"If you are reading this and thinking about whether to hire this band or not, do yourself and your wedding guests a favor and BOOK THEM IMMEDIATELY!!!! You will not regret it and you are guaranteed to have not only an amazing time, but the best wedding yet." |
-- Gwenevere & Josh Phillips, bride and groom
What Other People Are Saying
From 2001 through 2011, the band was known as "Pleasure Groove." The word accolade means "an expression of the highest praise," and the name Accolade was inspired by all of the accolades that the band received from clients and their guests during that period. Here is just a small fraction of those enthusiastic comments. If you'd like to speak with any of these former clients, please Contact Us.
(Note: References to "Pleasure Groove" have been changed to "Accolade" for the sake of simplicity, but otherwise these are direct quotations referring to the same band.)
We could not be happier about our choice to hire you as our band. The wedding detail we cared about most was having a fun, vibrant, and memorable band, and you went above and beyond in fulfilling all of those characteristics. Your band is phenomenal!!! We were absolutely floored at your talent, your ability to engage the crowd, and the repertoire of music in your portfolio. Our friends and family are still raving about you, and we are thankful to have hired a band that is equally as professional as you are talented. THANK YOU for making the best day of our lives also the most fun day for us and our guests. You learned a special song for us, and went out of your way to accommodate our requests. The day certainly would not have been the same with a different band! We are forever grateful.
-- Katie & Dan McClean, bride and groom
We have one word for you...SPECTACULAR! Thank you for making our daughter, Anne's wedding so wonderful. Everything was perfect. The band was exactly what Anne had hoped for, only more so. We loved the energy that you produced that night---you kept everyone up dancing to the very end. It made the evening a true celebration. You are a pleasure to work with and we would highly recommend you. You made planning the wedding a true joy. Thank you for everything.
-- Louise & Rick Rovak, parents of the bride
What can I say except “WOW”! Accolade's amazing musicianship from each of the vocalists and instrumentalists was outstanding and matched by their incredible energy and professionalism. I can’t say enough great things about this band. They were extremely easy to work with, and they showed a keen understanding for the dynamics of how a wedding reception should flow. Our family and friends were entertained for the entire evening. Everyone was raving about the band throughout the night and the next day. Thanks for making my wedding reception a true celebration of my marriage!
-- Rob Bertman, groom
Hiring Accolade was one of the best decisions I made! People are still talking about how amazing the band was and how much fun they had. My grandfather was recently diagnosed with cancer and has lost a lot of energy, but that night he danced for hours and had a wonderful time, which was more than I ever could have asked for. You exceeded not only my expectations, but everyone who attended. One of my bridesmaids just booked them for her wedding after hearing them at mine. They set the bar exceptionally high and I would recommend them to anyone! Thanks for a great reception!!!
-- Teri Thornhill-Westbrook, bride
Accolade is truly an exceptional band and by FAR AND AWAY, the best band I’ve ever seen play at a wedding or any other type of event. They met my high expectations and exceeded them by far. I continue to get huge compliments on picking such a fun, talented and high-energy band – from everyone from my grandparents, to my 20-something friends, to the 7-year-old flower girl. My friends from out of town who are getting married have asked me whether or not Accolade would be willing to travel cross country to play – they’re that good! They appealed to everyone and they were absolutely fabulous. This was probably the best money I spent on my wedding. I noticed (as well as everyone else who commented to me), that I (and my guests) have never seen so many people on the dance floor at a wedding. Because the “party” and “fun” atmosphere of my wedding reception was so important to me, Accolade was the perfect fit. My wedding reception was in Grand Hall in Union Station where the acoustics are admittedly quite tricky. I was very worried about spending money on a band where the sound may be lost or not carry well. I was blown away by how well they handled it. The sound couldn’t have been any better!! I’d hire them again in a second without even thinking twice. Their price is fair and well worth it. You will NOT be disappointed if you decide to go with Accolade!!! I cannot say enough about them, and I’d be more than happy to talk in more depth with anyone who might have more specific questions!
-- Colleen Keaney, bride
Like many couples, Mark and I had a budget for our wedding reception. Because of this, we had to prioritize what items were most important to us. We came to the decision that the majority of our budget would go into photography, food and drink, and entertainment. We are so pleased that we did so and that we chose Accolade to be a part of our special day!
During the pre-planning process, Accolade representatives were very honest, prompt, and professional, which means so much while planning such a large event. During the wedding reception, the Accolade band members did a phenomenal job of captivating and entertaining all ages. The female vocalist has a stunning and powerful voice and the male vocalist is a charismatic performer with great vocals and high energy. The other band members did not miss a beat and performed beautifully the entire evening. Finally, I want to talk about Volume. Volume was the one thing that we were fearful of; we didn’t want our guests uncomfortable with music that was too loud. Honestly, the volume of the band was perfection! The Accolade “Sound Team” did a phenomenal job of controlling the volume at a fun yet comfortable level.
Any couple who appreciates good music and entertainment should absolutely hire Accolade for their wedding reception!
-- Megan and Mark Hewlett, bride and groom
Accolade was THE MOST AMAZING BAND! Everyone at the wedding from family to friends, young and old had a marvelous time. We had everyone coming up and asking us who our band was and if they could get your contact information. I could not have prayed for a more wonderful evening. Every song that Josh and I selected for wedding dances was played beautifully. I was so blown away. Each of the male and female vocalists has phenomenal voices. We were talking about how wonderful it would be to get to hear you all play again some time soon. We had an amazing wedding and reception and I don’t think that it would have been so great without such a great band. Thank you to the entire band for an amazing show! Josh & I really enjoyed it! If you are reading this and thinking about whether to hire this band or not, do yourself and your wedding guests a favor and BOOK THEM IMMEDIATELY!!!! You will not regret it and you are guaranteed to have not only an amazing time, but the best wedding yet.
-- Gwenevere & Josh Phillips, bride and groom
Accolade is entertaining and one of the most talented bands I have seen perform! It would be a shame not to have them perform at a wedding or any other event. The price is reasonable and the talent is overwhelming. Our guests RAVED about their talent and performance!
-- Elise Reese, St. Louis University Hospital
What was promised was delivered! You hear a lot that vendors say one thing and do another. Very little breaks, and fun music is still played during the breaks. Some people may think that is standard, but it is not. Mark is awesome. It is nice to deal with some who is kind, honest and wants to make your event special. I would recommend Accolade to anyone and everyone.
-- Brad and Kristine Wasson, bride and groom
Accolade did a great job providing entertainment at our wedding. The sound quality of the band was just perfect, making dinner both enjoyable and entertaining at the same time. I really liked the fact that the band was willing to interact with the crowd and go with the flow of the night. They listened to exactly what we wanted and really set the tone that we wanted for the night. The musical talent that Accolade has is better than any band in the St. Louis area. Not only are the singers and musicians talented, but they are also very classy. The song selection was the perfect mix of old and new. Even with some inclement weather, Accolade still put on a great show and really complemented our evening and added to the celebration. We really appreciate their flexibility and ability to make changes at the last minute. I would highly recommend Accolade for any event as they really bring the party to life.
-- Jon Luther, groom
Since we have only one child we wanted the music at our daughter’s wedding reception to be memorable. Accolade exceeded our expectations. The cocktail and dinner hour music selections were fantastic. Only to be followed by non-stop music selections that kept our guests on the dance floor all night long. The vocalists and band are some of St. Louis’ finest. Our guests from all parts of the United States and Canada and several of the employees of the Four Seasons Hotel commented that Accolade was the best band they have ever heard.
-- Linda and Mike Gillick, parents of the bride
I knew the first time I heard Accolade, that when I got married, you would be the band of choice. You definitely delivered. If I had one person ask me where I found the band, I had fifty. From beginning to end, it was an absolute blast! We couldn’t have asked for better entertainment. Many of our guests said it was one of the best receptions they had been to. What an awesome feeling! On the business side, Mark was sooo accommodating. He was flexible with my schedule and very honest about what could be done and not done (which wasn’t much.) For a band of this caliber, it was such a reasonable price, as well. It’s well worth the money spent to have a band that can keep your guests dancing the entire night. Not to mention the professionalism; they just can’t be beat!
Another note about the performance, although the contract called for 2-3 breaks, the fact that you took NONE was amazing! Every person in the band just kept giving and giving and I can’t give enough thanks for that.
If you are considering this band, look no further. They will certainly give you a night to remember for the rest of your life!
-- Jen Estes, bride
Accolade is a fantastic band! They are a professional band and have it all . . . talent, soul, class and style. Mark did a great job emceeing our wedding. The band accommodated all the special requests we asked for and learned two songs for us. The band’s high energy moved everyone to dance the night away! Family and friends are still asking who our wedding band was and where did we find such a great band! Accolade helped make our wedding great. They are the best wedding band in St. Louis. Thank you Mark and the Accolade Band.
-- Pat Pellman, mother of the bride
We were very pleased that we hired Accolade. They were the most worry-free part of our wedding! Months after our wedding we are still hearing rave reviews from our guests, and each time we watch our wedding video or look at our wedding photos we are reminded awesome atmosphere of our wedding reception! Thank you for playing music that fit everyone’s taste and for meeting our special requests!”
-- Jocey & Ross Bennett, bride and groom
What a band! Accolade was full of energy and made our event a success. Very professional from the moment we contacted them. I highly recommend them and will use them again.
-- Bob Myrvold, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation
I can't recommend Accolade enough! All of my guests were completely blown away by their energy and how terrific they sounded. They made our wedding reception so much fun. Even the guests that don't enjoy dancing told me how much fun it was just to hear and watch the band.
Since I was doing my planning from so far away, it was a little difficult, and Mark made the process so easy for me. He always answered my emails promptly, addressing all of my concerns and questions. He was totally committed to me feeling comfortable with the entire process, and I appreciated it so much. When I requested an unusual song for the first dance, he was accommodating, and the band learned it, and such a brilliant job. From that point on in the night, I was constantly being complimented on picking out such a talented band. If someone in St. Louis is looking for a high-energy, super-badass band, Accolade is it!
-- Susan Grace Glidden, bride (Sao Paolo, Brazil)
You all were awesome! I don't remember the last time I danced that long . . . my feet were hurting. I will definitely be in touch for future events, and many thanks for being so great to deal with!
-- Susan Werremeyer, charitable event coordinator
Accolade was and is, in our opinion, the best band in St. Louis—hands down. Their level of professionalism, talent, and performance is unrivaled in any other band we evaluated for hiring for our wedding reception. We still receive comments about how fantastic the band was at our wedding and every single time, we tell them about Accolade and how we loved working with them. We can’t wait until we have a big anniversary celebration and can hire them again. We have heard them play at other events, as well, and their level of performance is consistent and outstanding.
-- Amanda Mueller, bride
Accolade absolutely made our reception. They are so professional and talented. They were so helpful before the wedding in accommodating our requests and helping plan the evening. The dance floor was full the entire evening. All the guests wanted to know where we found this band. Everyone was so impressed. I am so very happy that we chose to hire Accolade for our wedding reception.
-- Lori Mihal, bride
Throughout all of the wedding planning, working with Accolade was so easy and seamless – I wish interactions with all of the other vendors had been as equally pleasant and stress-free!
Of all of the elements of our wedding celebration (including the location of our event in beautiful Forest Park and the stunning St. Louis Art Museum and the delicious Wolfgang Puck catering) BY FAR we received the most compliments from our guests about Accolade!! You were just amazing – fantastic sound, upbeat, fun, tasteful…we can’t say enough! The best way to sum-up the quality of the band is to quote several of our guests who commented that Accolade did not sound like a “wedding band” at all but rather a band that they would have paid to see at a concert or a club! We wholeheartedly agree. And my sister and her husband who are both professional musicians were also very complimentary about the band’s talent. The lead singers were both phenomenal and brought great energy to their performances. We were also very impressed with the range of music – Motown to modern-day. The contemporary songs that the band played (Outkast, Beyonce) were great!
We would also add that Accolade really spent the time soliciting our feedback about the kind of event we wanted – the type of music, the different elements of the reception, timing, etc. AND THEY LISTENED! They took our comments about the type of reception we wanted and made it happen. Our event was truly the upscale, urban, festive party that we wanted due in large part to Accolade’s talents. We’d hire them again in a heartbeat!
-- Liz Ferrigno and John Bahr, bride and groom
Wow!!!! What a great decision we made to hire Accolade. The band had our guests up and dancing literally all night, and they even worked with us to play a little later to keep the party going! I have never been to a wedding reception that had a better band and a more responsive crowd. We are incredibly happy with Accolade and their performance. They played great music, avoided the songs we were less enthusiastic about, and sounded absolutely amazing. They are very talented and professional and I HIGHLY recommend them for your event!
-- Matt and Laura Daggett, bride and groom
Thank you for the courtesy, professionalism and flexibility you demonstrated during the process. I know that, while we talked about the job(s), detail could only be shared closer to the event(s). You handled all of it with ease while maintaining a cheerful demeanor, which I truly appreciated. You arrived and set up on time and without incident. Your people were patient, even when you had to wait for the program to start up again.
Thank you for all of the above and for playing great music besides! You helped to take one big bite out of a huge agenda and made it easy to digest!
-- Cher L. Przelomski, CEO, Planning Factory International
I’m so pleased with our decision to hire Accoladefor my wedding reception. The band was professional, sounded great, and very accommodating in learning music and allowing my friend to sing. I had so much fun at the reception, and I know that the music was a huge factor in this. We’ve been receiving many compliments on the band’s wonderful performance. Thank you! And I hope you enjoyed your evening as much as we did.
-- Carla and Bryan Williams, bride and groom
As a professional jazz musician in New York, finding the right band for our St. Louis wedding seemed like a monumental task. My wife and I have many musically inclined friends and family with very critical ears, and we wanted to not only be happy ourselves, but please our guests. We found Accolade's website after exhausting all my resources and musician contacts in St. Louis, and scheduled an opportunity to see them at another event one weekend we were in town. This particular event was, to be frank, probably the worst gig to possibly show off your talents as a wedding band. The stage was nowhere near the crowd, and the crowd was lame. But after hearing 8 bars of music, we were sold. We didn’t even bother going to hear anyone else that weekend.
Planning the reception with Mark was a wonderful experience. He has a very professional approach. He even accommodated a request to play one of my tunes with a bunch of my friends sitting in with the band. It was a total blast. The dinner music was fabulous, perfect volume, and anyone that knew what to listen for could tell we were in for an exciting night with the band. Once the party started, people danced all night, feeding off the bands energy and vice versa. Accolade adapted to what the crowd wanted, which was more, more, more, and the reception hall staff had to practically kick us all out. Afterwards, and still a month later, every single one of my friends that plays in wedding bands around the country have commented: "This is the best wedding band I’ve ever seen." I can’t imagine a more critical audience than the people at our reception, and everyone has raved about Accolade.
-- Cameron Mizell, groom
Great party band! Thankfully they were in my budget range, because they are worth more than they charge! I’d call them 1st for sure next time on any event I’m involved with. Accolade exceeded my expectations. My guests were thrilled with the caliber of musical talent! Awesome time!!
-- Amy Riestenberg, charitable event coordinator
Thank you so much for the wonderful music at our wedding. Everyone had a great time and we owe so much of that to you. Guests were raving about the music. You made our night so magical and we will cherish those memories our whole lives. Thanks again.
-- Sarah and Ben Waller, bride and groom
Accolade was the most amazing, talented, and entertaining band in the St. Louis area. My husband and I knew right away when we saw them perform at another wedding reception that they were the band that we wanted for ours. You know they are good when your guests are on the dance floor before dinner is even served! They provided us with everything that we requested. Thank you so much for making our wedding reception a fun one and one that people will never forget!!!!
-- Sarah, bride
Accolade was everything we hoped for and then some. From the first night Katie cried when we previewed them at a wedding reception in St. Louis - to the last note played at ours - we were delighted with Accolade.
I can certainly be more specific:
First – [complimenting the entertainment agency]
Secondly - I was thrilled to have access to Mark of Accolade from the very beginning. I was uneasy about the process of booking bands - I've never done this before. He more than answered my questions and ALWAYS answered my calls!
Thirdly - Accolade was so cooperative in their willingness to learn new songs for our event. We even threw in a request for one country song (groom's mom's mother-son dance) and they learned it and played it beautifully. On top of that - we asked them to play Dixie for all the Mississippi fans and guests - they did that too, without a complaint or concern.
Fourthly - When one of the band members was unable to fulfill the obligations, Mark called me and let me know that in advance and explained the new set up. He calmed my fears and concerns and I never flinched. I had total confidence in him and in his integrity throughout the entire process.
Fifthly - The band was great to hook into our DVD system to show the montage of the kids and play the background music through their system - worked great, never a worry.
Sixthly - Accolade was there on time, looked great - no problems!
Seventhly - As I am sure happens often with the best made plans - we were behind schedule. Mark did all and more to give us our money's worth (even though this was our scheduling issue, not Accolade's). How often does a band do that?!
Eighthly - Guests were dancing from the first opportunity until the last song was played! Now, that's a great sign.
Ninethly - THEY PERFORMED, AND ENTERTAINED, AND WOWED every guest but most importantly - the honored newlyweds! We heard only positive comments and such wonderful compliments on the band. Things like "best I've ever heard", "where'd ya get this awesome band?", "Wow - they're great!" and my favorite "we're havin' a blast!"
I could go on with Tenthly and Eleventhly but I'm sure you get the idea that we were VERY PLEASED with Accolade. Would we book them again? YOU BET in a heartbeat! Would we recommend them to a friend? Of course, but we wouldn't have to - all our friends were there and loved them.
-- Dr. and Mrs. Richard J. Swartz, parents of the bride