Encore Tours is unique because everyone on our team has a background in music and understands the needs and desires of music directors. We speak your language and can help you take your music program where you want it to go!
Meet one of our musical staff members, Maggie!
Tell us a bit about yourself - where are you from and how did you get involved in music?
Maggie: “I was born in a trunk in the Princess theatre in Pocatello, Idaho.” Or at least that’s how Judy Garland likes to put it. I had an interest in music at a very young age. My favorite toy was a Fisher-Price Music Box Record Player and I remember listening to songs like Jack and Jill, Edelweiss, and Au claire de lune over and over again. I started piano and children’s choir at a young age, and by the time middle school rolled around, I joined band on the tenor saxophone. The world of jazz was opened up to me through that instrument. I was very shy growing up. A friend convinced me to audition for a musical with her and I fell in love with performing and the stage. It was an opportunity to be someone else and feel empathy through the life of a character. I later joined choir and continued studying music into university where I majored in Vocal Performance and Music History and Literature.
What is your role at Encore?
This is my fourth year at Encore. I started as a Program Manager and now am a Program Consultant. It’s my job to help directors find a trip that best suits their needs and make sure its executed to fruition.
What type of musical activities are you involved in now?
I am involved in 3 choirs in the Boston area, so my evenings and weekends are pretty full with rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances!
How does being a musician help you plan Encore tours and work with music directors?
Being a musician allows me to be proactive and problem solve for directors. I think about every aspect of their performances during the music tour so they don't have to worry about them! If someone needs to rent chimes, I always ask if they’re talking about small chimes or the large tubular bells that you hit with a hammer. I know to ask which specific timpani the group may need. It’s the small details that can make or break a tour, and I feel being a musician helps fine-tune those details.
What is one of your favorite stories in working with music directors over the years?
I always take great pleasure talking about repertoire and what is and isn’t appropriate for certain venues. It’s very important that that information be readily available so that the best venues and repertoire are chosen. Many groups want to perform masses overseas because you get the opportunity to perform in prestigious venues. Growing up Catholic provides me with an understanding of this genre and I enjoy helping my group leaders understand each element, as well giving repertoire suggestions depending on the time in the liturgical year.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Traveling on a performance tour changed my life in so many wonderful ways. It is my pleasure to help musicians of all ages have that experience!
About the Author
Kate first discovered the power of intercultural communication and exchange through music on a month-long trip to China and Japan with her college wind ensemble. She's been hooked on traveling ever since and has performed with different groups in cities such Beijing, London, and Kyoto to name a few! Kate is a clarinet player and a passionate arts advocate with degrees in music, arts administration, and cultural policy. Kate is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Encore Tours.More Content by Kate Huffman