Berkshire Choral Festival
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Choir Trips?

I went to a small undergraduate college that paid for our choir trips.
I am soon to be attending a large, state school for graduate studies...do they pay for hotel, travel, etc. for trips they take?
The trip is to sing at a convention.
 
I just wondered how things work at big schools.
 
Thanks,
 
Ashley
on May 2, 2011 8:00pm
Ashley:  I don't think you can generalize based on the size of the school.  It depends entirely on what their policy has traditionally been, and on what policy changes might have been made by new administrators.  It also depends to some extent on individual faculty ensemble directors.
 
At my undergrad college (small and private) the Choir made an annual tour, mostly sang in churches, and mostly stayed in host homes.  I made one of those trips as a string quartet member, and I don't think it cost me anything.  They did have to buy both approved travel dress and approved concert dress.
 
At my graduate school there was an office that handled requests and made sure that expenses were covered, but an occasional director might have scheduled a tour (like an overseas tour) for which ensemble members had to pay their way.  They called us "pre-professionals," which was kind of ironic for those of us who WERE professionals and had union cards in our wallets!
 
At this school my entertaniment ensemble NEVER had to pay their own way.  That was my policy and had nothing to do with Departmental Policy (the Department had no money at all) or University Policy (they never paid for our tours, but expected us to earn our way by generating contract funds, which we did).  On community concert tours we asked for a dinner meal before the concert, bed and breakfast in host homes, and gave the students per diem meal money for meal stops on the way.  On convention or national organization dinner shows we asked enough money to cover both hotel and per diem.  We provided all performance wardrobe except dance shoes and underwear, but the students had to provide "nice" travel dress--nice enough that more than one told me that after they graduated they didn't have to buy any "business clothes" for the first year!
 
But that's definitely a question you can ask the schools and/or the directors at the school you'll be attending.  They will know the answer.  We do not.  And some individual directors are into the overseas tour thing bigtime, which I NEVER did.  And another question to ask (although they might not know or might not want to talk about it) is who is liable if someone is injured on an approved university trip, or on an UNapproved trip by a university ensemble.  THAT can get pretty hairy.  With my show group I carried a confidential copy of students' medical and insurance information, and my student manager carried another copy.  And yes, in 14 years there were a few occasions when someone was so sick or injured that we had to take them to the hospital.  Those are simply the things you have to have contingency plans for.  Stuff happens.
 
All the best,
John
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