ACFEA’s Hugh Davies has been with the company since 1986, and has been arranging tours for John Alexander and Pacific Chorale for all that time. The list of tours is extensive and impressive, and many of them were groundbreaking at the time.
When terrorists attacked Paris on November 13, killing 130 people, Andy Ball, planning a tour of France for his Corona del Mar (Newport Beach, CA) Madrigal Singers, never considered canceling. Instead, recognizing that the attack made Paris no less safe than it had been before, he wrote an exemplary letter to the families of his singers, emphasizing that the tour now had even more important goals: supporting the French and showing disdain for the terrorists.
ACFEA has been sending groups to Cuba since 1998, starting with the Oakland Youth Orchestra. Due to the vagaries and vicissitudes of US government policy, these projects have ranged from the relatively straightforward to the almost impossible, with today’s situation being decidedly at the straightforward end of the scale.
The outstanding Golden Gate Men’s Chorus from San Francisco, directed by Joseph Piazza, had never been on an international tour before 2014. However, far from choosing a mainstream destination for its first overseas adventure, the group decided on Latvia and Lithuania.
After 11 spectacularly successful years as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus, Susan McMane founded her own girls’ chorus in 2012: the Young Women’s Chorus of San Francisco. Within a few months, it was clear that the artistic excellence that audiences around the world have come to expect from Susan was going to be equaled or exceeded with this new ensemble.