String duo

Severn Duo

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(4.9)Read all 48 reviews
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About Severn Duo

Severn Duo is a vibrant violin/cello ensemble comprised of Jess Townsend and Tom McCluskey and active across the Midlands & the South.
String duo
South Gloucestershire
Public liability insurance of £10 million
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Severn Duo is a vibrant ensemble comprised of violinist Jess Townsend and her partner, cellist Tom McCluskey, and is active over the Midlands, Gloucestershire, Bristol and South Wales. The duo has a huge range of repertoire for your special day, from the traditional classics for the church ceremony, to light-listening and jazz for your wedding breakfast or drinks reception, and intimate pop duets for your first dance. If you have particular music in mind, Severn Duo will locate it or arrange it themselves. Jess & Tom met during their studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, having both entered with scholarships in 2011. Jess studied under Darragh Morgan and played in several chamber ensembles including the Hallows Trio and Mezin Quartet. In her last year at college, she was the only string player that year to achieve a full student placement with Welsh National Opera and rehearsed with them for several projects, and also participated in their side-by-side concert scheme. During this time, she also lead several ensembles including the RWCMD Opera Orchestra & Symphony Orchestra and was nominated for the Ian Stoutzker Prize. She had regular masterclasses with many esteemed musicians including Danny Phillips, Itzhak Rashkovsky & Rachel Podger. Tom studied under Alice Neary. In the years preceding his conservatoire studies, he appeared with his electric cello ensemble Nexus on MTV with singer Jayce Lewis. He regularly arranges music for ensembles, which has been performed at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and was hired to write and perform music for the première of Finn der Fisch in Lörrach, Switzerland. At college, he was involved with the Mezin Quartet and the Bridge Trio and lead his section for RWCMD Opera's production of Cunning Little Vixen. Outside of college, Tom has enjoyed session recording, and has appeared on several professionally produced tracks as well as an album called "Beneath the Surface" by singer-songwriter Olivia Fern. After graduating, Tom and Jess moved to Reading to participate in a year's teaching internship with respected music service Berkshire Maestros. However, they moved back towards the English/Welsh border in the summer of 2016 to focus on their performing careers, and are now based near Bristol. Jess currently teaches part-time for Severn Arts, Elgar School of Music and South Gloucestershire Music. She also regularly freelances with the English Symphony Orchestra, and has been recently involved in several of their highly praised endeavours including a series of CD recordings of Krenek Concerti and John Joubert's Jane Eyre Opera premiere. Tom also teaches for South Gloucestershire Music and freelances across the country. Together, the duo recently collaborated again with Olivia Fern on a new album set to release later this year.

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Lightning fast responses
Average response time under 2 hours
Saved the day!
Booked for an Encore gig with less than 24 hours’ notice
Most booked musician of 2021!
Member of the Encore community forum
Most booked musician of 2022!
6th Anniversary
This act has been working with Encore for over 6 years
75 gigs
Veteran: 75 bookings through Encore
Christmas, Contemporary Christian, Military, Traditional church music, Classical, Baroque, Classical crossover, Contemporary classical, Film / TV music, Musical theatre, Opera, Pop, Acoustic, Covers
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Event types:
Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Concert, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
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Severn Duo's Song list

Traditional Ceremony Music/Hymns:
Canon in D - Pachelbel
Wedding March - Felix Mendelssohn
Wedding March - Richard Wagner
Trumpet Tune - Clarke
Trumpet Voluntary - Clarke
Ave Maria – Schubert*
Wachet Auf - Johann Sebastian Bach
Panis Angelicus - César Franck
Arrival of the Queen of Sheba - George Frideric Handel
Arioso - Johann Sebastian Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Johann Sebastian Bach
Sheep May Safely Graze - Johann Sebastian Bach
Gabriel's Oboe - Morricone
Air from Suite in D (Air on the G String) - Johann Sebastian Bach
O Danny Boy/I Cannot Tell
How Great Thou Art
Berceuse – Faure
Pavane - Faure
Palladio – Karl Jenkins
Nuvole Bianchi – Einaudi
I Giorni - Einaudi
Spring from the Four Seasons - Antonio Vivaldi
Winter from the Four Seasons - Antonio Vivaldi
Meditation - Jules Massenet
Humoresque - Antonín Dvořák
Hornpipe in D - George Frideric Handel
Hornpipe in F - George Frideric Handel
Air in D - George Frideric Handel
Air in F - George Frideric Handel
Bouree in F - George Frideric Handel
Menuet in G Minor - George Frideric Handel
Coro - George Frideric Handel
La Paix - George Frideric Handel
La Rejouissance - George Frideric Handel
Menuet in D - George Frideric Handel
Menuet in D Minor - George Frideric Handel
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Hungarian Dance No.5 - Johannes Brahms
Theme from Serenade for String Orchestra - Edward Elgar
Violin Concerto No.4 - 2nd Movement - Niccolò Paganini
Flower Duet - Léo Delibes
Theme from Brahms' First Symphony - Johannes Brahms
Blue Danube - Strauss
Ave Verum Corpus - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy – Tchaikovsky
Les Patineurs – Emile Waldteufel
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy - Tchaikovsky
Huit Morceaux - Gliere
Libertango - Piazzolla
Light Music/Easy Listening/Jazz:
Ashokan Farewell – Jane Ungar
At Last - Etta James
Cinema Paradiso - Morricone
Conclusion – Apocalyptica
Con Te Partiro (Time To Say Goodbye)
Dream a Little Dream of Me
The Entertainer - Scott Joplin
New York, New York - Frank Sinatra
Palladio - Karl Jenkins
Spring Song - Frank Bridge
Serenade to Spring – Lovland
Summertime – George Gershwin
Swing Low Sweet Chariot – Traditional
The River Flows in You – Yurima
The Sweetheart Tree – Henry Mancini
We’ll Meet Again
A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman
Dear Theodosia from Hamilton
The Phantom of the Opera - Andrew Lloyd Webber
Over the Rainbow (Wizard of Oz) - Harold Arlen
Over the Rainbow - Israel K
Singin’ In the Rain
Seasons of Love from Rent
Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) - Henry Mancini
If I Were A Rich Man
I Know Him So Well (from Chess)
Adore You – Harry Styles
All Of Me - John Legend
All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
Angels – Robbie Williams
A Sky Full Of Stars – Coldplay
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
Best Day Of My Life – All American Authors
Birdhouse In Your Soul - They Might Be Gannets
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley
Can’t Take My Eyes off You
Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John
Collide - Howie Day
Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
Dancing In The Moonlight - Toploader
Dakota – Steroephonics
Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Don't You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds
Dreaming Of You – The Coral
Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
Everlong – Foo Fighters
Every Breath You Take – Sting
Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard/Marketa Irglova
Feel - Robbie Williams
Feel The Love – Rudimental
Fix You – Coldplay
Girls Like You – Maroon 5
Half the World Away - Oasis/Aurora
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Happy - Pharrell Williams
Havana – Camila Cabello
Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
Hey Jude - The Beatles
Hey Soul Sister – Train
Hey There Delilah – Plain White Ts
Hold My Hand – Lady Gaga
Holiday - Greenday
Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Hoppipolla – Sigur Ros
How Long Will I Love You? - Ellie Goulding
I Don't Want To Miss A Thing - Aerosmith
I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Latch – Sam Smith
Let It Be - The Beatles
Little Bit Of Love – Tom Grennan
Love Is In The Air - John Paul Young
Love Story – Taylor Swift
Make You Feel My Love - Adele
Marry You – Bruno Mars
My Girl - The Temptations
Neighbourhood 1 (Tunnels) – Arcade Fire
Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
Ocean Eyes – Billy Eilish
One Day Like This – Elbow
Paradise – George Ezra
Perfect – Ed Sheeran
Perfectly Imperfect – Elle Varner
Rebellion (Lies) – Arcade Fire
Resistance – Muse
Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur
Secrets - One Republic
Set Fire To The Rain - Adele
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder
Sign Of The Times – Harry Styles
Skinny Love – Bon Iver
Sky Full Of Stars - Coldplay
Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
Stand By Me - Ben E King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Stay With Me – Sam Smith
Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns ‘N’ Roses
Thank U Next – Ariana Grande
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
The Final Countdown - Europe
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - Ewan MacColl
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Timber – Kesha
Time Is Running Out - Muse
Truly, Madly, Deeply - Savage Garden
Videogames - Lana Del Rey
Viva la Vida – Coldplay
Wicheta Lineman – Glen Campbell
White Wedding – Billy Idol
Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
With Me – Sum 41
With or Without You – U2
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
You’ll Be In My Heart – Phil Collins
Your Song – Elton John
All I Want Is You (from Juno) - Barry Louis Polisar
My Neighbour Totoro - Joe Hisaishi
Always With Me (from Spirited Away) - Joe Hisaishi
Theme from Game of Thrones
Rains of Castamere (Game of Thrones) *Not advised for weddings!
Concerning Hobbits (from Lord of the Rings)
May It Be (from Lord of the Rings)
Goodman's Theme (from Ghost Stories) - Frank Ilfman
Hedwig’s Theme (from Harry Potter) - John Williams
Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (from When Harry Met Sally)
Let It Go (from Frozen)
Everything I Do, I Do It For You (from Robin Hood) - Bryan Adams
Mario Theme
Married Life from Up
I See the Light (from Disney’s Tangled)
Cantina Band (from Star Wars)
Imperial March (from Star Wars)
You’ve Got a Friend in Me (from Toy Story) – Randy Newman
Maestro (from The Holiday) – Hans Zimmer
A Noble Maiden Fair (from Brave) - Patrick Doyle
Live & Let Die (from James Bond) – Paul & Linda McCartney
Love Theme (from the Godfather)
Love Story
Tale as Old As Time (from Beauty and the Beast)
Customer questions

Do you have different line-up options?

We'll always be a duo, but in the unlikely event one of us is unavailable for a date, we have a great selection of very talented musicians to take our places.

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

We always try to be as flexible as possible to help ensure things run smoothly - if timings need to change, please let us know as soon as possible and we'll do our best to accommodate any alterations.

How much time do you need to set up?

We will always arrive and set up at least 20 minutes before we are set to play so we have time to meet with you, or any events co-ordinators or managers and then unpack and arrange ourselves.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Of course! Please do pick out as many pieces of music from our lists as you like. Alternatively, we are more than happy to have a chat with you in order to guide you through music choices, or even pick for ourselves!

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Everything apart from chairs (they won't fit in the car with a violin and cello!).

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

Absolutely. At the moment, we include two free requests for new music as a part of our quote. If you require more, please have a chat with us and we can work out a fee which will cover the time it will take for us to write them out and rehearse them.

Severn Duo's Prices

Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Up to 1 hour£350
Up to 2 hours£400
Up to 3 hours£450
Wedding Ceremony2 musicians
Music before the service begins, bridal entrance, music during the signing of the register, and music as guests leave. Includes two new music requests.
NEW!Virtual services
Session Strings - Up to 5 minutes of violin/viola/cello solo
Up to five minutes of one solo string instrument (violin, viola or cello). Recorded in stereo with Rode M5 condenser mics through a Saffire 6 audio interface. Delivery includes high quality dry .wav file and rough mix.mp3 for reference.
Session Strings - Up to 5 minutes of string duo
Up to five minutes string duo (any configuration of violins/violas/celli). Recorded in stereo with Rode M5 condenser mics through a Saffire 6 audio interface. Delivery includes high quality dry .wav files and rough mix.mp3 for reference.
Session Strings - Up to 5 minutes of string quartet
Up to five minutes string quartet (any configuration of violins/violas/celli). Recorded in stereo with Rode M5 condenser mics through a Saffire 6 audio interface. Delivery includes high quality dry .wav files and rough mix.mp3 for reference.


Music Request
Personalised Playlist
Severn Duo
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4.9 out of 5
46 verified reviews
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Severn Duo's Reviews

From Encore customers:

Sarah A
8 days ago
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5 out of 5

They made my wedding magical! Highly recommended!!!

Georgina L
11 days ago
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5 out of 5

Excellent, Severn Duo were perfect. They played beautifully and we received great feedback from our guests. Thank you both

Alex D
20 days ago
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1.8 out of 5

Honestly we were not overly impressed with Severn Duo. The week of our wedding we were told they had double booked our wedding, so one of the duo would play each wedding with a different musician. Not ideal when you think you’ve specifically booked a DUO. I also don’t actually think either of the duo did play our day from the brief looks of them I got, but I may be wrong on that point. We were clear from the beginning of the booking process our ceremony was outdoors. Concern had never been raised by Severn Duo, however an hour before the ceremony, as I was literally getting into my wedding dress, I had voicemails and missed calls from them saying if it was too sunny they wouldn’t play outside or if it was raining they wouldn’t play outside due to their instruments. This is understandable, but if we had been told this prior to an HOUR BEFORE THE CEREMONY then we could have arranged for a gazebo etc to be erected to solve any issue. When they couldn’t get hold of me, they apparently had quite cross words with the venue manager. Their alternative was they would play an MP3 recording of our aisle music. In addition, our best man had to remind them they were paid to play from midday as at 12.10 they were just sat in their seats chatting as our guests arrived, and honestly looked generally miserable throughout the ceremony. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone looking for wedding music - the last thing a bride needs an hour before the ceremony is more stress and you’d think they’d understand this if they were experienced wedding suppliers.

Reply from Severn Duo
17 days ago

Hi Alex, Thanks very much for your feedback. There are a few points you’ve made that we feel we need to clarify. Firstly, we’re a little confused as to why you’ve suggested that we only let you know we needed shelter from rain and sun an hour before the ceremony. To keep things objective, I’ll quote the emails we exchanged well before the wedding day: “If you’d like us to play outside at any point, we must be under cover from the sun and rain. If we’re in full sun or rain, the instruments are at risk of damage and we won’t be able to play.” To which you responded: “The ceremony is outside but surrounded by trees (please see attached photos) so there’s limited direct sunlight. We’ll just have to position you and the instruments accordingly on the day. If it rains we’ll be inside (but hoping the weather changes before then!)”. It was therefore rather concerning that on our arrival the wedding co-ordinator completely dismissed our concerns about playing outside in on/off rain and was extremely rude and unaccommodating. We had arrived well over an hour early and there was plenty of time for something to be sorted. Instead, they were adamant we would play outside regardless and ignored our pleas for shelter. This left us with no choice but to call Encore to make them aware of the situation. £60k+ of instruments and equipment would have been destroyed by playing outside in the rain. Besides, the wet would have actually stopped the instruments from functioning so we then would not have been able to provide any music at all. Furthermore, the MP3 you mentioned was a bespoke recording which we had produced at your request before the day. It was recorded from a special arrangement of a song you had requested which we wrote out for string duo for no extra fee. The recording is not a service included in the package you had chosen, however on this occasion we decided to include it for free as we enjoyed playing it and wanted to get it right for you. Getting this recording sorted to be played on the day was a last resort when no other accommodations were granted us by the co-ordinator and this would have ensured you were still played up the aisle to your song request and by ourselves. As far as using a different cellist that day is concerned, it is clearly listed in the FAQs on our page that we pick from a pool of professional players when one of us is unavailable. Although we try to avoid doing this too often, having flexibility with specific players is vitally important to ensure we can fulfil bookings and be flexible for as many clients as possible. We are extremely selective with our pool of musicians and we can confidently say that all of our musicians are professionals of the highest quality. I feel it is important to note that the playing itself went smoothly when the decision was finally made to move indoors and we were given plenty of extremely positive feedback from the guests. Contrary to your claims, we started punctually (we arrived extremely early due to the large distance travelled so were in place and prepared very early on). Had the agreement regarding shelter been fulfilled – or had the co-ordinator been willing to work with us instead of being hostile - there would have been no issue. It is very disappointing that you were dissatisfied with our service, particularly when we went above and beyond to make things work in very difficult circumstances. It is all the more disappointing that you have then chosen to publicly misrepresent the situation. We have compiled multiple screenshots of our email conversations with you prior to the performance which show this review to be dishonest and have forwarded them to Encore. All the best, Jess & Tom

Philippa W
29 days ago
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5 out of 5

Severn Duo were incredible! They were punctual , flexible and had the best players! We can't thank them enough, our guests thought they were incredible! Pippa & Gary x

Read all 46 reviews

From other customers:

Sally W
6 years ago

It was fantastic. Exactly how I imagined it [...] It really made the ceremony extra special.

Kevin S
6 years ago

Jess and Tom (Severn Duo) performed a wonderful set for us at our wedding at Matara in Gloucestershire. We selected a range of songs from their repertoire and they even played a few of our own requests. They played every song perfectly which provided a wonderful atmosphere for the ceremony. Thank you so much Jess and Tom for being part of our big day!