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Want to take choir to Great Britain

Friends,
 
I am considering taking a high school choir to Great Britain in 2013, to perform and take in the culture. Can anyone offer their advice and share their experience with such a trip? Can this be done affordably? What companies offer the best packages for such a trip?
 
If this already has been covered elsewhere, please point me in the right direction.
 
Tom
on March 18, 2012 5:15am
I highly suggest the small tour firm of Richardson and Gray (www.richardsonandgray.com). They're a husband-and-wife company, one Brit and one American, so they have experience in both cultures. They specialize in cathedral and other England choir tours, are very well connected, and will be with you every step of the way during your tour.  Done affordably? No, if you mean inexpensive, Britain is not cheap, even when the exchange rate is favorable. Contact several tour companies and see what they can do for you. Be wary if one costs much less than the others, you may get what you pay for!
 
Peter Hopkins
on March 19, 2012 5:19am
I used to run a tour company doing this, but there just wasn't enough demand in off-season to keep it going. The most reliable firm I know of who are still around are called OneStage - http://onestage.co.uk/
on March 19, 2012 5:59am
Tom,
There are many companies, of course. I have taken 4 groups of varying types to the U.K. On my most recent trip, we were provided a London "Blue Badge" tour guide. Oh my goodness, best experience EVER! The training these guides go through is extensive, they're not just site-seeing folks. Our guide was Mr. Gavin Webb. His website is www.tourguideoflondon.com. I HIGHLY recommend him! He is great with kids, exceedingly knowledgeable, and very respectful of the group's needs. I don't know what his direct rate is, but even if you only hire him for a day or two, it will be some of the best money you spend on the trip.
 
Good luck and happy trails!
Brian
on March 19, 2012 12:02pm
This company http://www.stlon.com/ is run by a professional singing colleague of mine, and has a reputation for being the best in the business.
I hope you do manage to arrange a trip over here, and have a wonderful time!
Best
Chris
 
on March 19, 2012 1:35pm
I just returned from a trip to Toronto, CA.  We used Good News Tour and Travel (http://www.goodnewstt.com/contact.shtml) after I met them in Chicago at ACDA last year.  They were very easy to work with and we had a very successful trip.  I think what won me over most was how well they listened to me concerning what I wanted out of the trip.  They kept our cost very reasonable while providing the quality coach and lodging that made us feel safe and comfortable.  We stayed busy the entire trip which helped with discipline.  I will take another trip with these guys in two years.
 
Jason Whitson
Volunteer HS, Church Hill TN
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