Welcome to Berlin
Whether you like history, culture, music, nightlife or all of the above, Berlin is an amazing city to visit.
Travel to Berlin for 4 nights and see such famous destinations as the Reichstag (the German Parliament), Brandenburg Gate, the remains of the Berlin Wall, and the Wall Victims Memorial. Take in the city’s contemporary skyscrapers, large zoo and many art and history museums.
Berlin is noted for its significant influence in the realms of science, technology, commerce, and architecture and has also had incredible influence on the world of music. With seven symphony orchestras, two major concert halls, and a plethora of smaller venues and churches, Berlin is indisputably one of the world’s greatest cities for classical music. Throughout its history, Berlin has been the musical center of northern Germany, giving rise to such greats as Richard Strauss, Kurt Weill, and Paul Hindemith. Today, Berlin continues its musical tradition with a rich and varied music scene ranging from classical to jazz and ska to folk.
Depart North America for Berlin, Germany.
Welcome to Berlin!
Enjoy an introduction to Germany’s dynamic capital during a guided city tour. See the Brandenburg Gate, glitzy Potsdam Square, Unter den Linden Boulevard, and Alexander Square with its iconic TV tower, the Berlin Philharmonic, remnants of the Berlin Wall, and other famous sights.
Transfer to your hotel in the early afternoon and take some time to settle in and refresh. A rehearsal can be arranged.
In the evening, a welcome dinner of local specialties will be served to your group at a nearby restaurant.
Begin your first full day in Berlin with a visit to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, named after the famous crossing point on the Berlin Wall. The museum displays photos and related documents of successful escape attempts from East Germany, together with ingenious apparatuses used in daring escapes: hot air balloons, getaway cars, chairlifts, and a mini U-Boat.
In the afternoon, a visit to one of Berlin’s world-class museums, such as the Pergamon Museum, Bode Museum, or German Historical Museum can be arranged.
This evening, transfer to a local venue to perform a friendship concert with a local ensemble. Following your respective performances, there will be time to socialize and get to know your hosts and members of the audience.
Dinner can be arranged to complement your performance schedule.
This morning, embark on an excursion to Potsdam including a visit to Sanssouci Palace, a jewel of baroque architecture that was once the summer palace of Frederick the Great, or Film Studio Babelsberg, the oldest large-scale film studio in the world and the cradle of German cinema. You will also have an opportunity to see the Glienicke Bridge, made famous by the Tom Hanks movie as the “Bridge of Spies.”
Return to Berlin in the afternoon to prepare for this evening’s concert.
In the evening, transfer to Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a powerful landmark of the formerly divided city and a captivating architectural masterpiece that combines remnants of the old church destroyed in World War II and a modern edifice featuring stunning painted glass art. Perform a concert for the public in this unique and beloved church.
This morning, a visit to Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial can be arranged. The memorial consists of a field of over 2,700 concrete slabs or ‘stelae’ covering almost five acres and invites visitors to walk around the narrow alleys. Be sure also to visit the excellent exhibit below ground, which dedicates four rooms to the fates of individual Jewish families from Berlin during the Holocaust.
Afterwards, transfer to St. Mary’s Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King was invited to preach in 1964, at the height of the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement. Perform a mid-day concert in this magnificent church. Following your performance, you may wish to shop at adjacent Alexander Square or explore the nearby Nikolai Quarter, the beautifully reconstructed historic heart of Berlin.
In the evening, gather together at a local restaurant for a festive farewell dinner.
Depart for the airport and your return flight to North America. Return home with wonderful memories of your concert tour to Germany.
FRIENDSHIP CONCERT IN BERLIN
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.
As capital of Prussia, the First German Empire, the Weimar Republic, and Hitler’s Third Reich, Berlin is a city of immense historical importance. During your visit, you will witness first-hand the grandeur of the Hohenzollern Dynasty, the destruction wrought by full-scale war and division, and the painstaking efforts to construct a unified city in the post-Communist era. Moreover, you will experience a taste of Berlin’s art and music scene—perhaps the liveliest in Europe. Add your own contribution by performing in such magnificent and meaningful places as St. Mary's Church and Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
Schloss Sanssouci, or Sanssouci Palace, was built in 1747 as the summer palace of Frederick the Great, the King of Prussia. It was built as a private residence where the King could relax away from the Berlin court. The palace’s name reflects the King’s desire for a retreat; “Sans souci” is a French phrase meaning “without worry” or “carefree.” The palace is Germany’s major work of Rococo architecture.
KAISER WILHELM MEMORIAL CHURCH
The original Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was built in the 1890s. In 1943, it was bombed into ruins by Allied forces. It stands today as a haunting war memorial. The church’s damaged spire has been retained, and the ground floor now serves as a memorial hall. A modern church with magnificent glass mosaics fashioned in the French city of Chartres was built around the remains of the old church in 1961.