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OneStage in the Land of Fire and Ice

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Once again we continue to push the boundaries of our European destination list, with our first choir tour to Iceland departing in October 2014.  We recently undertook a research trip to the land of glaciers, volcanos and geysers, midway between the UK and the USA, and found a rich cultural life, some stunning scenery, and we weren’t too astounded by the prices either!

 

There are some beautiful modern churches and concert halls, and nearly every small community has its own choir providing a focal point for the cultural life of the community.  With a population embracing a modern and open attitude to repertoire and style, you could sing in a church built for just 100 parishioners, or in the iconic Hallgrimmskirkja in Reykjavik, the choice is yours!

 

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Contact Julian at OneStage to ask about the possibilities in Iceland for your choir

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Music tour in Paris

Mission: give all the students of a high school music department a taste of being a real musician.

Status: accomplished!

Key components: one city, two tour managers, three venues, four days, five performances, seven drivers, thirteen staff and one hundred and nine young musicians from the American School of London

Detailed breakdown:

IMG_0383Day 1 was a travel day.

It was fairly easy journey with little traffic and a smooth ferry crossing.  Arrival in time for a group briefing, a buffet dinner and an early night (for some!)

Day 2 was a day of many performances.

A 0530 wake-up call and a 0700 departure was what was needed to reach the other side of the city by 0900. Our hosts, the American School of Paris welcomed us in to set up ready for the first concert at 1000. The third of three school assemblies culminated in the choristers of ASL and ASP coming together for a joint piece.

As if that wasn’t enough music for one morning. ASL squeezed in some rehearsal time for their grand finale piece for the evening performances before packing up and having lunch.

IMG_0359In the afternoon the coaches took us into Central Paris, we soaked up the sights on the way to our destination of the Eglise Notre Dame des Blancs Manteaux in the 4th arrondissement. Rehearsals and preparations all afternoon transformed the church into the set of a collage format concert.

The audience members started to arrive and ponder where to sit as musicians were all around them in the four corners of the church and pews were en travers, facing inwards. By 2030 there was a full house and standing room only as the baton came down for the start of the first piece.  The concert was a great success with music flowing seamlessly around the church passing between orchestra, choir, concert band and an array of smaller ensembles. By the time of arrival back at the hotel that night everyone was tried but proud of their accomplishments, looking to build upon them the next day.

Day 3 was for the final concert.

A leisurely morning was welcomed by all and a 1030 departure gave us time enough to arrive in the Northern suburbs of Paris in time for an early lunch. Once feed and watered we made the final leg of the journey to Enghien les Bains. The spring weather brought out the best of this lake-side spa town and those who weren’t needed at the rehearsal could go and explore or chill out with an ice cream.

Our venue was the splendid and recently renovated church of St Joseph – another beautiful church with the space to allow the collage concert. The support from the local community and feature on idfm radio brought in a good crowd to hear the musicians excel themselves for another fantastic performance.

Day 4 was the journey home.

Despite a spot of Sunday evening  traffic we all made it back in one piece. Each person got something slightly different out of this music tour but everyone had a great experience.

OneStage in Full Swing

Trelaze Festival,Christine Taylor, LSSOThe 2014 touring season is well underway with Easter groups on the road in Berlin, Dublin and Paris. This year they are enjoying the glorious spring sunshine, which is a lovely change to last year’s late snow.  We are excited to have our first tour to Iceland, several jazz bands at ‘Music in the Park’ Montreux Jazz and concerts at Notre-Dame de Paris, Girona, Barcelona, Salzburg, Ghent and Rouen cathedrals. There will be around 250 concerts performances by OneStage groups over the course of the year.

We welcome Marie Fouche-Bray, who started at OneStage in November, to the team.  Marie and Eve accompanied one of our large groups (130 pax) in Paris last weekend. The highlight of the trip was a sell-out audience at Notre-Dame des Blancs Manteaux!

We are still slowly adding destinations to our website. Please remember OneStage covers the whole of Europe and many world-wide destinations, so if you don’t see your ideal touring place on our map, then please get in toucBrighton Montreux Jazz 2013h with Julian or Sonia to ask for details.  Our destinations page will soon feature Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, the USA, Canada and Bulgaria amongst other inviting touring ideas.

Groups should be planning 2015 tour now to obtain allocations at the best accommodations and choice venues.  We are happy to come and meet you to discuss your touring requirements or take an enquiry on the phone, or by email. The next opportunity to meet OneStage face to face will be at the MMA Conference at St George’s College in Weybridge in May 2014. To find out more please visit http://www.mma-online.org.uk/.

Kew Wind Orchestra’s Champagne Tour

OneStage really enjoys working with adult music groups, especially when there are lots of friends and familiar faces on board.  Kew Wind Orchestra took a long weekend away in Champagne, the perfect short-haul tour destination, accompanied by Eve from OneStage:

Some say that strawberries are the KWO Charlesvilleperfect accompaniment to Champagne, but I’d say that Kew Wind Orchestra goes pretty well too. An optimum combination of the beautiful landscape, exquisite taste and finesse of Champagne and the sublime sounds of the highly acclaimed KWO.

What’s more, they certainly know how to have a good time on tour too! What better way to start the trip than with real style and sit down for a Champagne breakfast at the Brasserie on the Ferry as we cruise across the channel.

The first evening was a totally different kind of fun as the musicians transformed themselves in to an imaginative array of Halloween themed personalities. The town of Reims may not have seen such fancy dress parties before but the locals were more curious than spooked and many of them enjoyed their evening with us.

In the morning, some had a leisurely start while others explored Reims by day. Then we all drove up to the Ardennes town of Charleville-Mézières where our concert would be that afternoon. The rest of the day was spent enjoying the local cuisine and soaking up the atmosphere.

Next day, the orchestra turned the focus to sampling the local delights of the famous champagne region. The Champagne house of Laurent Perrier hosted us for an incredibly special visit and tasting session in the morning. Thanks to one of the band’s contacts we were privileged enough to be able to experience something not available to the general public.

But how could we only visit one Champagne House when there are so many in this region? Mercier was our next stop, although some people couldn’t resist another glass with lunch beforehand and then afterwards at dinner as well. The day was rounded off with a concert in Epernay and a standing ovation from the audience.

There was Another chance to visit Reims that evening and the next morning before setting off on our way back to Calais, across the Chanel and home to London with plenty of memories, stories and souvenirs in hand.

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