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Oxshott Choral Society’s Touring Experience in Madrid

Spain is an extremely successful destination tours possible to many regions and towns, including Madrid, Seville, Granada, Barcelona, Cantabria etc for choirs, bands and orchestras. We are delighted to share with you Oxshott Choral Society’s (an adult choir) experience of Madrid last October:

“Our tour organisers One Stage had really put together an excellent programme for our concerts and excursions at a sensible price. The whole weekend was excellent value for money. The tour was a real partnership between tour operator and choir which worked really well.

Day 1 – Thursday 5 October 2017

Our tour party arrived at Heathrow, late morning, all present and correct for our BA flight to Madrid. After an hour and half delay we were on our way. We were greeted on board by the senior steward (who was also a choral singer in a Stevenage choir),  who gave us a rendering of the “Hallejulah” chorus as we came onto the aircraft and then wished us a successful tour with an announcement on the aircraft PA. On arrival in Madrid we met our brilliant tour leader Adriana and checked in to Hotel Florida Norte in time for a buffet meal in the restaurant.

Day 2 – Friday 6 October

After breakfast on Friday, Adriana took us on a whistle stop tour of the city before heading to Alcala de Henares for our first rehearsal and concert. The cathedral (built around 1500) in Alcala de Henares a university town about a forty five minute drive from Madrid was a lovely venue for a concert and we gave our first performance of Mozart’s Requiem to a good sized and appreciative audience. The town itself, where Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, was baptized in 1547 is an attractive university town with a medieval centre and while we were there, there was a parade and market to celebrate Cervantes which all added to the charm. This was a great choice of venue for our concert by OneStage.

Day 3 – Saturday 7 October

Our Saturday morning programme was sightseeing in Madrid with many of the choir choosing to visit the Prado museum. Those who chose to go on a guided tour were taken round to see about thirty especially selected paintings by an excellent guide who really brought the paintings to life with a most instructive talk about each one. In the afternoon we gave our second performance of Mozart’s Requiem in the local church of our guide Adriana – the Paroquia Nuestra Senora de Covadonga. This concert preceded the evening celebration of Mass. The church was packed and the choir gave a memorable performance which was greatly appreciated by the enthusiastic audience. Once again as in Alcala the choir were warmly welcomed here with everyone at the church being so friendly and helpful.  After the concert the choir dispersed in groups to restaurants and bars around Madrid with a group going to an excellent Flamenco evening.

Day 4 – Sunday 8 October

Sunday was a free day with the choir heading for a day trip to Segovia. Once again, as throughout the whole weekend, it was a gloriously sunny day and it was wonderful to explore this beautiful city with its spectacular cathedral, fortress and Roman aqueduct and to enjoy lunch at the various restaurants around the medieval centre.  On returning to Madrid it was time to get ready for our final dinner at Restaurant La Catedral in the centre of Madrid. We enjoyed a lively evening with a tapas meal and drinks and our tour awards were handed out to different choir members by our two coach monitors Helen and Hannah who did a brilliant comic presentation. French and Saunders would have been proud! This was lovely way to spend the last evening of a very happy tour.

Day 5 – Monday 9 October

After an organised guided walk around the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) on the Monday morning, we headed back to the airport and back to Heathrow, having had a truly memorable weekend. It had all gone so well, great company, two lovely concerts in beautiful churches, time for sightseeing, a brilliant final dinner, a hotel which was well located near the centre of the city, and great organisation and leadership from our splendid tour manager Adrianna. A tired but happy group of singers arrived back in the UK.”

Our thanks to group leader, Michael Newman, for sharing the choir’s experience with OneStage.

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