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Twin Cities wedding and event pianist, Sharon Planer, loves the adventure of bringing events to life with her live piano music!

Nontraditional Weddings are on the Rise
July 29, 2019

The logistics of planning a wedding can be complicated.

A recent article in the Star Tribune described a move away from traditional weddings with the idea of trying to reduce stress. You can view the entire article, “Weddings a Less Religious Affair”.

The article says that there has been a shift from ceremonies in religious institutions to venues that can host the ceremony and reception in one location. I have experienced this shift as well. Upon reviewing the weddings I have been playing for and will be playing for this year, about 70% of my weddings are at venues that host everything on site from start to finish. It makes it easy for the guests to be able stay in one location throughout the evening often with overnight accommodations.

All in one location venues can offer unique settings.

Here is a recent example. One of my wedding couples held their celebration at The Millennium Hotel on the south end of the Nicollet Mall. The Glass Dome and Ballrooms on the top floor of the hotel offered stunning views of Downtown and the city. The guests moved seamlessly from the Ceremony in the Glass Dome, to the Ballroom for Cocktails, to Dinner in another Ballroom, and back to the Glass Dome for Dancing under the stars!

Even though the hotel did not have a piano in the Glass Dome, this was not a problem for live ceremony music. There was a perfect location for me to set up my portable piano and amplification.

The benefit of one location for this wedding couple was that the hotel staff were able to coordinate the timing of moving guests from area to area as well as planning the timing of the dinner. A number of guests had traveled from abroad with some being their first time in the USA. They appreciated staying in one location. The wedding details ran especially smoothly due to Dana from Keyed Up Events. Dana worked with the hotel staff and the vendors on streamlining all of the wedding logistics. Even though the ceremony was not held in a religious institution, their bishop was able to bless their ceremony with his beautiful presentation.

Although there is a shift away from weddings in a religious venue, a wedding in one’s house of worship can be a beautiful way for couples to be married in a setting that reflects their religious values.

How I found music for my family event
February 17, 2019

Getting to know other musicians over the years has its benefits.

I recently found myself needing a vocalist and pianist for my mother’s memorial celebration. My family members and I reviewed our music needs. My mother had four hymns that were dear to her heart. We knew we would need a vocalist to sing several solos as well as lead the guests in singing. Also, jazz standards of the 30’s and 40’s was a special part of my mother’s life. We thought it would be perfect to have a pianist perform this as background music during the luncheon.

I looked over the names of vocalists and pianists that I have come to know through my professional relationships. Diane Music, Inc. stood out as the perfect choice. I had heard Diane sing many times and had heard JJ her pianist accompany her as well as perform solo piano music. Their performances were always beautiful. Thankfully, they were available!


Being a pianist myself I know the work that is involved in communication as well as learning new music and arranging songs. Diane and JJ were very conscientious in communicating with me and perfecting the music we requested. Throughout the planning process and on the day of the celebration I had peace of mind knowing that my mother’s music was in good hands.

Diane lifted our hearts as she led us in singing. After family members shared special remembrances of my mother, Diane touched our hearts with her solo performances. JJ’s accompaniment followed Diane’s every nuance. Their music was beautiful! As the luncheon began, we were greeted with lovely songs from my mother’s past performed by JJ on the piano. The celebration was wonderful! Diane and JJ ‘s music was a beautiful tribute to my wonderful mother!

Honoring Educators with Live Music
May 02, 2018

Getting hired to provide live piano music for parties introduces me to a variety of celebrations.

During the process of planning my music, I have the opportunity to learn more about the client or company that has hired me.  During the event I learn even more when presentations and speeches are given. I always come away with a fresh appreciation of the work my clients do.

This past week I have had the pleasure of playing for several educational institutions.  Last evening I had the honor of providing background piano music at a performing arts center for educators and support staff that are retiring from years of service in their school district. Some of them have served over 30 years! The party included family members of the retirees. There were some sweet children that put their energy to use by dancing to my music! What a fun event! Congrats to the retirees and thank you to them for their many years of service to educating and supporting our youth.

Last week a university hosted an appreciation reception for those involved in their mentor-ship program. This reception honored graduates from the university that helped mentor their university students throughout the year. The event was held in their beautiful atrium and included me providing background piano music. These mentors provide a valuable contribution to the students education. I was happy that my music was included to help honor these wonderful mentors.

In June another university will hold a reception to honor employees that are celebrating a milestone in their years of service and I am delighted to be their pianist for the event!

I am so appreciative of the wonderful educational opportunities that are available in Minnesota.

I love sharing my music to honor and celebrate the achievements of our educators and support staff!

Awards, Appreciation Receptions
schools, universities