The Golden State Youth Orchestra, formerly known as the El Camino Youth Symphony, is no stranger to touring, having worked with ACFEA on 8 tours between 2003 and 2019. Regularly traveling with a party of 140 or more, with 120 musicians on stage, these tours have always presented some challenges – but nothing like the most recent one did!
Seth Ducey, Executive Director, and his colleagues on the board and staff, faced so many impediments that other people or organizations might have thrown in the towel, but every time something new arose Seth was ready to work through it with us, find a solution and move on. Here’s the timeline:
- October 24, 2019. Discussions begin about a 2021 tour
- December 19, 2019. Contract signed
- March 18, 2020. COVID-19. Conversations begin about postponing the tour
- August 4, 2020. Tour postponed until 2022
- December 11, 2020. All hotels confirmed; concerts in Poland confirmed; concerts in Germany proving difficult due to COVID
- August 24, 2021. 140 seats on flights confirmed
- December 17, 2021. All concerts confirmed, with Prague replacing Berlin
- February 24, 2022. Russia invades Ukraine
- March 4, 2022. Discussions begin about avoiding Poland
- March 23, 2022 (only 19 days later!). Hotels and concerts confirmed in Austria instead of Poland. 140 airlines seats changed to return from Prague and Zurich instead of Warsaw
- June 21, 2022. Great excitement at San Francisco airport as the third version of this tour actually begins!
Seth kindly wrote after the tour, “As always, I thank ACFEA for everything you did for us and the assistance with our COVID-19 situation”. We, in turn, thank Seth for his tenacity and determination to get this tour on the road, and his collegiality in working with us through all the challenges.
Here’s to smoother sailing in 2024!