School Music Tours for Bands, Choirs & Orchestras
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Article posted on: October 26, 2011

Throughout the year our staff visit the destinations that we recommend to our customers as school trips. We do this as we think first hand experience allows us to improve the advice we can give you. Below is an example of one of these visits:

We have just returned from 4 days in Paris and Disneyland. What an amazing destination with a mixture of culture and magic – only 2 ½ hours from London on the Eurostar!

Day 1

We arrived in London at around 2pm, ready to check in for our 3pm Eurostar crossing. The check-in was really easy. We already had our tickets so all we had to do is scan them, show our passports and put our baggage through security. We were through to the departure lounge within 5 minutes.

The Eurostar journey from London to Paris Gare du Nord took only 2 hours 15 minutes so we were in Paris for 6.15pm local time!

Once we had arrived in Paris, we took the Metro straight to our accommodation - the Fiap Jean Monnet. This is a great hostel, all rooms are ensuite and it is located south of the river just 500 metres from the Glacier Metro station and just behind Parc Montsouris bandstand where bands can perform.

After we had checked in to the accommodation, we took the metro to the Eiffel Tower and had a boat trip along the river. This was the perfect start to our trip as we were able to see most of the important sights of Paris – Notre Dame, Ille St. Louis, Petit Palais, Ile de la Cité, Pont Neuf and Paris Plage. However, the highlight was seeing the lights of the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the night sky – fabulous!!

Day 2

After a good breakfast at the hostel, we began our tour of Paris visiting many of the sights and concert venues that our groups visit and perform in. Paris offers such a diverse range of venues for music ensembles, from square Jean XXIII, Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin du Temple and Champs de Mars bandstands for bands, secular choirs and orchestras, to more prestigious churches such as La Madeleine, Notre Dame de Paris, St. Roch for sacred choirs and orchestras.

We started our day off by visiting the Arc de Triomphe and walking along the Champs Elysées. Our walk took about 30 minutes but we would recommend a bit longer for groups as there are lots of shops! We then made our way to Place de la Concorde where we saw the Fontaines de la Concorde and the Obelisk of Luxor.

We then paid a quick visit to La Madeleine which is a very popular venue with choirs. Next, we visited the Musée de l’Orangerie and then walked through the Tuilleries Gardens towards the Louvre. We spent some time at the Louvre and the nearby area.

Summer is an ideal time to perform in Paris as we can pretty much guarantee that you will perform in front of an audience. Paris is always busy in summer – especially in July.

By this time, we needed a break and some food! Luckily, we had lunch reserved in a nearby restaurant - L'Auberge du Louvre, just a short walk from the Louvre. Our meal was delicious but we didn’t want to move afterwards!!

Our next stop was the Notre Dame Cathedral and Bandstand. We walked here from the restaurant which took about 20 minutes. It was a lovely walk and there were lots of little shops and stalls to see along the way.

After taking the RER back to the hostel to pick up our luggage we began our journey on the metro and the RER to Disneyland.

We were staying at Hotel Cheyenne, which is decorated in a Wild West theme. The hotel is split into seperate buildings as apposed to one big building, which makes it ideal for school groups as they can all stay in one block.

It was quite late and we were very hungry so we decided to enjoy our first meal in the park at Planet Hollywood. We took the free shuttle bus from the hotel to Disney Village. This took about 3 minutes and runs every 10 minutes right up until midnight. The restaurant was very interesting to look around – you can see handprints from famous Hollywood stars around the building, and inside there are different costumes and items from some of the most famous films. The food was also excellent and the service was equally as good.

After an extremely long day, we were ready for sleep!

Day 3

We met up for breakfast at about 7.30am then headed off to the parks – We were very excited!!

We had tickets for both parks and decided to visit the Studios first. We met up with Sue Arondel and she showed us the Vineopolis stage (where the Lion King performance used to take place) and the Play House Mickey where workshops take place (vocals, music, theatre and dance). Sue then explained how the workshops are organised and what they hope to achieve “the focus of these new workshops is to share our professional music experience with young performers so that they can get a taste of what it is like and be inspired to pursue a musical career”.

We then decided to try out a few of the rides. We went straight to the Tower of Terror! This is not for the faint hearted but is brilliant if you’re into scary rides! We walked through an old, run down hotel covered in cobwebs, up some stairs into a lift where we were seated. The doors of the lift closed and we shot up and down, up and down… scary, but definitely recommended!

We then went on to see the Motor Stunt Show, which demonstrated how some of the big movie stunts work. It was unbelievable!! There are lots of other really good attractions at the Studios. The studios are also great for French groups as all shows and attractions give a commentary in both English and French which can be really useful.

After a bite to eat and a short break we moved on to the Disneyland Park where our first stop was Space Mountain: Mission 2. An amazing ride but definitely not the right choice just after lunch!!

There are so many rides in the Disneyland Park and there is definitely something for everyone.

After a long day visiting the parks we were getting quite peckish and so we went to King Ludwig’s Castle in Disney Village where we had a few drinks and a lovely meal finished off by some crepes with chocolate and cream!

To end a magical day, we saw the parade and fireworks. This is where the fairytale was really brought to life and we were able to see all of our favourite Disney characters and the spectacular fireworks.

Day 4

Sadly, we had to begin our journey back to the UK making one last stop on the way to one of the most popular places in Paris – the Sacre Coeur Basilica and Place du Tertre. We were lucky to have a clear day where we could see the beautiful views of Paris for miles. Inside, a service was taking place, which we were able to be a part of.

We truly had an exceptional adventure and hope to be able to share our experiences with you!

 

For more information on a music trip to Paris and Disneyland contact our Music tours specialist Delphine Lock by email: delphine@halsbury.com or phone: 0115 9404 303

 

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