Beyond the Music: Planning for Success on Choir Tours



Embarking on a journey with a choir group is akin to orchestrating a symphony: it requires harmony, precision, and careful planning. From coordinating travel logistics to ensuring student safety and satisfying parents’ expectations, choir directors encounter a plethora of challenges. To help directors meet these challenges, we’ve examined the complexities of traveling with a choir group and compiled a list of pro tips that can help streamline planning, implement safety protocols, and improve communications with parents to keep them informed before and throughout your choir trips. Happy travels!

Arranging Travel:
The first note in the choir travel score is arranging transportation. Whether by bus, train, or plane, logistics can quickly become discordant. Synchronizing schedules, coordinating pick-up points, and ensuring adequate space for instruments and luggage can pose significant challenges. To overcome these hurdles, directors should establish clear communication channels with transportation providers, meticulously plan routes, and allocate sufficient time for unforeseen delays. Additionally, opting for reputable transportation companies with experience in handling large groups can streamline the process and enhance the overall travel experience.

Finding good accommodations for a choir group requires more than just securing a block of rooms. Directors must consider factors such as proximity to performance venues, safety, and affordability. Booking hotels that offer group discounts and amenities such as rehearsal space can be advantageous. Moreover, verifying the accessibility of facilities for individuals with special needs ensures inclusivity within the group. Utilizing reputable booking platforms or working directly with hotels can facilitate smoother arrangements and minimize potential complications upon arrival.

Meal Planning:
Feeding a choir group can be trickier than it sounds, from accommodating dietary restrictions and preferences to managing budgets, time, and other factors. Coordinating meals during travel requires foresight and flexibility. Directors should collaborate with caterers or restaurants to design balanced menus that accommodate various dietary needs while adhering to budget constraints. Additionally, scheduling mealtimes to align with the group’s itinerary and allowing for occasional indulgences can enhance morale and foster camaraderie among choir members. Implementing a system for collecting meal preferences in advance can streamline the ordering process and minimize food waste.

Ensuring Safety:
Safety is the cornerstone of any successful choir trip. Supervising large groups of students while navigating unfamiliar environments and managing emergencies requires meticulous planning and vigilance. Directors should conduct thorough risk assessments prior to departure, identifying potential hazards and implementing appropriate safety protocols. Designating chaperones or staff members to oversee specific aspects of the trip can distribute responsibilities and ensure comprehensive supervision. Additionally, providing choir members with emergency contact information and conducting safety drills fosters a sense of preparedness and reassurance.

Meeting Parent Expectations:
Managing parents’ expectations is a delicate balancing act for choir directors. When parents entrust their kids to the care of the choir, they often have specific concerns and desires regarding their well-being and participation. Open and transparent communication is paramount in addressing parental concerns and maintaining trust. Directors should establish clear channels for disseminating information, addressing inquiries promptly, and soliciting feedback throughout the planning process. Moreover, organizing pre-travel meetings or orientations allows parents to voice their concerns and gain insights into the itinerary and safety measures, alleviating anxieties and fostering a sense of partnership in the journey.

Helpful Suggestions for Choir Directors:

1. Establish a comprehensive itinerary:
Develop a detailed itinerary outlining travel logistics, performance schedules, and leisure activities to keep everyone informed and organized.

2. Delegate responsibilities:
Assign specific tasks to chaperones, volunteers, or staff members to lighten the director’s workload and ensure seamless execution of the trip.

3. Embrace flexibility:
Anticipate changes and adapt to unforeseen circumstances with flexibility and resourcefulness, promoting a sense of resilience within the group.

4. Foster community:
Cultivate a sense of belonging and camaraderie among choir members through team-building activities, shared experiences, and mutual support.

5. Celebrate achievements:
Recognize and celebrate milestones and achievements throughout the journey, building a sense of pride and accomplishment among choir members.
Traveling with a choir group is a symphony of challenges and triumphs, requiring careful orchestration and unwavering dedication. By addressing logistical hurdles, prioritizing safety, and nurturing a sense of community, choir directors can navigate these journeys with confidence and grace. With meticulous planning, open communication, and a spirit of resilience, every choir trip can become a melodic masterpiece that resonates with harmony and joy for years to come.

About the Author
Ed Bauer has been in publishing for over twenty years. In his early career years, he worked on the staff at Mount Union College and for the last twelve years as publisher and managing partner at Flaherty Media has been privileged to tour many private higher education campuses and talk with numerous staff members who manage these multiple building facilities. He can be reached at