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College Choir Tours

Dear Colleagues,
I am trying to compile data about college choir tours. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
1. Is tour mandatory for all singers who enroll in choir for that year?
2. On average, how much or what percentage of the total cost is paid for by students?
3. What role does the director have in organizing tour logistics? the students? a hired tour manager?
 
Thank you,
Anna
on March 7, 2012 10:55am
Anna,
 
1. yes
2. 0
3. all of it; I get my GA to help
 
We only go during during the regular semester. Students are excused from their classes, and the university pays for everything. However, we can't afford to go anywhere for very long, or very exotic (eg Europe). If my students had to pay out of pocket, I don't think I could require them to go.
 
Karen Kenaston-French
University of Texas Arlington
on March 7, 2012 11:13am
Touring is a topic I'm passionate about because of the opportunity for connections with constituents and prospective students.  But, perhaps most importantly, tours provide life-long memories, a common experience that is rewarding, and a sense of accomplishment among my students.  We tour domestically at least once every year (3-8 days) and internationally every two years.
 
1. Participation in each performance during a tour is graded (pass/fail).  Students with an excused absence from any performance may perform musical activities to recover points lost (a daunting task because a tour has so many performances - difficult to submit enough points to pass the course).  Students with unexcused absences are not allowed to recover points lost.
 
2. Domestic: 0%; International: 100% (typically under $3,000 as of late).  I coordinate numerous fund-raising activities for the group and for individual members.
 
3. If I didn't enjoy touring so much, it wouldn't be worth the effort (i.e., I'm heavily involved in establishing all itinerary logistics).  Domestic: I may hire a travel agent to coordinate flights, lodging, and bussing needs.  International: I rely upon a travel agency (with extensive input regarding lodging, sight-seeing, service projects, and performance sites).
 
Dave D-K, University of Sioux Falls
on March 7, 2012 6:14pm
1.  Yes, with one small caveat I'll address under #2.
 
2.  Domestic tours - the vast majority of costs are covered; students typically pay only for their lunches.
International tours - the vast majority of costs are paid by the students themselves; approxmiately 25% of costs are covered by the university.  Students do, however, have the option of raising funds to subsidize their individual costs.  Because of this, members of the choir must make a financial commitment, so a few members end up singing with the choir for one semester of the year, but not the semester during which the tour happens.
 
3.  Domestic tours - I do virtually all of the tour planning.  I do, however, have 1-2 student tour coordinators who assist me, but there's only so much I can delegate to them.
International tours - I contract out to a tour company to make the majority of the arrangements, but I am rather involved in the planning process.  I continue to rely on my 1-2 student tour coordinators, but most of what they do is coordinate fundraising efforts.
 
Alexa Doebele
Concordia University Wisconsin
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