Touring is a big part of the mission of ISing Choir.
Not only does it give us an opportunity to share the music of the Americas, but allows us to build bridges with people of another culture and connect with each other in a way that builds a stronger and more cohesive choir.
ISing takes an extended tour approximately every three years. As this is an activity that is covered in full by those who participate, we keep costs down by lodging in dorm rooms, monasteries, and the like. We usually spend a bit of time in the usual places, but also like to visit areas that are not on the normal tourist route. The best part of touring are the connections we make with local choirs and audiences. Plus we sing pretty much everywhere (except the bus).
You can catch up on some of the adventures from past tours and ISing related travel on our tour blog.
Our visit to Beaverton’s German sister city, Trossingen, was such a success that we planned our 2014 tour around a visit to our French sister city, Cluses, located in the French Alps about 40 minutes from Geneva. Cluses and Trossingen are also “twins” and Susan Sauter and her harmonica were able to join us completing the Beaverton-Cluses-Trossingen trifecta.
This tour was the busiest singing tour thus far, with concerts in Lyon, Chartres, Paris, Marines, Beaune, and Cluses. We experienced some amazing spaces with soaring sounds and enthusiastic audiences. Highlights include a really special joint concert with La chorale l’Horloge de Cluses (The Clock Choir of Cluses) and reception with the mayor afterwards, singing at Notre Dame in Paris, and experiencing the amazing light shows in Chartres.
The summer of 2011 took us to southern Germany and Austria. We had two fabulous choirs hosting us on our journey, Kammerchor Burgau and Liederkranz Trossingen. Both groups made us feel welcome, treated us like celebrities, and joined us in music and friendship. This was quite an educational trip where we learned that a German garden party has little to do with gardening, that most everything in Germany is a 10 minute walk away, and that one should be very careful in the dark of a salt mine.
In addition to the amazing churches and astounding castles, we were treated to some really special experiences. Singing to an audience of a half dozen villagers in the home church of one of ISing’s altos in Unterschneidheim, followed by a reception next to the barn at her mother’s was completely unexpected and moving. Discovering the importance of music to the residents of Beaverton’s sister city of Trossingen, and hearing the astonishing sounds of Susan Sauter on her Hohner harmonica was also a surprise.
June of 2008 saw ISing traveling to England, as the guests of Renaissance Voices, based in Sheffield. We lodged for 3 nights in the dorms of Caius & Gonville College, Cambridge University, where we were privileged to attend Evensong at Kings College Chapel, visit Ely Cathedral and sing in Lady Chapel, and tour Burley House and Stamford.
From Cambridge, we moved north to a stay in the dorms of the University of York, a much more modern facility and greatly appreciated by the choir. The walled city of York was amazing, a trip through the moors beautiful, and fish and chips at The Magpie in Whitby delicious. While in Yorkshire, we gave two concerts to enthusiastic audiences in Sheffield and Driffield.
Heading south again, we finished our trip up with a quick stay in Oxford and a day trip to London, culminating with a round on the London Eye.
In June of 2005, ISing took our first tour to participate in the Castille International Choral Festival. We divided our time between Ocaña, south of Madrid, and Valle de los Caidos to the north. Highlights were:
- singing “Salmo 150” for mass at the Dominican monastery in Ocaña and noticing halfway through that the words to the song were enscribed in Latin on the walls of the balcony
- an evening concert in the Roman walled city of Avila which was held in a concert hall, beautifully renovated in a style mixing medieval with modern; and the warm welcome given us by the town including a plaque and post-concert dinner in the surrounding country
- being whisked through the hidden passageways of the basilica at El Escorial on our way to sing in the church which is the historical residence of Spanish royalty.