Mar 25 2022

Colorado Children’s Chorale in the London ‘Proms’ (Tour Notes, 2001)

“A day that starts with a tour of the Tower of London and ends on stage in the Royal Albert Hall as part of a live broadcast on the BBC with some of Britain’s finest professional musicians is surely one to be remembered. ”

This article was originally published in our 2001-2002 Tour Notes.

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It started with a request from the BBA to ACFEA’s London office for a very high quality choir to take part in one of London’s famous Promenade Concerts in the Royal Albert Hall. Many weeks of discussion and negotiation followed, and to everyone’s delight the Colorado Children’s Chorale was able to accept the invitation.

Time in London formed the bookends of the tour. The group started with two days there, during which they attended Choral Evensong at Westminster Abbey, took a sightseeing tour, and most importantly, had rehearsals for the Promenade Concert a week late. The work to be performed was Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony, and the other participants were the Southend Boys’ Choir, the BBC Signers, the London Symphony Chorus and the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, all conducted by Richard Hichox.

From London it was a quick flight to Marseille, in the south of France. They spent five nights in Aix-en-Provence, using that most beautiful of cities as a base for concerts in surrounding towns. Their four performances were all very well received, in venues that included a theatre in the charming Mediterranean town of La Ciotat, an amphitheatre in Cavaillon and a church in Marseille. The first concert was part of the festival Musique en Vacances, and others were part of the Festival Choral International de la Sainte Baume. The final concert was shared with Les Petits Chanteurs de l’Espérance, a children’s choir from Marseille.

Between the concerts there was ample time to experience the may delights of Provence (well, not the wine!): the countryside, the Roman remains, the beaches, the food…

Then it was back to London for the final two nights. After lunch at Planet Hollywood and settling back into their London home, they had some free time before an evening reception for some of their supports and sponsors. Then it was tie for bed to rest before the final concert.

A day that starts with a tour of the Tower of London and ends on stage in the Royal Albert Hall as part of a live broadcast on the BBC with some of Britain’s finest professional musicians is surely one to be remembered. It was wonderful that the hard work and dedication not only of the young choristers but also of the staff and parents can result in such remarkable experiences. Furthermore, the Chorale gave great pleasure to many, many people in England and France through their politeness, maturity and professionalism – and their skillful, polished and entertaining performances.

“The tour was a wonderful combination of cultural enrichment and performing,” said artistic director Deborah DeSantis. “We especially appreciated the attention to detail and sensitivity to the needs of our organization. Venues were well suited to our performing style and the mostly sold out audiences were very welcoming and enthusiastic.”

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