Welcome to Vilnius, Riga & Tallinn
Come discover the history and natural beauty of the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Your stay will take you through a stunning landscape of medieval cities and breathtaking scenery. For generations, music and song have played a significant role in the lives of the Baltic people who inhabit this landscape. Through song lyrics and music festivals, young and old alike unite here to celebrate their heritage and culture.
Begin in Lithuania, a country renowned for its choral and folk music traditions. Its capital city, Vilnius, is the only city with three choir laureates at the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. Continue on to Latvia, a country that has also made its presence clear in the musical world. Latvian composers Joseph Wihtol and Alfreds Kalnins and conductor Mariss Jansons have all played an important role in 20th-century classical music. Latvia’s capital, Riga, is considered to be the most vibrant city in the Baltic region. Conclude your tour in Estonia, the smallest of the Baltic countries. Famous for its stunning seaside villages, verdant forests and marshlands, ancient medieval ruins, and song festival traditions, Estonia is a place of cultural and natural gems.
Enjoy a concert tour of the Baltic region, and let yourself be immersed in all that Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have to offer as you share your music with local people.
Depart North America for Vilnius, Lithuania.
Welcome to Vilnius!
Enjoy an introduction to Lithuania’s vibrant capital with a guided tour of Vilnius including the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, a Roman Catholic Church famous for its exceptional interior, and Vilnius Cathedral, a masterpiece of architectural classicism.
Conclude your tour in Old Town Vilnius, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of the largest surviving medieval centers in Northern Europe.
Check in to your hotel and take time to relax and refresh.
Rehearsal can be arranged this afternoon.
Tonight, a welcome dinner of local specialties is served as your tour manager previews the days ahead.
Begin your first full day in Europe with a guided excursion to Trakai, Lithuania’s historical capital. Known for its scenic beauty, this resort town offers a natural escape just outside of bustling Vilnius.
Next, visit Trakai Island Castle, the former summer residence of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Trakai Island Castle sits on an island in beautiful Lake Galvė.
Later, perform an evening concert at the Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard, or another awe-inspiring church in Vilnius.
Check out of your hotel and depart Vilnius for Riga, Latvia.
Embark on a guided tour of Riga including Riga Cathedral, one of the most recognizable landmarks in Latvia, and St. Peter’s Church, whose Gothic steeple is an iconic element of the city’s skyline.
Dinner of Latvian cuisine is served to your ensemble this evening.
Upon request, culminate the day with Latvian folk dance lessons.
This morning, visit the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, located in a pine forest on the shores of Jugla Lake. Over one hundred buildings from Latvia’s historical districts have been relocated, reconstructed, and furnished here. Walk through farmsteads of Latvian farmers, craftsmen, and fishermen as you get a glimpse into Latvia’s history.
This afternoon, a boat tour of Riga can be arranged. Admire the landscape of the city from the River Daugava.
Later, join a local ensemble for an evening friendship concert followed by time to mingle and exchange. St. John’s Church, the oldest church in Riga, is a possible concert venue.
Check out of your hotel and travel through the town of Sigulda, dubbed the “Switzerland of Latvia” due to its unspoiled natural beauty. Visit Turaida Castle, a red brick castle that has been painstakingly restored to its medieval appearance.
Continue on to Tallinn, Estonia, and check in to your hotel.
Enjoy a dinner of traditional Estonian cuisine.
Tonight, upon request, attend a live music or theater performance at Estonia Concert Hall or Tallinn City Theater.
Spend the morning on a guided tour of Tallinn including Kadriorg Palace, the country’s grandest example of palace and park design, and the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, where, in 1988, Estonians united against Soviet rule to sing patriotic hymns in what became known as the Singing Revolution.
This afternoon, perform a concert at Hopner House, a cultural venue centrally located in Tallinn’s Old Town.
A festive farewell dinner of traditional fare is served to your ensemble.
Depart for the Tallinn Airport and your return flight to North America.
CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS AND ST. BERNARD
The Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard is a Roman Catholic church located in Vilnius, Lithuania. Dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Bernardino of Siena, the church is a significant example of Gothic architecture in Lithuania. The church was originally built by Bernardine monks, and it has been reconstructed numerous times throughout history. According to legend, crowds would gather to hear the eloquent speeches of the Bernardine monks, and a large church was constructed to accommodate these audiences. The Church of St. Francis and St. Bernard welcomes visiting ensembles to perform concerts year round; the church's central Old Town location is a wonderful setting that draws large, enthusiastic audiences.
FRIENDSHIP CONCERT IN RIGA
Our friendship concerts are a featured experience on our tours and are at the heart of our mission to foster cultural connections through music. We benefit from a vast international network in the choral world built over our thirty years' experience of helping choirs share their music both in the United States and abroad. Your choir will share a venue and a concert program with a host choir from the region. Your singers will have the chance to hear their host choir's repertoire (often showcasing local musical styles) and to share your own repertoire in turn. Fellowship time usually follows the friendship concert, giving both choirs the chance to mingle and enjoy the camaraderie of creating cross-cultural connections through a shared love of music.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH
St. John's Church is a Lutheran church located in Riga, Latvia. Dedicated to St. John the Baptist, St. John's is the oldest house of worship in Riga. It was built on the site of a 13th century Dominican monastery chapel; after undergoing several reconstructions, the edifice acquired its present appearance around 1500. St. John's is an active place of worship with over one thousand registered members. It hosts worship services open to the public every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening and organ and vocal concerts Saturday evenings in the summer. The church's large size and excellent acoustics make it a popular concert venue for both local and visiting ensembles.
Hopner House is a cultural center located in Tallinn, Estonia. Situated in Old Town Tallinn in Town Hall Square, the historic Hopner House was named after its former owner, merchant Johan Hopner. Constructed in the Gothic style in the 14th and 15th centuries, it is one of the best preserved examples of medieval residential buildings in Tallinn. Hopner House draws its audiences from a supportive community of local artists and patrons. With the help of its wide network of local arts supporters, it hosts lectures, films, seasonal concert series, and many visiting performers. Its Old Town location makes it the ideal site for a seamless Tallinn concert.