Ian Blenkinsop

Member and nominated tour organiser – City of Bristol Choir

A fully auditioned choir singing at the highest of standards, Ian from the City of Bristol Choir openly admits that he’s sure they’re not your typical Rayburn touring choir. Exacting standards, precise preparation and timings, and a tour where the performances and preparation for them are everything. With a prolific touring history, performing in some of the best venues Europe has to offer, we are privileged to have them on board speaking to you.

To set the scene Ian candidly remarks that his music teacher once remarked. “You’re probably not the best choir in the North West but you’re probably in the top one!”

“Please don’t take this as an admission of our group not getting the most out of a rounded international concert tour. Our tours are often referred to as ‘work with a bit of a holiday’ but I would challenge that observation as the reality is we perform, we bond, we work hard and play hard!”

Touring on a bi-annual basis, Ian as volunteer tour organiser has built a unique relationship with Emily from Rayburn’s Concert Tours team, over the many years of arranging tours together.


“We’ve built a unique relationship where two way dialogue and sharing of ideas is vital. Emily has good musical appreciation, knows the high standards we expect and our exacting requirements of performance venues. I always carry out an inspection trip prior to the choir travelling and Rayburn support me fully on this. Whether you’re a seasoned tourer or new to the idea I really would recommend this to every group. I find it vital if you are to arrive confident that your performance aspirations are met. For us, we have a vital need to check out the organs, know that the sight lines are good, familiarise ourselves with the acoustics, asses the space available, the placement of audience and explore the availability of changing and toilet facilities. This enables us to really fine tune an itinerary and plan a repertoire that we know will work well prior to our arrival. This extensive detail and preparation prior to travelling represents the extremely high performance standards we expect on tour.”

“No matter what type of group you are or their repertoire style there are international venues and appreciative audiences waiting to welcome you. The team at Rayburn are highly skilled in matching these requirements and proposing a tour location, providing the venues, and tailoring an itinerary to suit your ensemble. With the right support all of us speaking today would say the same thing. Don’t be afraid.”


For anyone craving the detail – Ian is definitely the man to answer your questions


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