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The Australian Children’s Choir 2011 EUROPEAN TOUR

Below is an outline of the tour itinerary.
TOUR STAFF:
Artistic Director and Conductor: Andrew Wailes
Principal Accompanist: Amir Farid
Tour Managers (Europe): Brigitte Dukat and Greta Taumberger (Germany / Austria), Vaninne Parker and David Searles (UK)
Administration Manager (Australia): Melanie Dooley
Supervising ACC Tour Staff:
Andrew Wailes, Andrew Grant, Amanda Maybury, Amir Farid
Larni Severn, Jane Boag, Greta Taumberger  

 July 12 Tuesday Group one departs Melbourne for Frankfurt, Germany on Korean Air (With an overnight stopover in Seoul, South Korea)

 

 July 13 Wednesday Group two departs Melbourne for Frankfurt, Germany on Finair (flying direct via Helsinki)

Following arrival at Frankfurt International Airport, the choir will meet the European Tour Managers and take luxury coach transfer to our Frankfurt Hotel.

 

 

July 14 Wednesday
Frankfurt am main, Germany
 
Bus transfer to Frankfurt Aldtstadt (Old Town) of Frankfurt am Main for two hour walking tour of the old town and historic City of Frankfurt led by Maestro Herr Wailes. Starting at the historic Justice Statue in Römerplatz, we will cross the River to visit the old suburb of Sachsenhausen admiring the impressive Frankfurt skyline. We will all continue together back across the river and visit sights such as the Alte Oper (Old Opera), Thurn and Taxis Palace, Eschenheimer Turm, and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Highlights will include: The Römer, Book Burning Memorial- The Roemer and the Roemerplatz, (City Hall, originally built in 1322 and the town square); The Book Burning Memorial, (site of the book burning that took place on 10 May 1933); Alte Nikolai Kirche (Old St Nicholas Church built in 1290); St. Leonhards Church (Frankfurt’s oldest church, built in 1219); Jorge Ratgeb Wall paintings in the City Archives (painted in 1513); Stumble Stones (in German, ‘Stolper Steine’ – unique way of remembering many of the victims that lost their lives due to the Nazi regime); The Archeological Garden (we walk though the Roman bath ruins dating back to 70 A.D. and some of the palace walls from 680 and from 850); St. Bartholomew Cathedral / Kaiserdom (St. Bartholomew, better known as the ‘Kaiserdom’ as most of the Holy Roman Emperors were elected here beginning in 1152 and all the coronations took place here beginning in 1562); Holocaust Memorial Wall (the unique Memorial that the city of Frankfurt has chosen to honor the memory of its’ 11,133 Jewish citizens who died during WW II); Goethe House (the house where Goethe was born along with telling you just why he is Frankfurt’s favorite son); Paulskirche (built in 1833, this was the location of the first parliament of Germany in 1848. Gutted in the war, it was rebuilt in 1948); Eisener Steg (a pedestrian bridge over the Main River, it offers a great view of the skyline and all the museums lining the riverbanks); Staufen Wall (the original city wall from 1180 and one of the 2 walls that enclosed the Jewish Ghetto built in 1462); Kleine Markt Halle (a traditional German Indoor Market Hall); Deutsche Ordens Kirche (the Teutonic Order of Knights Church built in 1309); Thurn and Taxis Palace (though reconstructed, a lovely example of architecture from the 1700′s); Eschenheimer Turm (built in 1425 and once part of the city wall, this guard tower survived the war intact); Alte Oper (The Old Opera House is one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe, this was first built in 1881, gutted in the war, and rebuilt in 1981).
July 15 Friday
Frankfurt – Rhine Valley in Rüdesheim to St. Goarshausen
 
This morning, we transfer to the Rhine Valley in Rüdesheim, following by bus the most attractive part of the Rhine river in this area including the Loreley rock to St. Goarshausen. We will enjoy a view of the splendid views of rolling hills stretching away from the river topped with romantic ruins and castles, vineyards and charming little towns, before we stop at the famous Marksburg Castle for a guided tour. Evening Concert to be presented in the Evangelische Kirche Köppern in Friedrichsdorf-Köppern. After the concert, we will enjoy a party and exchange with the local choir and church choir community before returning to our Frankfurt Hotel

 

January 16 Saturday
 
Frankfurt – Heidelburg – Nördlingen
 
Departure from Frankfurt south to Heidelberg. Upon your arrival, we meet with our local English speaking guides for a 2 hour walking tour of Heidelberg including admission to the Heidelberg Castle grounds. Break for lunch, before we will continue along the famous ‘Romantic Road’ to the medieval town of Nördlingen, famous for being located in the middle of a massive meteorite crater, called the ‘Nördlinger Ries’. The town was also the place of two battles during the Thirty Years’ War. Today it is one of only three towns in Germany that still has a completely intact city wall, and is full of beautiful buildings. Dinner at our Hotel. In the evening, we will enjoy a walking tour of the medieval town. Overnight in Nördlingen.
 
July 17 Sunday
 
Nördlingen – Rothenberg ob der Tauber
 
This morning, The Australian Children Choir will present the music for Solemn High Mass at the magnificent Church of St George in the medieval town of Nördlingen. The Church of St. George is a triple naved late Gothic church which was constructed from 1427. Inside it features vaults and pillars along its length. At one end, it has a famous tower known as the Daniel Tower. We will climb up this for some great views over Nördlingen and the old town below (which was the town featured in the aerial scenes in the 1971 version of ‘Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory’!!). Following the Service, The ACC will give a short recital in the Marktplatz, or in front of the Schranne (the town’s main Festive Hall). Break for lunch, before we will board our bus for an excursion to the ancient German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber famous for its cobble stoned crooked streets. Time to walk the ancient streets of Rothenburg, before returning to Nördlingen for the night.
July 18 Monday
 Nördlingen – Günzburg – Munich (Bavaria)
 
After breakfast,we will travel south via Günzburg, where we will visit Legoland Deutschland. In ‘Miniland’ you can walk round Europe in Miniature: it is only one step from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Doge´s Palace in Venice, or Prague´s Charles Bridge!! We will return to the Middle Ages by riding a fire dragon, visit the Lego build & test center, a paradise for future designers…. Continue to the Bavarian capital of Munich in the evening. Check into our Hotel for dinner.
 
July 19 Tuesday
 
Munich, Bavaria – Ebersberg
 
After breakfast, meet with a licensed English speaking guide for a walking tour of Munich´s magnificent Marienplatz and pedestrian area including the famous Gothic Glockenspiel, and have soem official photographs in front of several of Munich’s famous landmarks. We will visit a Munich Restaurant for lunch, before heading to Ebersberg for a rehearsal and exchange concert with the Cantores iuvenes Sti. Sebastiani Youth Choir in the Pfarrheim of Ebersberg, followed by a get together and barbecue dinner with the local choir after the concert. After enjoying a wonderful cultural exchange, we will return to our Hotel in Munich.
 
July 20 Wednesday
 
Munich, Bavaria – Pullach
 
Extended sightseeing / cultural exploration of Munich, including a visit to the Viktualienmarkt. In the late afternoon, we will travel to the Bavarian village of Pullach where we will enjoy a Traditional Bavarian dinner, with a Schnitzel party and Bavarian dancers and entertainment. We will all get the chance to try some Bavarian dances ourselves… perhaps a ‘Schuhplattler’ or a ‘Ländler’! After dinner we will return to our hotel in Munich.
 
July 21 Thursday
 
Munich – Tegernsee – Salzburg (Austria)

 

After breakfast, we check out of our Munich hotel, and board the coach for a trip across the border to the Austrian City of Salzburg – the “Rome of the North” and birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. We will meet with local English speaking guides for a combined walking and bus tour of Salzburg featuring the sights of the “Sound of Music” in Salzburg, such as the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, the Archbishop´s Residence and the St. Peter´s Church and cemetery. After lunch in the Old Town, we will check into our Hotel, and then in the evening we will enjoy visiting a local restaurant for dinner.

 July 22 Friday
 
Salzburg (Austria) – Berchtesgaden/ Lake Königsee – Schönau am Königsee

 

After an early breakfast, we will leave Salzburg for a full-day excursion to the Berchtesgaden/ lake Königsee area. Before lunch, we will present a concert in the outdoor Music Shell of the Village of Schoenau am Königsee. After a basket lunch in this picturesque Austrian Village, we will then drive back to Salzburg to visit some more of the famous sights from The Sound of Music… we will see Leopoldskron castle from the outside as well as pass by the original Trapp Villa (private properties nowadays) on our way to the famous Hellbrunn Palace. There we will enjoy an afternoon tour of the world famous trick fountains and see the Gazebo made famous in the “Sound of Music” in Hellbrunn. In the evening we will visit a local restaurant for dinner before attending the famous Marionettes Theatre for a very special performance of “the Sound of Music”.

July 23 Saturday
 
Salzburg – Berchtesgaden
 

After a free morning to sleep in a bit, we will have time to explore the streets of Salzburg, with time to visit a cafe where Mozart and many other famous musicians have sat and sipped coffee and hot chocolate! In the afternnon we will visit the famous Salt Mines in Berchtesgaden. Afterwards, we will visit the famous thermal spa resort “Watzmanntherme” before eventually departing for dinner at Restaurant Bräustüberl in Berchtesgaden, and returning to our Salzburg Dinner will be at a local restaurant.

July 24 Sunday
 
Salzburg (Austria) – London (England)

 

After an early breakfast, we will check out of our hotel and travel the short distance to the famed Pilgrim Church of the hilltop Basillica of Our Lady of Maria Plain, home to a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary. This church has been a major pilgrimage destination for over three centuries. With a location on a hill overlooking Salzburg, it is also famous for its beautiful views of the city. Mozart composed his famous Coronation Mass for this Church. There we will perform the solemn mass in one of the most beautiful churches in Salzburg and give a short concert following the service. After some official photographs we will Transfer to Salzburg Airport for our departure flight from Europe to London’s Gatwick Airport (British Airways). Overnight stay in London.

July 25 Monday
 
Gatwick / London – Windsor

 

We will depart from our hotel after breakfast after meeting our UK tour guide and our UK coach and driver. We will enjoy the day exploring and sightseeing in London, one of the great cities of the world.

July 26 Tuesday
London – Windsor - Canterbury
 

We will depart London, driving the short distance to magnificent Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world, one of the Royal residences dating from the time of William the Conqueror and burial place of many monarchs including Henry VIII! After entering the castle we will tour the State Apartments and the magnificent St. George’s Chapel, site of the grave of Henry VIII. We will then experience the grandeur of the Changing of the Guard. Lunch in one of the historic inns next to the castle in the Village of Windsor. We will feel our pulses rise much in the manner of the Canterbury pilgrims in the day of Chaucer as we glimpse for the first time mighty Canterbury Cathedral, mother church of English-speaking Christendom, and our “home” for the next four days! We will visit the King’s School, the oldest school in the English-speaking world, founded by St. Augustine in A.D. 597 or Christ Church College in the medieval city near Christ Church Gateway and the great cathedral. We will take our seats for the service of Evensong sung by the Canterbury Cathedral Choir of boys and Men, one of the world’s greatest choral organizations under the direction of Dr David Flood (our guest conductor during the festival). We will then enjoy a “Welcome to Britain” dinner in Canterbury at the Café Rouge.

July 27 Wednesday
 
Canterbury

 

 

After a sumptuous breakfast, we will stroll the short distance to the great cathedral and meet other festival participants including our guest conductors, Dr David Flood, (Master of the Choristers at Canterbury Cathedral UK), and Henry Leck, (Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir USA) and America’s most renowned children’s choir conductor! The first of three morning rehearsals in preparation for the Evensong service and major evening concert to be sung in Canterbury Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral in London. After rehearsal lunch in the cathedral city. Return to the 12th century Quire of the cathedral to hear choir concert by the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir and the White Rock Children’s Choir (USA). After your concert enjoy an in-depth tour of the ecclesiastical history, art and architecture of this great World Heritage Site which was England’s largest monastery during the Middle Ages! We will visit the actual site of Becket’s shrine where pilgrims from throughout the medieval world prayed until its destruction at the hand of Henry VIII. Enjoy dinner in the Great Hall of Christ Church University. Rendezvous with the other festival choirs in the massive 12th c. Quire for a dress rehearsal, after which we will return to our accommodations and enjoy the sight of the cathedral floodlit against the night sky.

July 28 Thursday

Canterbury After breakfast return to the Cathedral for another rehearsal of the Festival Choir under David Flood and Henry Leck. Following the rehearsal, re-enter the great cathedral to hear concert presented by the Roanoke College Children’s Choir, the Kentucky Youth Chorale (USA) and the Calgary Cildren’s Choir (Canada). Lunch in the cathedral city. Individual choral workshop with David Flood to prepare for Evensong, which the Australian Children’s Choir will lead… The ACC will take centre stage and provide the liturgical music for the service, with eight other choirs joining us for the Hymns and Canticles. After rehearsal we will enjoy free time to shop in the cathedral city. We will meet in the medieval Chapter House in the cloisters to prepare for Evensong and process with the Clergy into the vast cathedral to be seated in the 12th c. Quire near the chair of Augustine (dating from the sixth century). The Festival Choir will already be seasted behind us, and together with them The ACC will sing the Introit, Anthem and the Canticles . The ACC will sing the Psalms, Preces and Responses on their own with the Cathedral’s Precentor – a great honour for us! We will take our place in history – the service of Evensong has taken place on this spot everyday for 1,400 years! After dinner, meet with the Festival Choir in the cathedral after the cathedral is closed to the public for an evening rehearsal with David Flood and Henry Leck on our concert repertoire in preparation for the major Festival concert the following evening. Thrill once again to singing with the massive cathedral organ that rains down from eighty feet in the triforium arches!July 29 Friday Canterbury 

After another wonderful English breakfast, we will enjoy another Massed Festival Choir rehearsal. Following the rehearsal, we will use free time in groups for lunch and to explore the cathedral city. Time to shop in Canterbury and wander the medieval streets visiting West Gate Gardens, Poor Priest’s Hospital, and St. Martin’s Church, the oldest church in continuous use in Europe since the time of Augustine and the site of the baptism of King Ethelbert in 597 that began the conversion of the English people. At 12 noon The ACC will present a concert in Canterbury Cathedral with the Youth Choir of Central Oregon and the Children’s Chorus of Carroll County (USA). After lunch, we will have a private tour of the vast Cathedral and grounds. Dinner at Christ Church University. We will then move into the cathedral for the last time to present the culminating Festival event at Canterbury, a major full evening concert of the Festival Choir in Canterbury Cathedral under the direction of David Flood and Henry Leck. Featuring the combined voices of The Australian Children’s Choir, White Rock Children’s Choir (Vancouver, Canada), the Youth Choir of Central Oregon, Kentucky Youth Chorale, Roanoke College Children’s Choir, Arendell Parrott Academy, Atlantic Children’s Chorale (Vero Beach, FL), Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, Choir of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church (Houston, TX), Calgary Children’s Choir (Canada).

July 30 Saturday Canturbury - Maidstone, Kent – London

 

After our final Canterbury breakfast, we will board our coaches for the short fifty-four mile ride into central London. On the way we stop at Leeds Castle, one of the most romantic ancient strongholds in Britain dating from 857 A.D. The castle rises from two small islands in the middle of a lake, was the favorite residence of six medieval English Queens and is surrounded by acres of parkland. We visit the Dog Collar Museum, the maze, the cottage and herb gardens, the Duckery and the famous Aviary. Lunch in one of the castle’s cafes. Enjoy a ’round London coach tour passing Westminster Abbey, Fleet Street, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Lambeth Palace, Whitehall, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus stopping near pedestrianized Leicester Square. Ride on and check into our hotel and enjoy free time to relax and settle in. Restaurant dinner in London’s famous Theatre District, the “West End”.

July 31 Sunday London 

Walk to Westminster Abbey, the location of every coronation but one since King Harold and William the Conqueror in 1066! Take your seats in the beautiful 13th century Quire for the morning Service, scene of William and Kate’s Royal Wedding. After the service visit Westminster School, one of the finest prep schools in Britain and situated next to the Abbey in the buildings formerly occupied by the medieval monastery! Visit to England’s most famous landmark, the Tower of London, begun in 1068. Enjoy a tour by one of the Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) and see the Crown Jewels, the Royal Armouries and the Bloody Tower. Ride the short distance to the original Hard Rock Café at Hyde Park Corner for a special group dinner (or lunch) given in your honour by Euro Arts. Following dinner, walk to Buckingham Palace for a close-up look at the famous front of the palace that can now only be seen on foot!

August 1 Monday London After breakfast, walk directly to the center of London, Trafalgar Square, bordered by the National Gallery, Admiralty Arch, Nelson’s Column and the Royal Parish Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields where Händel was once organist! We will enjoy the busking at Covent Garden and a bit of bargain hunting! We will visit the famous (original) London Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and photos, before we will then board our coach for the short ride to Southwark Cathedral near Tower Bridge. Rehearsal with the Festival Choir, and the Virtuosi of London Orchestra for the closing concert of the Festival. Return to your accommodations for dinner and a chance to change into concert dress. Return to Southwark Cathedral to present a major London event at 7.30pm, the Children’s Choir Festival Final Concert with the Virtuosi of London Orchestra in Southwark Cathedral under the direction of Dr David Flood and Henry Leck! 

August 2 Tuesday
London
Our final day in London, which will consist of some sightseeing, a last chance to take photos of this wonderful city, and make some last minute souvenir purchases. We will then eventually head to Heathrow Airport for our return to Australia. Thus will end our official Children’s Choir Festival experience in Canterbury and London. Our memories of performing in historic locations, working with the finest conductors and the friendships we have made along the way with the warm British people and other Festival participants will linger for a lifetime!

Return via Finair flight to Melbourne (via Helsinki), and to Melbourne (via overnight stopover in Seoul, South Korea).

Arrive Melbourne Airport to greet our eagerly awaiting families!!