In a recent blog post, Tori Cook of Chorus Connection interviewed two children's choirs with rich traditions of international performance tours. The article not only features valuable advice about planning your choir's first performance tour and implementing a successful fundraising strategy, but it also details how these tours can serve as a life-changing experience for young students.
One of the two featured choirs, the Ohio-based Columbus Children's Choir, will be planning their fifth trip with Encore Tours in 2020. We are extremely proud to work with Jeanne Wohlgamuth, the Artistic Director of the Columbus Children's Choir and the New World Singers, as they set forth to engage children in meaningful experiences of high-quality music education and share the universal language of music.
We know that ensemble directors are highly experienced when it comes to problem-solving, multitasking, and working under pressure, but everybody needs help sometimes. At Encore Tours, we have the resources, expertise, and connections to ensure an extraordinary trip. That means quality venues, enthusiastic audiences, centrally located hotels, rigorous safety precautions, dedicated program consultants, promotional support, fundraising assistance, and much more.
We take pride in building strong relationships with our clients and believe that our expertise in the industry is unmatched. That sentiment is echoed by Jeanne Wohlgamuth, who spoke highly about Encore in her interview with Chorus Connection.
“I have finally found a tour company that has amazing customer service and listens and responds to my many questions, concerns and complaints: Encore Tours. I would highly recommend them. Their staff is accessible, friendly, and knowledgeable!”
Every Group Leader has different goals and interests, so we believe it's important to offer fully customizable trips. That means groups can see exactly what they want to see, visit where they want to visit, and play where they want to play. Based on your ensembles' size, experience, ability, and repertoire, we can select a venue from our comprehensive database that ensures the acoustics, stage size, and venue type will be ideal. By offering this level of personalization, we can guarantee that every performance tour is a uniquely rewarding experience.
When asked about the highlights of her past performance tours, Wohlgamuth singled out the International Festival of Music and Dance of Grenada during a trip to Spain, a collaboration with the Vienna Boys' Choir, and their participation in the International Kodály Choral Symposium. These vastly different experiences are more than just lifelong memories — they enable ensemble unity, strengthen friendships, and broaden horizons.
“My singers leave on tour as babies and return home as young, mature adults. Touring teaches them how to represent themselves and their community in a positive manner. It teaches them to embrace other cultures and experience different languages, food, and customs,” Wohlgamuth stated in her interview with Cook. “They begin to realize that the world is a much bigger place. The singers learn how to work collaboratively with other singers, and develop a new perspective on how to resolve problems and overcome obstacles. They also begin to understand how to put others needs before their own. Traveling provides singers with valuable lessons that will carry them through life.”
Cost is always the number one question on everybody's mind, so I would be remiss to ignore this crucial component. It shouldn't come as a major surprise to learn that one of the most common questions we receive pertains to fundraising opportunities for offset the cost of the trip. In her article, Cook mentions opportunities including “bake sales, candy bar sales, recycling projects, flower sales, 50/50 raffles and more.” Those are all excellent options, but Encore believes in going above and beyond.
At Encore Tours, every international group with at least 30 participants will receive a free 5-day trip to Paris or London. That includes two round-trip tickets, breakfast daily, and hotel accommodations in prime locations. By raffling off this fantastic trip, groups can significantly defray the cost of their trip and make it more affordable for every attendee. We also offer personal fundraising pages to help facilitate your ensemble's efforts and a generous referral program that can be claimed as cash or as a scholarship equivalent.
We relish the opportunity to work with passionate touring programs like the Columbus Children's Choir, and we believe that successful music programs and great music travel go hand in hand. Our mission is “taking your music program to new places,” and our dedicated staff is here to help with every step of the process.
Looking for some inspiration for your next trip? Feel free to peruse our index of sample itineraries!
Inspired to take your ensemble on an international performance tour? Get a quote today!