Few things get closer to the heart of what an international concert tour can teach than performing with a local group. Joint concerts can be tricky to coordinate, given that typical concert seasons and touring times mean host groups aren’t always available. But when they’re possible, they are such a beautiful, clear example of how much we have in common with our brothers and sisters around the globe.
Dr. Susan Medley and the Washington & Jefferson College Singers departed on tour today - our first in 2017! Enjoy Prague, Vienna and Salzburg.
As the announcer opened the envelope, thousands of people in Varna’s Congress Centre held their breath. Singers from Italy, Hungary, Spain, the US, and several other countries around the world were all perfectly still, waiting to hear which name would be read. This was it: the moment the 2016 European Grand Prix winner would be announced.
Taking a tour is obviously one of the great privileges and pleasures of directing a choir! Over the years, I’ve taken my choirs to Brazil, Cuba, the Balkans, South Africa, Germany, Austria, Russia, Northern Ireland and beyond.
In times of global instability, it’s not surprising for groups to experience some nervousness when considering a tour abroad, especially when that group is comprised of young people. The Georgetown Day School Chamber Choir had been looking forward to its tour of Germany in February when news of an influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond hit the airwaves. After a discussion with the group’s director, Ben Hutchens, it was decided that instead of fearing the unknown the group should take advantage of the opportunity to better understand the world by being directly involved in the situation.