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Happy New Year 2016

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Following a very successful 2015 season, OneStage is preparing for an even busier 2016. We would like to say a big thank you to all our clients for your loyalty and support and wish you all a prosperous and enjoyable 2016.

We are delighted to announce that OneStage has completed their School Travel Forum Assured Membership application and has been awarded a Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC badge). Pippy has been working really hard to make sure that information from suppliers is systematically stored and that the safety of our groups is of paramount importance. Added to the many years of music touring knowledge and experience retained by OneStage staff, we are confident that this can only enhance our OneStage products. Logos will be added to our website very soon.

Italy is one of our top destinations for 2016 thanks in no small part to Laura (our Italian ‘guru’, who has been organising concerts throughout Tuscany, Umbria and the Veneto region for many years). We also welcome back Sarah Sharman from maternity leave (our fount of knowledge for French and German concerts), who will be working part-time managing and promoting some of our concerts.

Our Sales Team has already started work on 2017 tour projects, so if you are considering a tour, please get in touch for some destinations ideas and help with financial planning . We would really like to send some groups to the Lisbon Youth Music Festival, Mid-Europe Band Festival (Salzburg region) and the World Music Contest in Kerkrade.  We have a few special festivals for outstanding vocal and orchestral ensembles too.

If you would like to meet us, then we will have a stand at Music Education Expo 2016 on 25th and 26th February at Olympia. We welcome the opportunity to set up appointments with you, or simply visit us on Stand D9 to discuss your individual music touring requirements.

We look forward to working with you in 2016 and 2017.

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Latest Paris Advice

Monday, November 16th, 2015

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday, the British government have issued the following advice for British nationals travelling to France and Paris in particular.

On Friday 13 November, a number of terrorist incidents took place in Paris resulting in widespread casualties. British nationals are advised to exercise caution in public places and follow the advice of the local authorities. French authorities have heightened security measures due to a risk of further attacks. The advice of the Paris Police is currently to keep movement around town to a minimum. Systematic border control checks have been implemented at all entry points into France. A national state of emergency and a three-day period of mourning have been declared (14-16 November). Public gatherings, the flying of drones and use of fireworks in the Ile de France region (Paris and surrounding area) have been prohibited.

A full report can be found here. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france.

There is currently no official statement advising people against travelling to Paris. However, OneStage will be keeping reviewing this advice on a regular basis, in order to advise our clients who are booked to travel to Paris, or intend to book a tour there over the coming months.

To our friends and colleagues in Paris, our thoughts remain with you.

Memories of Alsace & The Black Forest, Oct 2015

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
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Group photo outside Strasbourg Cathedral.

Exploring Alsace & The Black Forest OneStage-style

Thirteen lucky travellers embarked on a journey from London to Strasbourg with Eurostar & TGV via Paris on Sunday morning, where we arrived safe and well with all our luggage intact at around 5pm. Our amazing, city-centre, youth accommodation ‘CIARUS’, deceptively large and ideal for ensembles requiring versatile rehearsal facilities, has en-suite rooms and enjoys an ideal city centre location. OneStage arranged a crisp, clear night for our evening guided walking tour (thank you Anne) visiting the main sights including Strasbourg Cathedral and the half-timbered buildings in Petite France and one of our wonderful concert venues. Dinner was at a traditional Alsatian restaurant in the city centre sampling some of the region’s culinary delights, a.k.a. copious amounts of choucroute and sausages.

A bright Monday morning revealed rows of storks’ nests in the trees, visits to other youth accommodations and potential concert opportunities. We meandered along the Alsatian wine route to the pretty town of Scherwiller, stopping for Flammeküche/ tarte flambée at a rustic Alsatian restaurant. Large groups welcome! A little wine tour and tasting seemed appropriate after dinner. The descending fog and limited lighting meant that we regrettably postponed our visit to the Chateau du Haut-Königsbourg, in favour of heading onwards to Lake Titisee in the Black Forest.

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OneStage Team Photo

Shimmering sunlight on Tuesday morning revealed glittering autumnal golds, browns and reds in the forests surrounding our guest house. A truly dazzling sight and great start to the morning, with a hearty German breakfast to set us up for the day. We visited numerous villages and venues, stopped off in a farm house to enjoy some local produce and had plenty of time in Freiburg. Our guided tour revealed some fascinating aspects about Freiburg and the coffee and Black Forest Gateau in Cafe Atrium was simply divine. We left Freiburg feeling content and hungry for a sumptious German meal that awaited us at a traditional Black Forest Straussenwirtschaft. Mulhouse was our final destination, where we checked in to our hotel and enjoyed our final night on tour.

Alsatian culinary delights

Black Forest culinary delights

Our last morning ended with a final visit to one of our favourite concert venues in Mulhouse before we made a dash to the station for our train to Paris, a mere 2h,20min journey. We travelled across Paris to the Gare du Nord, with plenty of time to check in to our Eurostar back to London. This OneStage team thoroughly enjoyed the company of each and every participant and we would like to thank you once again for joining us on our whirlwind tour of these lovely regions and we look forward to working with you very soon.

Our special thanks to Tourisme Alsace, Strasbourg Tourist Board, Voyages SNCF, CIARUS and The Hoch-Schwarzwald Tourist Office for their suggestions and support.

OneStage Spring in to Action

Monday, April 20th, 2015

The OneStage image2team are all very busy enjoying the European sunshine! 37 of our 210 concerts will have taken place by the end of April, which means that our operations season is well under way.

Eve and Marie have been tour managing of a school group of 140 people in the Belgian Ardennes; Barbara is finalising concert plans whilst on an inspection visit in Krakow and Eastern Moravia; Laura has just come back from one of our favourite places – Montecatini, Tuscany; Julian has been sourcing some new and exciting hotels and venue in Austria and Slovenia; Sonia is heading to Erfurt and Weimar at the weekend and Pippy has been exploring The Netherlands. Sarah is on maternity leave and we’re all waiting anxiously for the announcement of baby no. 3.

In addition to the tours taking place this year, we are looking ahead to 2016 and 2017 and encourage music departments to plan ahead in order to secure the best components for your tour.

You can meet Julian, Laura & Sonia at the MMA Conference at Wellington College from 15-17th May. If we don’t see you there, then please call us or send an email with your enquiry.

Happy New Year / Happy Birthday to us!

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

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Happy New Year!  2015 promises to be a very exciting year, as OneStage celebrates its 15th anniversary.  During the last 15 years, we’ve arranged over 600 tours, organised and publicised more than 3000 concerts, and taken more than 35000 musicians on tour!

To celebrate our 15th Anniversary, we’re offering free places on a familiarisation trip to one of our favourite destinations: read more about it here

Here are just a couple of places you can find us in 2015

– On 14 and 15 March at Music Education Expo: register here free of charge!

– On various inspection trips to Paris, Slovenia, the Harz Mountains, Berlin, Toulouse, Barcelona, Venice, and many more!

– From 15-17 May at the MMA Conference at Wellington College: find out more about this event here

We’re not stopping here though, we’ve already taken a record number of enquiries for tours in 2016, so don’t delay, contact us to start planning your 2016 tour now!

 

On the run up to our 15 year milestone

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

MUSIC MARK 2014

Come and meet Julian, Laura and Marie from OneStage at the Music Mark Conference in Daventry from 20-22nd November where, to celebrate our 15th anniversary in 2015, we look forward to launching our next Familiarisation Trip for Directors of Music.

Petit France, Strasbourg © CRTA  ZvardonWith their close proximity to the UK and excellent value for money, France and Germany have long been our favourite music tour destinations. To show off the numerous performance opportunities in Alsace and The Black Forest we invite you to win a free place on the trip. Selestat concert 2, Russell Parry, LSSO

In addition to an assortment of musical venues, we will sightsee, embark on boat trips, meander along the pretty villages on the wine route, enjoy delicious Flammkuchen before delving in to the heart of the Black Forest, where there are waterfalls, cuckoo clocks, the odd pair of Lederhosen and prize-winning giant slabs of BFG (in this case, Black Forest Gateau).

Simply come and visit our stand to find out more about the dates and itinerary.

Kirschtorte-©-STG.jpg

Kirschtorte-©-STG.jpg

WHAT ELSE IS NEW AT ONESTAGE?

We have been taking a good look at the programme of excursions that we offer all age groups and our new destination sheets are being designed to complement our quotes.

Our aim is to focus on musical excursions and for our clients to experience musical performances on tour as well as enjoying their  own.

 

TOUR OPERATING LICENCES

OneStage moved over its tour operating licencing from TOPP to ABTOT from 1st April this year to comply with the more stringent regulations required by the School Travel Forum (STF). This bond allows us to comply with the Travel Package regulations and keeps our client’s money safe in the event of our financial failure. For more information about our bond, see details on http://www.abtot.com/

OneStage is working on becoming an assured member of the STF as well as receiving the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOTC) badge. We hope to comply fully before the end of this year. To find out more about the School Travel Forum see their website http://www.schooltravelforum.com/

 

 

 

Where to Tour in 2015/2016

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Our 2014 spring concert tours were extremely successful with groups travelling far and wide to destinations such as Barcelona, Budapest, New York–Washington-Philadelphia, Liege, Bruges, Utrecht, Dublin and Rome.

monnickendam 30 5.2014 USSO orchestra performance Our summer season is drawing to a close with the last few groups set to travel in August. We will be summer posting photos, news and articles over the next few months.

Thank you to everyone who has been sending in photos as part of the competition and special thanks to tour managers and concert promoters, who always contribute some amazing snaps.

If you’re planning a tour for 2015 or ahead to 2016, then please take a look at our destinations pages for ideas but please remem

advert mehningerber that OneStage covers the whole of Europe – even places off the beaten track – and many worldwide destinations including Canada and the USA.

  • You can enquire via the form on our website
  • Email Julian, Laura and Sonia using tourenquiries@onestage.co.uk
  • Call Julian direct on 0121 240 2972
  • You can meet Julian in person too at the ABCD Conference in Cardiff from 22-24th August. https://www.abcd.org.uk/events/abcd-convention
  • We are very willing to come and visit you, meet your group and discuss options too, at no obligation of course!

COCHEM-2Here are some ideas to get you started:

WALLONIA  – Visit the other half of Belgium. Explore the beautiful Ardennes, including Dinant the home of Adolf Sax and try your hand at rail-biking or visit and perform at the stunning Maredsous Abbey.

PICARDY – Ideal for a first time tour especially for prep-school aged children. Boulogne or Calais are great bases for short trips with activities such chocolate factories, theme parks, steam train rides and the Aquarium. The historical museum at La Coupole is an ideal visit on the return journey.

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THE RHINELAND & MOSEL – The steep banks of the rivers Rhine and Mosel provide an attractive setting for a tour, with plenty of activities including the mechanical music museum, Sesselbahns, boat trips, castles and an array of outdoor concerts at churches, bandstands, spas and festivals.

SLOVENIA & HUNGARY – Stay on the stunning setting of Lake Bled, visit Llubljana and extend your visit to Celje, Maribor and Ptuj before heading off to Lake Balaton, Hungary.  Simply stunning scenery, fabulous hotels and great concert opportunities!

PROVENCE – All summer long, there are music festivals waiting for your group to be part of!

Notts 2014AUSTRIA – Close to Salzburg you will find the Mid-Europe Festival in Schladming (application on-line) which we can integrate in to a longer European tour for your ensemble. Visit the Salzkammergut where there are salt mines, ice caves, castles, toboganning, lakes and train rides.  http://www.mideurope.at

ICELAND – We are delighted to be adding Iceland to our musical destination portfolio with our first tour departing in October 2014 to Reykjavik.

MALTA – A tiny island with hundreds of churches and great sunshine.  Take a full day trip over to Gozo or simply explore in Valletta and enchanting Mdina. Ideal for choirs and bands but only reachable by plane.

ITALY – This is such a wonderful destination and we simply love Italy.

Brighton & Hove Youth Big Band

The northern area is reachable by coach (Liguria, Tuscany, The Lakes & Veneto), further south we have to rely on flights.  Pretty towns & villages, plenty of music festivals in churches and outdoors.

Summertime Tours & Sizzling Best Photo Competition

Friday, July 4th, 2014

monnickendam 30 5.2014 USSO orchestra performanceThe OneStage office is busy preparing for our summer music groups departing to all corners of Europe. With approximately 200 concerts taking place during just this one month, our amazing ops team and concert organiser Sarah, is working on the final publicity touches.

We wish you all a successful tour and hope for great weather and appreciative audiences at all of your performances.  If you would like to stay in touch and see who is out and about, then follow us on Twitter @onestageUK or ‘like’ the OneStage Facebook page.

Don’t forget to send us links to your blogs too.

https://twitter.com/onestageuk

https://www.facebook.com/ONESTAGECONCERTTOURS

We will all be out of the office at some point during the summer, seeing various ensembles in action or polishing up on our tour managing skills. We are extremely lucky to have a wonderful group of linguists in the office with a passion for music. We extend a huge welcome Laura Ruiu-Patrick and Barbara Litynska, who bring with them yet more valuable music and travel experience especially in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Poland.

If you email us your photos then we will do our best to add them to our facebook page throughout the summer and will even consider using them on our destination pages on the website.  In fact, we would like to offer some prizes for the best photos of your ensemble performing on tour, with one £250.00 first place prize and two runners-up prizes of £75.00 each, to spend at a music shop of your choice.

A few handy hints for those of you who are thinking about packing for tour:

  • Don’t forget to stock up on instrument supplies like reeds, spare strings. Try Prozone Music http://www.prozonemusic.com/
  • Instrument insurance – check your existing policy is valid before you go and exactly what it covers.
  • Check the expiry date of your passport. There have been lengthy delays issuing renewals.
  • EHIC cards will save you money if you need to visit a GP or hospital but they do need renewing, so again, check the expiry date on the card.
  • Sun cream, sun hats, sun glasses and pegs for outdoor concerts
  • Let’s hope umbrellas will not be required!
  • Stay in touch with the FCO website – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office

 

 

 

OneStage in World Record attempt in Slovenia!

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen 45 very excited boys from Cumnor House School touched down at Venice Airport to begin their choir tour to Slovenia, they were already primed for their attempt on their very own World Record! Our Sales Manager Julian accompanied the tour and reports on their experiences.

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The tour was based on the shores of Lake Bled in the town of Bled itself, and the hotel boasted those two all essential amenities for a summer tour: air conditioned rooms and a large swimming pool complex! Our second day was spent getting the adrenalin flowing, by taking the cable car and toboggan run from Straza Hill overlooking the lake, and walking to our lunch venue halfway round the lake.

 

 

After a relaxing swim in the lake (yes really, it was warm enough!) our opening concert took place in the Art Deco Salon of the historic Grand Hotel Toplice, a hotel that has welcomed such distinguished (and diverse) guests as the Duke of York, President Tito of Yugoslavia, Madonna and Sting!

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Amongst other pieces the capacity audience were treated to moving  rendition of John Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth, as well as more rousing folk and pop songs.

More walking ensued on the third day, this time in the stunning (and shady) Vintgar Gorge, before hiking up to the precipitous Bled Castle, our second very hot concert venue 70 metres above the lake.

The fourth day was spent in the capital Ljubljana, with a recital in the wonderful acoustic of St Nicholas Cathedral, as well as a tour of the historic castle accompanied by costumed actors from various periods in the castle’s history.

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And then it was time for the attempt on the World Record, for the largest simultaneous busk worldwide, co-ordinated to start at the same time, all under the umbrella of the charity www.worldbusk.org .

The attempt, on the Presernov Trg square in central Ljubljana attracted a huge crowd, and provided a rousing finale to our first Slovenia tour!

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Watch this space to see if the record has been confirmed: the Choristers of Cumnor House certainly did their bit, even appearing on Slovenian television!

 

OneStage in the Land of Fire and Ice

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Hallgrimskirkja_Church_Iceland (20)

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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