How an International Concert Tour Could Benefit Your Youth Ensemble

Mar 23, 2017


‘Next level’ inspiration

With over 50 years of experience creating inspirational tour experiences for youth ensembles, we at Rayburn Tours know how much young musicians stand to gain from going on tour. Alongside the musical and social benefits, touring can have an invaluably positive impact on young people’s self-esteem and personal development.

Time and time again, party leaders remind us that there’s no better way to inspire young musicians than by taking them on tour, as Ms Elizabeth Smith discovered on tour with Tring School ensemble last summer: ‘Our tour to Venice was an unforgettable experience that enriched the musical lives of our students and created a lot of happy memories. Great concerts, well organised and an amazing week that the students are still talking about!’.

As Ms Smith highlights, performing to international audiences in venues around the world can really spark young musicians’ passion for music and open their eyes to the possibilities of performance.

The girls

Working in harmony

Going on tour gives musicians the opportunity to bond as an ensemble and get to know each other on a new level, which is integral to the core activity of music making. Nothing reinforces trust and builds strong bonds like a trip away from home in exciting new realms.

This, together with a musical focus, will undoubtedly improve both the unity and blend of your ensemble. When on tour, groups must accommodate each other and look after each other, which is actually a kind of musical process in itself.

With time and space to rehearse and perform together every day, as opposed to meeting for weekly rehearsals, performing together in a condensed period of time allows young musicians to grow and develop as an ensemble, as well as giving them the time to polish and fine-tune those hard to crack music pieces.

There’s also something particularly rewarding about performing to an audience that isn’t solely comprised of parents, friends and teachers; the feeling of people other than their loved ones enjoying their music can give young musicians a real boost in confidence.

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An exciting goal to work towards

Following his tour to Paris with Tonbridge School, Julian Thomas commented on the musical benefits the tour had on his school choir: ‘Although it was only a short trip, it provided a real focal point for the Choir to work towards, and seeing them blossom musically makes all the hard work worthwhile.’

As Mr Thomas highlights, a concert tour can also provide an exciting goal to work towards come the end of the academic year. It’s the perfect incentive and motivation for young musicians, who are then rewarded with the feeling of pride as they realise that all their hard work has paid off.

Experiences like these, which teach young people about perseverance and dedication as they work towards a particular goal, are invaluable to their personal development. A tour is a great way for students to end their school career on a high, leaving them feeling inspired to continue their music education.

This was a particular motivation in Richard Hanley’s decision to take Thomas Mills High School ensemble on tour to The Black Forest: ‘It was a wonderful way to finish the academic year and say farewell to some fine upper 6th musicians in a very lovely part of the world.’

Experience the wider world

The other thing to note, of course, is that an international concert tour gives young people the opportunity to experience another country anda different culture, granting them a bit of independence and responsibility away from home.

Whether it be to a nearby European city or somewhere further afield, a tour will open your students’ eyes to another part of the world. This is where we can help them experience the local culture to its full with recommended excursions to fit around their performances.

For Matt Greenwood, who took Churcher’s College on tour to Belgium in summer 2016, a balanced itinerary that allowed his group to see the best of Belgium was a particularly important tour requirement: ‘It was a wonderful experience for all of these young musicians, striking an excellent balance between social and performance opportunities in some beautiful locations across Belgium.’

Taking your ensemble members out of their usual way of life, letting them face personal tests and giving them the opportunity to perform in new environments will increase self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience. And, of course, it’s a whole lot of fun!

See for yourself…

The new Rayburn Concert Tours film showcases the musical, social and personal benefits of touring from the perspectives of four ensembles who toured with us in October 2016. Seeing the groups perform in stunning venues across Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands, this glimpse into a Rayburn Concert Tour says it all…

Experience it for yourself…

If you’re interested in going on tour with your ensemble, visit our website or call our team of concert tour specialists on 01332 347 828 for more information.