a reputation for being professional reliable and flexible.

Solar Strings are vastly experienced in performing live music throughout the North East of England Cumbria and N. Yorkshire providing the perfect soundtrack to all types of events including weddings (ceremony drinks reception and wedding breakfast), product launches, exhibition previews, corporate functions and private parties.

They are available to perform in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham, Teesside, Cumbria and N. Yorkshire. Engagements outside these areas will also be considered. Please contact your agent with your requirements.

Solar Strings comprises of Jo Montgomery (violin 1), Kirsten Gibson (violin 2), Gayle Hutchinson (viola) and Ele Leckie (cello).

Jo Montgomery (vln 1)
Jo studied at Chethams School of Music in Manchester with Christopher Rowland. She was awarded places at the Royal Academy of Music, London, the Royal College of Music, London and the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester but chose to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with violin professor, Detlef Hahn and Stephanie Gonley.

Since graduating Jo has worked with Ulster Orchestra, which involved live radio 3 broadcasts, recording sessions and a tour of Ireland. She has also performed and recorded with the BBC Philharmonic.

Jo joined the quartet in 1999 and since then has also worked regularly with the Northern Sinfonia as a freelance violinist, taking part in many concerts, recordings and education projects. She has also performed with Leslie Garrett, Sir Cliff Richard and The Avison Ensemble and recently performed on stage with The Royal Shakespeare Company.

Kirsten Gibson (vln 2)
Kirsten studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama and Newcastle University. She graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a first class honours degree then in 2001 with an MLitt with distinction.

Whilst studying, she participated in master classes with Leon Spierer, Madeleine Mitchell and The Alberni String Quartet. She has since performed with Aled Jones and Thomas Allen.

Having joined the quartet in 1999, Kirsten is an experienced chamber musician as well as performing regularly in orchestras throughout the north of England. She currently combines teaching at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with performing and doctoral research.

Gayle Hutchinson (viola)
Gayle is from County Durham. She formed Solar Strings while studying for a BA (Hons) Music at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She has also worked with a range of artists such as Smoove & Turrell (Jalapeno Records), The Matinee Orchestra (Arable Records), Beccy Owen and Mercury Music Award nominee Kathryn Williams, with whom she performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and recorded the album Old Low Light.

Ele Leckie (cello)
Born in 1975, cellist Ele Leckie first studied under a scholarship at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music then progressed on to the Royal College of Music to learn with Anna Shuttleworth and Alexander Bailey. Here she also studied piano with Bernard Roberts and chamber music with The Chilingirian Quartet. She has taken part in many masterclasses, most notably with William Pleeth and Ben Zander, the latter of which was filmed and broadcast for the BBC.

She worked as an orchestral musician with the Wellington Sinfonia in New Zealand for two years and since returning to the UK, has performed with artists ranging from the Royal Shakespeare Company (on stage and BBC Radio 4 broadcast), to Peppa Pig and Mr. Bump for Channel 5 Milkshake! Tour. She has played on touring West End productions and has performed and recorded with musicians such as Lesley Garrett, classical pianist John Lill and Paul Smith of the band Maximo Park.

Ele currently divides her time between performing with the quartet and freelance playing and teaching in the North East of England. 

Solar Strings will provide the perfect soundtrack for your special day. They can provide live music for any combination of the following:

Pre-ceremony drinks - music played by a string quartet is the perfect accompaniment to help you unwind whilst catching up with family and friends. (approx 30 mins).

Wedding Ceremony - during the wait for the bride, live music helps to put the wedding party at ease whilst waiting for the arrival of the bride. The quartet generally play for 15 minutes prior to the ceremony, then again during the entrance, register signing and exit, for which you can choose specific music from the repertoire. If your ceremony is religious, they can usually arrange accompaniment hymn music (approx 45 mins).

Photos and Drinks Reception - after a seamless relocation to another room or even another venue, Aurora Strings can either play a mixed repertoire from the list or they can adapt to suit your requirements (approx 1 hour).

Wedding Breakfast - live music provides the perfect relaxing ambience to accompany the meal (approx 2 hours).

Corporate Events-
Live music from a string quartet makes such a difference when it comes to entertaining clients. Corporate events include sponsorship receptions, VIP receptions, car launches, exhibition previews and university dinners. Clients include Newcastle Building Society, Tyneside Cinema, BALTIC, RAF Boulmer, Newcastle City Council, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumbria University, Dance City and City Motors.

Events include BBC Children In Need, Gateshead Flower Show, The Great North Run VIP event and the launch of the Northern Lights Film Festival.

The quartet has played for numerous celebrities, including Gordon Ramsey, Charlie Dimmock, Bobby Robson, Alan Shearer, Alistair Campbell, Steve Cram and Brendan Foster.

Recording and Session Work-
The quartet is experienced in recording and session work. Recent involvement has included strings for Gary Hilton - Not Afraid to be Happy as well as Smoove - Coming Back and Kathryn Williams' Shop Window EP. The quartet have also worked independently with artists such as The Divine Comedy, Sir Cliff Richard, Beccy Owen (Fairy Snuff), The Matinee Orchestra (Arable Records), Loon and Smoove & Turrell (Jalapeno Records).

Solar Strings' Comments
"Your playing added a real touch of class to the proceedings. In addition to playing beautifully, you were so accommodating and flexible. Things fell behind a little but ‘the band played on’ beyond expected while there were still guests in the Great Hall. Sincere thanks – I will certainly recommend you."
Bob Watson (Durham Castle)

"Lots of people commented on aolar strings and how good you all sounded. The photographer, who has attended lots of weddings, said that you were the best string quartet he had heard, which says a lot about your playing
and talents. Once again thanks for making our day special."

Ged and Liz Carlin (Seaham Hall)

Choose one of the following performance options when you hire Solar Strings from Alive Network

  • Ceremony (Civil upto 60mins approx) £0
  • Ceremony (Church upto 90mins approx) £0
  • Drinks OR Meal (upto 2 hour period) £0
  • Ceremony drinks (upto 3 hour period approx) Add £144
  • Drinks AND Meal (upto 4 hour period approx) Add £288
  • upto 2 hours (background music) £0
  • upto 3 hours (background music) Add £144
  • Ceremony Meal (upto 5 hour period including waiting between) Add £432
  • Ceremony Drinks Meal (upto 5 hour period) Add £432