Delaware Women’s Chorus Tours Ireland

MCI was pleased to work with the Delaware Women’s Chorus on their recent concert tour to Ireland. They were extremely well received oversees and were delighted to hear that their tour and performances went off without a hitch.

Thank you to director Joanne Ward for providing such a wonderfully detailed account of their trip highlights. Congratulations, Delaware Women’s Chorus, and we hope to work with you again in the future!

delaware womens chorus 1Transportation:

We found Lufthansa to be professional and accommodating. Check in was easy; they took good care of us on board.

The motor coaches were clean, quiet and comfortable.

Our driver, Lee, was very professional, helpful and enjoyable.

Tour Manager:

I cannot say enough good things about Irwin Johnston. By the beginning of the second day, he knew everyone’s name on the tour. Irwin developed a special relationship with everyone, getting to know them as individuals, finding out about their special interests, and truly enjoying them as people. He was extremely knowledgeable in every respect, entertained us with just the right amount of “Irish humor” and endeared himself into all our hearts without exception. He bent over backwards to be make sure that everyone got to do what they wanted to do, even if it meant not joining the group for certain events, but going off on their own. Irwin was helpful, considerate, kind, caring and extremely professional. It was difficult for all of us to say goodbye when the time came.

Performances:

Our performance at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland was a wonderful experience for us to start our tour. It was managed beautifully, advertised well, the acoustics were wonderful and we had a very large audience which gave us a standing ovation! What more could we ask for?!

The workshop and concert at Brockagh Centre was a wonderfully unique experience that I doubt any of us will ever have again. The workshop went very well and was very well attended. We got a chance to hear their little choir and they were very appreciative of the performance we gave them. Lunch was wonderful – we had the chance to sit with the people who attended, talk to them, listen to them, get to know them, and share our experiences with them. They warm, charming and delightful. Our hearts were full as were our stomachs when we left.

Shared performance at Cornerstone Church at The Well in Bray was a wonderful venue and concept. The people of the church went out of their way to welcome us and provide us with whatever equipment we needed. They used an amplification system which worried me at first, but the young man running it knew exactly how to enhance our sound without making us appear to be amplified at all. One gentleman, whose name I have forgotten, but whose face will stay in my mind for a long time to come, hand painted rocks with flowers and biblical sayings for every member of the ensemble, including our accompanist, flutist, and violinist. It was probably the venue where we sounded the best. The two local performers were wonderful and we had a chance to interact with them at the reception following the performance.

Personal Highlight:

For me, the best part of the tour was probably our workshop/performance at the Brokaugh Center in Glendalough. There is nothing like music to bring people together and that experience touched something inside me and all of us in a very special way.

I would hate to speak for the performers about a specific moment, but I can tell you that I continue to hear from people via e-mail, hand written notes, and phone calls about how wonderful a tour it was. Most would get on a plane and do it all over again, given the chance.

Sightseeing:

The sightseeing was wonderful – everyone agreed that we saw wonderful things everywhere that we went. I wish that we had been able to provide people with more time to go off on their own and explore the beautiful places we went. That was probably my fault – I wanted them to be able to do everything I did on the director’s tour, forgetting that adults don’t need (or want) every minute to be accounted for the way teenagers do!

General Feedback:

The biggest surprise for me was what the tour did for the cohesiveness, both musically and emotionally, of the ensemble. I am stickler for excellence and I push my singers to always strive to achieve their personal best, but rehearsing, performing, traveling and living with each other for a week, did something for the ensemble that I, as their director, could never do. MCI made it easy for me to sit back and enjoy the women who sing for me as well as the people who traveled with them. By the end of the tour we had all come together as a family in so many ways. DWC has always been a truly good musical ensemble – after this trip we will be even better, because we had a chance to get to know each other in ways that a 2 hour rehearsal once a week would never permit.

Having never coordinated a tour myself before, I was a bit tentative about taking on such a huge undertaking. However, my initial conversations with Mauri McClean reassured me that this would be a good company to use.

Again, I can’t say enough about the people I worked with from MCI. I have never met a group of people capable of making you feel as though you are their ONLY client like these folks did. I hope to take more tours in the future and I will NEVER use any other tour company!

Joanne Ward, director
Delaware Women’s Chorus
Wilmington, DE

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