10 Most Memorable ACFEA Events of 2013 – Part One

As 2013 comes to a close, we can’t help but think: What a year! Join us as we take a look back on the 10 most notable happenings of the past tour season, some of which made us jump for joy and others that made us a shed a tear.

New Destinations

We love it when a group asks to arrange a tour to a destination that is new for us, knowing that we can still provide them with a top notch concert tour experience.

In 2013, our new destinations included…

Vietnam and Cambodia for the Boston Children’s Chorus

Costa Rica for the San Francisco Boys’ Chorus and…

Albania for Michigan Tech University Concert Chorus, as part of a tour that also included Bosnia, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia.

And the winner is…

We’re always proud of our touring groups when they perform for appreciative audiences, and it’s also exciting when they do well in festivals and competitions. Big congrats to this year’s crop of winners, including:

  • Georgia State University Singers placing second at the Florilege Vocal de Tours in France. Director Deanna Joseph received the Most Outstanding Conductor Award. 
  • Saskatoon Children’s Choir (Phoebe Voigts, Director) finishing second in the Children’s Folk Choir division at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in Wales 
  • University of Oregon Chamber Choir (Sharon Paul, Director) winning the Fleischmann International Trophy competition at the Cork International Choral Festival in Ireland


Trivia Night

At every ACDA National Convention, ACFEA likes to bring together not only all of our Tour Managers, but also many of our international staff to meet attendees at our booth. This year’s foreign staff included Nick Abbott and Elizabeth Assmann from our sister office in London, Sylvia Garcia Marin from Mexico, Robert Latimer from Australia, Pieter Myburgh from South Africa and Jeff Sha from China.

With such a diverse staff on hand, ACFEA decided to have a little fun by hosting a trivia night at our booth space during the Midnight Madness exhibitor reception. All night long we quizzed passers-by on music- and travel-related questions. Those who knew (or guessed!) the right answer got to put their name in a hat for a chance to win special presents from our international staff. The prizes included a djembe drum from South Africa, a boomerang and Aboriginal music sticks from Australia, and a basket of delectable European food goodies. It was a ton of fun and we look forward to getting together once again at our global summit in January.


Hugh’s Chorus America Board Tenure Comes to an End

Hugh Davies, ACFEA’s managing director in North America, retired in June from the Chorus America board after nine years of service. ACFEA has supported Chorus America in many ways for over 20 years, and though Hugh is no longer on the board that support will certainly continue. As Catherine Dehoney, Chorus America’s Chief Development Officer said, “Chorus America is stronger because of ACFEA’s partnership with us – many thanks!” 

In Memoriam: Charlie Hawk

On June 12, ACFEA mourned the passing of one of our former owners and longtime friends, Charles Hawk. “Charlie” was cofounder of Broadview Travel in 1980, which was the west coast branch of ACFEA. Charlie and business partner Ken Noreen eventually purchased all of ACFEA North America. One of Charlie’s proudest achievements was to plan a European tour for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir that involved chartering two 747 airplanes and a cruise ship.

Charlie had a deep love for travel and visited more than 120 countries, including all seven continents and the North Pole. His favorite form of travel was cruising, a passion that began with his Navy service. He always maintained that not even a really bad cruise line like the Navy could discourage his love of cruising.

While Charlie will be deeply missed, we are comforted by him having lived a very rich and adventurous life.