Welcome to France!
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 including 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. 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!
Depart North America for Paris, France. Bon voyage!
Arrive in Paris, meet your Music Contact International tour manager, and board your private motor coach bound for Rouen, 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, creamy yellow limestone quarried in the area.
Check in to your hotel, and take time to relax and refresh. Rehearsal can be arranged.
Tonight, a welcome dinner of local specialties is served as your tour manager previews the days ahead.
Today, join a local guide and 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 memorial offers a poignant perspective on the events of World War II.
Travel along the coast, and see towns and beaches dotted with memorials, monuments, and
cemeteries from the war, including Omaha Beach, D-Day’s most intensely fought after beach.
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 lovely city center.
Early this morning, check out of your hotel and return to Paris, France’s vibrant,
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, ascending to the monument’s second floor observatory to take in spectacular views of the city 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 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, with treasures that include Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the ancient Vénus de Milo, 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. Return home with wonderful memories of your tour.
Additional days, destinations, and activities can be added to customize this tour for your group.
Concert Tour Highlights
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.
THE EIFFEL TOWER
Constructed as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, Parisians initially had a sour reaction to the wrought-iron lattice tower designed and built by Gustave Eiffel’s engineering firm. However, the tower, the tallest structure in Paris, has endured as a cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Each night, 20,000 light bulbs illuminate and sparkle on the tower, adding to the magic of the City of Light.
FRIENDSHIP CONCERTS IN FRANCE
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 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 opportunity to hear their host choir's repertoire (often showcasing local musical styles) and to share your own repertoire in turn. Fellowship time is planned around 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.