Welcome to Scotland & Ireland
Journey through Scotland and Ireland’s most vibrant cities. Explore magnificent castles amidst breathtaking natural beauty. Both Scotland and Ireland are internationally renowned for their traditional music, steeped in lore and often featuring instruments such as the fiddle, bagpipes, harp, and guitar. World-renowned acts of many genres have emerged from the Irish and Scottish music scenes. You will have the opportunity to perform your own repertoire in spectacular, historic venues that have hosted generations of talented performers.
See tradition and modernity intertwine in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Tread in the footsteps of nobility as you tour Edinburgh and Stirling Castles. Enjoy the picturesque scenery of County Wicklow, known as the “Garden of Ireland.” Unveil rich history as you enjoy a concert tour of Scotland and Ireland, and let yourself by immersed in all they have to offer as you share your music with local people.
Depart North America for Edinburgh, Scotland.
Welcome to Scotland! Enjoy an introduction to Edinburgh during a guided city tour including the Royal Mile, historic Old Town, Georgian new Town and Calton Hill.
Stop for lunch in the city center where you can enjoy the magnificent architecture up close. Later, check in to your hotel and refresh. A rehearsal can be arranged.
Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner of Scottish specialties as your tour manager previews the highlights of the days ahead.
Begin your first full day in Scotland with a guided tour of the famous Edinburgh Castle. See its origins from the 12th century in St. Margaret’s Chapel through massive additions from the 1500s, as well as the Crown Jewels of Scotland which are on display in the on-site museum.
Stop for lunch at your leisure before returning to the hotel to prepare for the evening concert.
This evening, sing a friendship concert with a local Scottish choir at a venue such as St. Giles’ Cathedral, known as the “cradle of Presbyterianism,” as it was the church of John Knox during the Reformation.
Depart Edinburgh in the morning for the scenic drive to Glasgow. En route, visit Stirling Castle, one of the most magnificent in all of Scotland.
Enjoy some time for lunch upon arrival in Glasgow before beginning a guided city tour. See George Square, Glasgow Cathedral, and the city’s historic university in the West End.
After checking in to the hotel, discover the wonderful dining the city has to offer and treat your taste buds to Scottish delicacies such as rumbledethumps.
Enjoy an amazing morning visit to Glasgow Cathedral of St. Mungo, the only medieval cathedral in Scotland to survive the reformation of 1560 intact. The cathedral and its museum get their name from the patron Saint of Glasgow, St. Mungo, who brought Christianity to Scotland in the 6th century.
Sing a lunchtime concert at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for the many visitors at this most popular venue housed in an incredible Victorian building in the heart of Glasgow, Later, enjoy some time to explore the city center.
This evening, visit a local restaurant for dinner and listen to traditional Scottish music.
This morning, board the ferry to Belfast in Northern Ireland where you will meet your motor coach and drive south to Dublin.
Upon arrival in Dublin, begin a guided city tour that includes the General Post Office, O’Connell Street, the Custom House, and highlights many of Dublin’s famous writers. Your tour will conclude with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse.
After you check in to the hotel, dinner is served in Temple Bar, a lively pub district where Irish music is played in nearly every establishment. Those who are interested may want to try out the spooky Dublin Ghost Tour after dinner.
Begin the day with a workshop with an Irish choir director in which you will learn about the local choral music traditions.
Next, visit the historic campus of Trinity College which dates back to 1582 and view the incredible 9th century illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells.
This afternoon, perform a concert in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Built to honor Ireland’s patron saint, it lies adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it that he baptized converts while visiting Dublin. Dinner will be served at a pub or restaurant to compliment the concert timing.
Depart for a wonderful day in the idyllic Irish landscape of rolling green hills crisscrossed with ancient stone walls. Drive in to County Wicklow, known as “the Garden of Ireland,” and visit Powerscourt House and Gardens. Originally the site of a castle from 1300, the “current” building dates back to the 1700s.
Continue on to Glendalough, St. Kevin’s early monastic site from the 6th century, set in a glacial valley with two lakes and towering green mountains.
End the day with a festive farewell dinner in Ireland’s oldest pub with live music on traditional instruments.
This morning check out of the hotel and transfer to the Dublin Airport and your return flight to North America.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city located in the nation’s Central Belt region and an amalgam of medieval and modern influences. Its skyline is dominated by the majestic Edinburgh Castle. Running downhill from the castle is the Royal Mile, the main artery of the city’s 16th century Old Town. The Royal Mile leads to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. You won't want to miss the chance to buy some tartan for gifts and to stop to listen to the abundance of local musicians playing in pubs, restaurant and coffee shops, as there is music at every corner!
Situated on the River Clyde, Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and one of the largest seaports in the world. Glasgow has been deemed a UNESCO City of Music and hosts an average of 130 music events weekly, ranging from rock and pop to opera and Celtic music. Central Glasgow is divided into two major areas: the City Center, a neighborhood containing the city’s commercial heart and most of its tourist attractions, and the West End, a Bohemian neighborhood. As the gateway to the Highlands, the city is rich in Scottish tradition and music. Audiences are welcoming and excited to hear music from other countries and to share their own with guests.
Dublin’s intimate flair, pedestrian-friendly streets, and setting on the banks of the River Liffey and Dublin Bay make it an ideal European destination. In 1988, Dublin celebrated its 1,000th anniversary as an Irish city with festivities and projects that restored many of its historic buildings and facades, and turned the famous Grafton Street into a pedestrian shopping thoroughfare. Although the name Dublin derives from the Gaelic “Dubh Linn” meaning “dark pool,” it is the city’s light and the lightheartedness of its people for which it is best known. Dublin is filled with music on street corners, in pubs and restaurants, and in churches and concerts halls. You can't go a block without melodies floating out from a doorway!
FRIENDSHIP CONCERTS IN SCOTLAND & IRELAND
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.