Ep. 5 April Kelly (How to Lead Your Own Wedding Band)

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Are you a singer who’s decided you’re tired of being on the road? Are you looking for ways to sustain yourself as a professional singer in your own home town? Then this is the episode for you! Meet April Kelly who discusses her experiences being a touring recording artist with a record contract and singles on the Billboard charts to becoming the leader of her own successful New Jersey based wedding band, Band of Gold, for the past twenty plus years. You’ll get advice on how to determine whether being the leader of a wedding band is for you, how to be an effective band leader, how to choose the right band mates and much more.



  1. When you’re booking a wedding gig ask the couple what they’re looking for and how they envision their day. Be honest with yourself and the couple about whether or not your band is the right fit for that particular gig.
  2. Have your agreement in writing so that everyone knows what to expect. It can be a simple one page document that outlines details for the day or even an email confirmation. It will create peace of mind for the couple and for you as a band leader.
  3. As a leader you are responsible for the happiness of the band. Make sure you know ahead of time about pay, meals, parking, load-in, sound, electrical outlets, etc. All of these things will keep the experience smooth for you and the band on the day of the event.
  4. When trying to decide what to charge for your service, you have to consider what all of your expenses will be. The location of the wedding also makes a difference. It’s a good idea to ask around to see what other couples spent or what other band leaders charged.
  5. Make a promo video that delivers your message.
  6. You need to have a wide range of music you perform from jazz standards to oldies to top 40 hits.
  7. Invest in a PA system.
  8. Reach out to someone who has a successful wedding band and ask to shadow them for a day.
  9. If you are looking to be a working singer, you have to be professional. You can’t escape that part.
  10. At your gig, put out business cards.
  11. When you perform at a couple’s reception you have one opportunity to do it right. Decide if you’re a person who wants that pressure.
  12. Your great voice won’t matter if you do business poorly.
  13. Make sure you have a two pronged approach: you have your business together and you have your voice in great shape.
  14. The end result of a professional approach are referrals.

Get your freebie “singing lessons” pdf here!

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to April for joining me on the podcast this week!

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