Encore Tours team member Tori Cook has written an informative blog about the strategy involved in running a performance tour when you aren't bringing in the projected numbers of participants or instrumentalists. To summarize the situation in Tori’s words:
“ One of the biggest challenges in planning a performance touris recruiting your passengers. If you travel frequently, you’ve most likely already been in a situation where everything seems perfect —you have the lowest price, the coolest destinations and top-notch venues all in place —but still people just aren’t signing up!
what do you dowhen you are faced with a decision whether to travel or cancel your tour? ”
In addition to Tori’s ideas, here’s an idea that is also helpful:
If you are the Music Director of a public school, private school, or university ensemble, your colleagues in the Foreign Language, History, Art, and Photography Departments would jump at the chance of enhancing their respective programs with an international travel opportunity.
Bring them on board! After all, you already have the requisite approvals and your itinerary has been established: you’ve done all the preliminary work.
Encore Directors have the opportunity to add a cross-curricular dimension to their tour by having a colleague in another department or ensemble participate as a member of your performance tour and bring their students along.
“Encore Directors have the opportunity to add a cross-curricular dimension to their tourby having a colleague in another department or ensemble participate as a member of your performance tour and bring their students along. ”
Foreign language students can introduce the performing group to international audiences in the native language of your host country. At lunchtime, the language students can help their music colleagues by ordering lunch in the local café or bargain in the native language at the village vendor stalls (but never in an established storefront!).
History students can take the microphone on the motor coach and inform their music colleagues about the story behind the next site on the itinerary. They can add historical depth to the musicians’ experiences.
Art and photography students can sketch and photograph the performance venue and architectural highlights of the trip. They can capture audience reactions and even take time from the musician’s itinerary (during dress rehearsals, for example) to set up an easel and paint, draw, or go on a photo expedition.
Remember, international travel changes lives, and what may appear to be a roadblock may actually be a new path to cross-curricular learning.