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‘Completely Blown Away’ Caritas Harmony’s Unprecedented Barcelona Concert Tour

Last updated: Dec 12th, 2023


The warm, fun and musically minded choir Caritas Harmony recently celebrated their 20th anniversary year with a brilliant concert tour to the Catalonian capital. To say their adventure turned up a few memorable moments would be the biggest undersell of the century!

After the adrenaline had worn off from magical performances in Montserrat Monastery and La Sagrada Familia, which was ‘beyond everyone’s wildest dreams’, Musical Director Margaret Blenkin sat down to chat about their tour from top to bottom and how going with Rayburn meant they could focus on heaping their unforgettable memories miles high.

This is what she said!

 


‘A fantastic experience musically and socially but it exceeded my expectations in bucketloads!’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


 

Who are Caritas Harmony?

Hailing from Stopsley, Bedfordshire, they’re inclusive, varied, friendly, social, philanthropic and talented, with the core of their choir built on friendship and the love of singing.

Founded in 2003, Caritas Harmony perform regularly, have recorded CDs, and are always looking to raise funds for worthwhile causes – with over £200,000 raised during Margaret’s time as Musical Director.

 


‘The friendships forged have been truly special. It is about the music, certainly, but it’s also about the friendships and it’s about raising money for those worthwhile causes.’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


They include 35 members – with a membership high of 100 singers – sing 4 part-harmonies and focus on providing a mixed repertoire (including classical, pop, jazz and even Latin sung numbers) so their concerts are truly an audible and visual spectacle for everyone involved.

Despite that, they’d never performed in the stunning city of Barcelona. So with it being Margaret’s 20th anniversary and swansong, they decided to take it up a level.

Four choir members from Caritas Harmony smile and pose for the camera with Poble Espanyol behind them

 

Caritas Harmony’s FIRST ever concert tour to Barcelona!

Caritas were looking for the ultimate destination to boost their tour from good to truly and utterly unforgettable! And in Barcelona, they found their perfect additional choir member.

Breathtaking vistas, a storied culture, beautiful weather, and a real appreciation for music. They’d really honed their sights and come up with a top number.

 


‘My brother has lived in Barcelona for 30 years and I wanted to collaborate with my sister-in-law’s choir as one last tick in my boxes.’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


With historic and captivating places like Poble Espanyol, Montserrat and the undeniable La Sagrada Familia, the Catalonian capital sticks out for a place to create outstanding and unforgettable, lifetime memories.

And with locals in tears, choir members blown away by it all, it’s clear to see Caritas Harmony certainly delivered in that regard…

 

Stunning Venues & Unforgettable Performances!

For a tour built on such momentous aspects like a 20th anniversary and final hoorah for their Musical Director, Caritas shifted up a few gears when they hit the streets of Barcelona.

Embodying that tremendous spirit and unique feeling were 4 outstanding concert venues. Each brought something different. Each delivered on goosebumps. And each definitely brought atmosphere, ready-made audiences, acoustics, and a complete cauldron of powerful and phenomenal emotions.

 


‘The places we sang at were all very different and the way it all ran quite smoothly… that was a big sigh of relief on my part.’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


And it all started with a stunning backdrop, a local man in tears, and the parakeets singing in the trees…

Caritas Harmony perform with trees and partial view of Barcelona in the background.

Poble Espanyol – ‘It moved him to tears’

Poble Espanyol resembles a classic Spanish street and was built for the 1929 Expo. That atmosphere and culture that’s been injected into the very surroundings itself seeped out of Caritas Harmony’s intimate and special performance.

High on a hill with a stunning backdrop of the city of Barcelona behind them, it was very much a top tier combination of visuals and audio. The very parakeets enjoyed as much as the cosy audience too, with them singing along to ‘Feed the Birds’.

The most resonant moment was undoubtedly a local man telling the choir how their performance moved him to tears. As stirring moments and first performances go, that sets you up rather nicely.

Joining forces with Trenacors at Sant Pau

One of the reasons Barcelona held such appeal for Margaret was her sister-in-law’s choir residing there. With the chance to sing with them in concert, the pull was undeniable.

Fresh from their tingly experience at Poble, the evening’s self-arranged performance was at Esglesia de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau with Trenacors.

It ticked plenty of boxes. An appreciative audience. Tick. A beautiful church. Tick. And the chance to perform with international friends and family. A big, resounding tick.

Caritas Harmony perform at Esglesia de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau.

Caritas Harmony choir perform their recital inside Montserrat Monastery.

‘Montserrat was just surreal.’

Caritas’ itinerary planner and Tour Manager Lucy came up trumps with this venue. With the tour rearranged from May to its autumn slot, the majestic Montserrat was in the bag early doors.

This gave Margaret and Caritas a performance to truly get excited about. Think Poble Espanyol views with a huge seasoning of monumental and you might just be close to the power of Montserrat Monastery.

Out of this world views, a gorgeous setting, packed-out with audience members with some filming, and they were even on the screens outside the basilica too. Stand out. Unforgettable. Magical. What else is there to say?


‘Absolutely stunning and truly magical. Montserrat was special.’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


La Sagrada Familia – ‘Beyond their wildest dreams.’

Imagine getting the chance to perform in one of the most iconic buildings in the world? For Caritas, they don’t need to. They’ve done it! Step forward the breath-taking La Sagrada Familia.

Acoustically beautiful and something to look at with every turn, as well as a ready-made audience, the choir performed a 10-minute recital under those distinctive Gaudi arches. And they can’t stop talking about it.

Crowds gather inside La Sagrada Familia


‘They’ve come home with memories by the bucketload that you never forget.’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


Adult only accommodation, wine tasting & a first-class Tour Manager (who rearranged the whole tour too!)

Before, in-between and after each performance, when the singing chords were taking a break, Caritas filled their time with socials brimming with fun and laughter and a big portion of memorable moments.

Picking adult accommodation only heightened that setting, with the choir practically taking over the bar each and every night. Starting as they mean to go on, their first day excursion after they landed was Freixenet Winery!

Tour Manager, Lucy Elliot, poses for the camera with Barcelona behind her in the distant

There to bring all the strands of the tour together and make sure it ran as smoothly as possible was Tour Manager, Lucy Elliott.

A brilliant Spanish speaker, lover of EPIC concert tours, and one hugely valued Rayburn Tours member – it’s your bi-lingual, ready to roll, ensures the t’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted, Tour Co-Ordinator Lucy! And she’s pretty much your perfect Spanish concert tour planner.

But don’t take our words for it, here’s what Margaret said…


‘She definitely helped us on the tour as I wouldn’t have wanted to have done that on my own. She was absolutely great!’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


2 choir members pose with sunglasses on and beers in hand in a bar on a street in Barcelona.

 

Yes – Caritas Harmony Brought the Barcelonian Roof Down!

As first international tours go, this one is going to take some beating. It’s still one big wonderful whirl in the minds of many choir members, so here’s a summary to remind you of the incredible experiences had by Caritas as well as every single Catalonian native who watched them perform.

  • Wine tasting at Freixenet
  • Hotel bar take-overs
  • Friendships bolstered and new ones created
  • Iconic performances at iconic places
  • And memories, that quite simply, are as gorgeous as they are unforgettable

‘We certainly know how to have a good time. We were blown away by it all.’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


Your Unforgettable Concert Tour is Just Around The Corner!

Wow. Simply WOW. What a tour and what a truly special, unforgettable, tingly experience the ladies from Stopsley had in Barcelona.

We thrived on every single moment planning, rearranging and tailor-making their incredible tour from top to bottom. With Lucy super appreciative she was there to soak in every last bit.

If you and your music group are looking for a good old chinwag about all things Barcelona concert tour (or maybe there’s another destination you have in mind?), then we can’t wait to start talking about the undeniably memorable time you’re going to have.

 


‘If I was to organise a tour again I would certainly look to Rayburn Tours. You’d be the first point of choice.’

Margaret Blenkin, Caritas Harmony


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