She’s organised 17 music tours in 17 years, giving thousands of students from Saffron Walden County High School the chance to perform, grow and learn in beautiful destinations around Europe ¬– to describe music teacher Gillian Smith as an inspiration just doesn’t seem to do her justice!
Earlier this week, Caroline Cudworth and Nicola Astle from Rayburn Tours’ Marketing Department went to meet with Gillian to find out what makes touring such a critical part of the academic year and why, 18 years since her first tour, she’s still planning a tour every year.
Find out what Gillian had to say in Caroline’s latest blog post. You won’t help but feel inspired!
Hong Kong Eastern District Children’s Choir are headed to the United Kingdom! The choir, made up of almost 40 children aged from 7-16 years will be visiting Manchester, Derby, Loughborough and London during their UK tour.
The group will be performing a Mandarin Musical “Pai Niang Niang” or “A Story of White Serpent.””Pai Niang Niang” is Hong Kong’s first musical, produced by Rebecca Pan and Joseph Koo in the 1970s. Featuring widely acclaimed songs and timeless allegory, the musical will now be re-enacted by the Eastern District Children’s Choir in a junior version. This will be only the second time this musical has ever been showcased in the UK.
Rayburn Tours’ Concert Tour Co-ordinator Judy Lewin has had the pleasure of working with the choir to plan their tour to the UK,”it’s been a really exciting challenge to work with the Hong Kong Eastern District Children’s Choir as their performance repertoire is quite different from many of our other groups. The choir have a full range of activities planned so they can really make the most of their time in the UK – everything from a visit to Old Trafford to seeing a show in London’s West End!” Read more…
Judy Lewin, Rayburn Tours courier, shares the details of her three night trip to Venice with us.
The group had an early start, ready for check-in at Gatwick airport for our 8.10am flight.
Upon arrival at Marco Polo airport, the coach picked us up and transferred us to the Hotel Da Bepi in Lido di Jesolo.
The afternoon was spent at leisure, with the group enjoying some free time on the beach. Due to the unseasonably warm sunshine, some of the group even ventured into the sea – much to the amusement of the locals!
Later on, fortified by our first Italian ice cream, we returned to the hotel for a rehearsal and dinner.
Read about what happened when The Maureen Hunter Singers went on their five night trip to The Rhineland, Germany.
The group’s adventure began at 5pm, when the big, red double-decker bus arrived at the agreed pick-up point. It was pretty hard to miss!
Next stop was Hull port, where the group began their ‘cruise’ across the North Sea to Rotterdam. After checking into their cabins, the group made a very welcome start to their journey by tucking into the extensive buffet-style evening meal.
After dinner, the entertainment options ranged from the Moonlight Bar to the on-board casino, with the evening passing in a laid-back mood.
We find out what the Fallibroome Academy got up to on their four night trip to the Costa Brava…
It was an early start for the group, taking the coach to Heathrow at just after midnight ready for their flight to Barcelona.
Having napped on board the plane, the group were a little more refreshed upon meeting their courier ready to board the coach to the hotel.
Once checked-in at the hotel, it was time for flamenco! The students were put through their paces, with the teacher being impressed at how quickly they picked up the moves.
Post-flamenco, it was time for some rehearsal and a very welcome evening meal.
June 6, 2014 - Category: Choirs
This was the first time I had organised a tour with adults abroad, therefore I was a little apprehensive. We needn’t have worried, though, as Judy Lewin (Concert Tours Consultant) was very helpful and understanding, especially when we ran into unexpected difficulties and had to change details of the tour.
I was very impressed with the way everything was organised by Rayburn Tours and the information given to me and members of the choir. The venues chosen were very good and well published in the area, not only in the form of flyers but also in the local newspapers.
The coach company and driver chosen for our tour were fantastic. We had a great time in all the venues and places visited and have had great comlimentary emails from people who attended our concerts.
- Chris Bowden, Sutton Coldfield Community Choir
April 10, 2014 - Category: Youth Music
This year our brochure and website are packed full of more information than ever before. With 360 degree venue viewers, average audiences, repertoire recommendations and more than quadruple the amount of venues and leisure options featured, we know that you and your ensemble will gain a very real insight into what you’ll experience on tour, as well as the outcome!
What can you expect to find in our new brochure?
- 9 European destinations recommended specifically for youth ensembles.
- A range of indoor and outdoor venues, catering for a host of repertoire styles.
- NEW – Detailed venue information including performance times, repertoire recommendations and average audience sizes.
- NEW – Feedback from customers who have performed on specific stages, rating their overall experience both in terms of their performance and audience sizes.
- An excellent choice of cultural and leisure options to fill your group’s time in between their performances
- Share the experiences of other groups: who better to tell you all about embarking on a Concert Tour with Rayburn Tours, than those who have already enjoyed the experience!
April 7, 2014 - Category: Choirs
We are extremely pleased that we are able to announce that Rayburn Tours will be showing further support to the UK’s choral community by becoming a ‘Friend of Choir of the Year’ in 2014!
Both Rayburn Tours and Choir of the Year share so many core values, namely that both our organisations are absolutely passionate about supporting and developing youth and adult choirs in the UK.
The competition means there are exciting times ahead for many choirs, as well as the team at Rayburn Tours! Read more…
We get closer to Epsom College and discover why their recent tour to Tuscany turned out to be something “extra special!”
Was this your groups first time on an overseas trip?
No. Our first trip was to Prague in 2007, and we have also been to Krakow, Catalonia and Malta.
How many travelled in your group?
55 people travelled in the group Read more…
Margaret Haynes of Bracknell Choral Society provides an excellent insight to how their time in Belgium brought their 81 members together through a series of performances they will never forget, and a trip that surpassed their expectations. Read more…