Fierce & Fearless Biz Owners - Luminous Sounds

Next up in our Fierce & Fearless Biz Owners series is Kimberly Musial of Luminous Sounds, Inc. I met Kimberly through our Long Island Rising Tide Society chapter. She's awesome: a fellow Gilmore Girls lover, an incredibly talented musician, and a totally inspirational business owner! 

Who are you?

Hi! I’m Kimberly Musial.

 Here's Kim! Isn't she a babe? I'm obsessed with those shoes and pants! (Headshot by  Candace Camuglia of Whom Studio). 

Here's Kim! Isn't she a babe? I'm obsessed with those shoes and pants! (Headshot by Candace Camuglia of Whom Studio). 

What’s your biz?  Luminous Sounds, Inc.

Where can we follow you?

On Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Tell us more about your biz!

We are a professional string ensemble that specializes in performing the greatest hits from yesterday and today arranged for traditional string instruments.  We also perform the traditional, classical repertoire as specified by our clients.  

We are a great addition to the following events: House parties, social events, corporate events, private events, weddings, cocktail hours, rehearsal dinners, proposals, engagement parties, bridal showers, etc. We also are available for recording sessions.

How did you get started in this industry?

I have been playing the viola since the age of 8. I studied the viola at both the undergraduate and graduate levels before pursuing graduate degrees in Arts Administration, Music Education and Educational Administration.  It is common for string musicians to be asked to perform for weddings rather frequently, however, most of those groups are thrown together last minute and are not rehearsed, well prepared, or have any contact with the couple prior to the actual event.  

I wanted to start a different type of business.  As this is typically the most important day for our couples, I wanted to offer a group that didn't try to do everything.  Luminous Sounds is a very specific company.  We do not collaborate/work for DJ companies.  We are not an add-on service. We are an investment and cater to a higher- end client.  We provide the highest quality string music for weddings and events.  I think the industry is in need of a business like mine as we truly care about each and every client and work alongside them to choose the soundtrack for their big day.  


What did you do before starting your business?  

I taught full-time for nine years before going into educational administration.  I worked as a music chairperson (administrator) for half of a school year when I decided that it wasn't making me happy.  I decided to leave mid-year and threw myself into Luminous Sounds basically full-time.  I still teach privately one evening per week and I am a visiting lecturer at The Long Island High School for the Arts, in Syosset.

When did you make the leap to decide to open your own business?

I began Luminous Sounds as a string duo back in 2013.  I incorporated in June of 2014 and the business has been growing steadily ever since.

 Photo of Luminous Sounds playing for a beachfront ceremony by Katie Kett Photography

Photo of Luminous Sounds playing for a beachfront ceremony by Katie Kett Photography

What are the biggest rewards in running your business?

On the back-end, the biggest reward is really having input into what goes on in my professional life.  As a public school teacher, there is so much that is out of your control and much of it is stressful, (The state and their decsions, common core, the push for high-stakes testing, administrators deciding what music you can play and perform with your students, etc.) I get to make the decisions for my company and see them through.  It is fun to be able to try new ideas and have new music arranged and then put it together and see if it works for us.  On the front-end it is so rewarding to watch a wedding or big event come together and see how our music has a positive impact on the guests, event staff and of course the bride and groom/event host.  We had the pleasure of performing for Mr. James Dolan (Executive Chairman of MSG, CEO Cablevision Systems Corporation, owner of The Rangers, The Knicks, etc.) and it was so fun to have him come over and take a listen to us.  He asked us to play, "The song that I (he) would least likely expect to hear performed by strings".  We played, "Zombie" by the Cranberries and he was so pleased and entertained.  People don't expect what we do and it is so fun to watch their faces light up when they figure out what song(s) we are playing.In the recording studio, it is so amazing to collaborate with singer-songwriters and bands.  Adding strings to a song can sometimes change the entire direction, meaning and esthetic of a song.  I thrive on this type of collabiration and it is so fun to hear what a song sounds like before the addition of strings and then afterwards.

What are the biggest challenges?

In short, the off season.  As there are so few events during the winter months (January - March), it is a little stressful to have to conserve funds through that stretch.  Keeping up with social media is also a big stressful.  As I am not a photographer, it is a challenge to take a billion photos/videos during the summer and then stretch them out over the entire year (incuding the off-season).  

What's your favorite recent addition to your biz?

We are now offering the option of adding percussion to The Illuminate String Quartet (the group that performs popular repertoire) and we are also offering a trumpet to perform with our classical string quartet.  Here are links for videos of each of these services.

The Illuminate String Quartet and Percussion:

Quartet and Trumpet:

What's your favorite social media platform to use for your business?


Give us one fun fact about yourself!

I love taking road trips (cross-country) with my husband and our wheaten terrier, Kyra (also the Luminous Sounds mascot)

Thank you to Kimberly for sharing the behind-the-scenes about her business with us! If you want to read all of the businesses featured in our Fierce and Fearless Biz Owner series, click here

 Photo by North Island Photography and Films

Photo by North Island Photography and Films