Choir Tours to Belgium
Belgium continues to display its unique charm with chocolateries adorning cobbled streets, exuberant architecture and flower lined canals which once stretched to Paris and beyond. Trams, bicycles and horse-drawn carriages take you from Baroque style churches to stylish shops and market filled squares, allowing you to pause for an ice cream loaded Belgian waffle on the way.
A ‘close-to-home’ destination which is perfect for a long weekend, the beautiful and historic cities of Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Ypres are located within easy travelling distance of each other and all are packed with potential performance venues. Wherever you’re based, your choir can enjoy performing in stunning concert venues whilst experiencing the finer sides of Belgian culture.
An all year round destination
All churches in Belgium welcome groups throughout the year. Why not choose to combine your concert tour with the beautiful and atmospheric Belgian Christmas Markets during December?
Where to Sing
Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres
This monument displays the names of over 54,000 officers and soldiers from British and Commonwealth Forces who died in WWI and who have no known grave. Almost every evening since 1928, at 8pm, traffic through the gate is stopped and buglers from the local fire service play the Last Post. This is a hugely moving and poignant scene to witness and your choir can perform a selection of pieces at a special extension to the daily ceremony.
For choirs with a sacred repertoire, Belgium offers an impressive mixture of churches and cathedrals certain to satisfy the choosiest of singers. One of our favourites is the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in the centre of Brussels. The location of the Cathedral means it attracts a large audience, many of whom are tourists to the beautiful city who come to admire the impressive Gothic interior.
St. Michielskerk, Ghent
Dominating the canal side, the St. Michielskerk happily welcomes choirs performing a sacred, secular or mixed repertoire. The church boasts a stunning interior and its central location in the city means it attracts large appreciative audiences. The church is one of the chosen venues for the annual Ghent Festival and your choir could perform here as part of the celebrations.
St. Salvator’s Cathedral, Bruges
The beautiful interior of the Cathedral is heightened by the splendid works of art and wall tapestries that came from St. Donatius church which was demolished in the 18th century. The congregation here offers a warm welcome to our choirs who can perform their own concert or sing during Mass.
2014-2018 The WWI Centenary
Plans are well underway for Belgium to embark on a four year period of commemoration, to reflect and remember the lives of the men and women who fought and lost their lives in the battles of WWI. Music will, without a doubt, play a significant role in this poignant period of remembrance – provide your choir with the opportunity to “play their part.”
Groups are advised to book early.
Attracting an Audience:
We work hard to ensure that your concerts will be received by an appreciative and receptive audience. Some venues, such as Brussels Cathedral, have their own website where we can publicise your concert. We also put adverts in local ‘what’s on’ guides, on local community event websites, as well as send posters and flyers to a number of churches in the area. Local newspapers will often feature articles about visiting choirs and their upcoming performances.
What to Do
Each city in Belgium has something different to offer your choir, whether it’s the sparkling jewels on display at the Diamond Museum in Bruges or a reflective visit to the WWI battlefields and In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres.
In Ghent, historical canals, statues, squares and beautiful medieval architecture combine, creating the perfect environment for relaxing with a glass of the local cherry beer. In Ghent’s medieval Castle of the Counts, a fascinating museum about the history of prison life along with a collection of medieval torture instruments is available for you to explore!
For the sweet-toothed amongst your group, a trip to Bruges can include a visit to Choco-Story, the chocolate museum, where you’ll learn about the history of chocolate and, so as not to disappoint, you’ll also get to sample some of the produce before buying your favourites to take home with you! Then, what better way to indulge in your purchases than on a relaxing 45 minute canal cruise? Here, your English speaking guide will share tales from the city’s past while you admire the stunning architecture. With both open and closed top boats available, it’s a great option at any time of the year.
In a country famous for beer production, we recommend a visit to the
De Halve Maan family-run brewery, the only remaining brewery in Bruges. Your guide will explain both traditional and modern methods of beer production as they lead you through the brewery and museum. As you may hope, your tour ends with a tasting session!
What they did
All of our tours are bespoke, therefore the itinerary below is simply an example; the duration, concert venues, leisure excursions and accommodation centre used will be selected to match the requirements of your group. Please contact us to discuss your bespoke itinerary.
Find out what a tour to Belgium is really like, as tour courier Jo Matthews describes her trip with Choir Inspired.
Once the group had all arrived, the coach was decorated to celebrate the Jubilee weekend and we set off. Our hotel was in Bruges, only an hour and a half from Calais. After check-in group members went to have dinner at a variety of local restaurants.
After breakfast, we set off for Ghent, where group members visited the Castle of the Counts, St Bavo’s Cathedral and went on the Leie Boat Cruise. After lunch we all met up again at St Michielskerk. Once there, the group had a quick rehearsal and then got ready to perform. The audience enjoyed a selection of songs ranging from Mendelssohn’s Lift Thine Eyes to some lively gospel numbers. On returning to Bruges, the group took the opportunity to relax in the various bars and restaurants and enjoyed the wonderfully sunny weather.
Today we stayed in Bruges and, between us, we covered much of what Bruges has to offer; brewery tours, boat cruises and even climbing the Belfry Tower overlooking the main square. To round off the tour we all had a delicious meal together at the NH Hotel. The group entertained the restaurant staff with a few songs and we enjoyed a few last night drinks at the hotel bar.
After a quick stop off at PJ’s Chocolate Factory Shop, we arrived at Calais and caught our ferry back to the UK.
Where to Stay
Park Hotel Brugge
Traditional Flemish dishes are on offer in this family owned and stylish hotel. The cosy bar and restaurant area create a relaxing atmosphere after a day exploring and, with the hotel’s close location to Bruges city centre, the canal-side bars and many attractions are within easy reach. All rooms are fully equipped with en suite facilities.
“Excellent venues suited to our style, good accommodation, every arrangement worked well!”
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Prices from £293*
Price Based On...
- 4 day 3 night tour
- Bed and breakfast accommodation at the 4-star Park Hotel Brugge
- Travel by executive coach
- 2 concerts
- Concert publicity
- Services of a courier throughout
- Full itinerary planning service
- 44 paying passengers with 5 free places travelling in February 2014
We will work with you to create a completely tailor made itinerary. Departure dates, travel, duration, excursions and concerts will be planned to meet the individual requirements of your group.
*Priced at January 2013 and dependant on exchange rates at time of booking.