Welcome to France!
Begin your tour in Normandy, a region in the northwest corner of France characterized by stunning natural beauty. The rolling hills and breathtaking coastline that provided inspiration for artists such as impressionists Claude Monet and Paul Gaugin are sure to inspire your ensemble.
After a taste of the French countryside, continue to cosmopolitan Paris, and explore the splendor of the “City of Light,” from famous landmarks and world-class museums to legendary cuisine. The intermingling of intimate charm and magnificent grandeur makes Paris a visitor’s dream. Throughout history, Paris has been a magnet for performing artists and musical luminaries. Classical musicians who blossomed in Paris include legendary composers Hector Berlioz and Claude Debussy as well as George Bizet, who composed the famous opera, Carmen. Live music performances, whether concerts, operas, or cabarets, are an integral element of Parisian culture.
Come to France and be a part of the magic as you perform in stunning venues for appreciative audiences. Enjoy a concert tour of France, and let yourself be immersed in all that Normandy and Paris have to offer as you share your music with local people.
Depart North America for Paris, France. Bon voyage!
Welcome to France! Arrive in Paris and continue on to Rouen, the capital of Upper Normandy that was once one of the most prosperous cities in medieval Europe. Enjoy an introduction to France with time at leisure to explore Rouen and its charming Old Town.
Continue on to Caen, the capital of Lower Normandy. As you enter the city, admire buildings crafted from famous Caen stone, a beautiful limestone quarried in the area.
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.
Today, join a local guide as you discover Normandy’s hallowed ground.
Begin your first full day in France with a visit to the Caen Memorial, a museum dedicated to peace. Built on the site of a former bunker, the Caen Memorial is considered the best World War II museum in France.
Next, travel along the Normandy coast and see towns and beaches dotted with memorials, monuments, and cemeteries from the war. Visit Omaha Beach, D-Day’s most intensely fought after beach.
Later this afternoon, perform a commemorative concert at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial honoring American soldiers who perished in Europe during World War II.
Return to Caen and spend the evening exploring the charming city center.
Early this morning, check out of your hotel and return to Paris, France’s vibrant, cosmopolitan capital.
Embark on a guided tour of Paris including iconic sights such as the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, a famed thoroughfare lined with chestnut trees, cafés, and luxury shops, and the Arc de Triomphe, an impressive landmark commemorating French military victories.
Visit the Eiffel Tower; ascend to the monument’s second floor observatory with spectacular views of Paris below.
Check in to your hotel and get settled.
Tonight, join a local ensemble for an evening friendship concert followed by time to mingle and exchange.
Perform a morning concert at a local venue such as the magnificent Notre-Dame Cathedral, perhaps the finest example of French Gothic architecture in the world, or La Madeleine, a striking neoclassical temple to the glory of Napoleon’s army.
Next, visit one of the city’s renowned museums. Choose between the Musée du Louvre, whose treasures include Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or the Musée d’Orsay, known for its impressionist masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, and Van Gogh.
This evening, a festive farewell dinner of classic French cuisine is served to your ensemble.
An evening river cruise along the Seine River can be arranged as a perfect finale to your time in Paris. Admire the glittering “City of Light” as night falls and it becomes illuminated.
Depart for a Paris airport and your return flight to North America.
NORMANDY AMERICAN CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL
Located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial covers over 170 acres. The cemetery contains over 9,300 perfectly aligned white marble gravestones that shelter the remains of American servicemen who perished during the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy. It was established on June 8, 1944 as the first U.S. cemetery on European soil during World War II. The memorial area, a semicircular colonnade facing a serene reflecting pool, is the site of many commemorative ceremonies; visiting ensembles are invited to pay tribute to the fallen here.
Notre-Dame Cathedral, known locally as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, is one of Paris' most recognized landmarks. As an active church and a pilgrimage destination, the famous cathedral is the focal point of Catholicism in France. Located in the fourth arrondissement on Île de la Cité, a natural island in the Seine River, Notre-Dame is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the world. Just as Notre-Dame opens its doors for tourism, worship, and pilgrimage, it also opens its doors for music; the church hosts choirs to sing for weekend masses or weekday morning concerts. As your voices resonate among the cathedral's famed arches and stained glassed windows, singing in Notre-Dame is certain to be an unforgettable experience.
La Madeleine, a church dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, is situated in the eponymous Place de la Madeleine, near Palais Garnier and Place de la Concorde. Designed as a neoclassical temple to the glory of Napoleon's army, this Roman Catholic church has a commanding presence in Paris' eighth arrondissement. 52 imposing Corinthian columns, each over 60 feet high, encircle the building. This majestic space has hosted prominent French musicians throughout history; composers Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Urbain Fauré both served as organists at La Madeleine, and their memorials, along with that of Frédéric François Chopin, were held here. The church also hosts year-round classical music concerts.
FRIENDSHIP CONCERTS IN FRANCE
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.