Foreign Tours

France

In 2004 we had the opportunity to tour in France. One of the reasons this particular tour was so special was that we had the chance to participate in the 60th anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach. Normandy has not forgotten the part that Americans played in WWII. Several people stopped us to tell us how grateful they were that our parents or grand-parents took part in the liberation of France. It was a very moving experience for all of us…we observed veterans (some of the few still living) participating in the ceremony. We sang and we were all enriched by the experience.

As if that wasn’t enough, we also had the great pleasure of singing in Tours, Rouen, Mont St Michel, and Paris. Singing in Notre Dame was a joy difficult to match. Each time I go back there, I marvel at the fact that WE sang there…what a privilege. Touring with APM means singing…a lot! We sang on the bus, on streets while waiting for the bus, in line at the Eiffel Tower, at the beach in St Malo…whenever there was an opportunity…we were singing.

Tours have served many purposes…I think of us as ambassadors from the United States…representing the good. We learn about another culture, and they learn about us. In addition, it is a great way for us to get to know our fellow singers better. Our rehearsals throughout the year are quite demanding, and we don’t have a lot of chance to visit with each other. But on tour…there are many opportunities to socialize and become bonded together. And on a personal note it is an opportunity to, on occasion, make new friends. Our tour guide in France was Chantal. She visited us several months later – her only trip ever to the US! She and I have stayed in touch, and I see her every time I go to France. Music and travel is a great combination.

~ David Griggs-Janower

Czech Republic

In 2003 Albany Pro Musica collaborated in a pair of concerts with the Catskill Choral Society in a program featuring Philip Glass`s Itaipu, a cantata for orchestra and chorus inspired by the building of a hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay . The groups then took this program to the Czech Republic. Five days in Prague – a remarkable treat. If that were not enough, the group performed at the famous Smetana Hall, together with TWO Czech choruses and the 85-piece Czech National Opera Orchestra. Singing in this storied performance space was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, unforgettable and thrilling. The trip, which also included a stop in Salzburg, culminated in a two-day visit to the medieval town of Chesny Krumlov, accessible only on foot! Amazing and delightful.

~ David Griggs-Janower

Spain

Ah, Spain, 2006. Wrought-iron balconies in the narrow streets of Seville. Renaissance paintings in the palace in Santa Cruz and strolling through the gardens. The deep blue skies above Carmona. Dazzling cathedrals, Roman theater excavations, the bull fighters’ museum. Flamenco dancers, the stunning mosque and cathedral in Cordoba, the breath-taking architecture of the Alhambra. Dipping our toes (brrr!) in the (brrr!) Mediterranean. Olive groves, olive groves, olive groves. The Picasso Museum in Malaga, the Picasso Plaza in Madrid. And best of all: getting to know our fellow travelers over a glass of vino or cerveza, PLUS the incomparable sounds of APM echoing off vaulted cathedral ceilings. When can we go back?!!

~ David Griggs-Janower

Ireland

Albany Pro Musica toured Ireland in Summer 2010. We spent 10 days touring the Emerald Isle, traveling from Galway to Sligo to Dublin. Along the way, choir members performed several concerts at some really great locations, including a Fourth of July concert at the American Ambassador’s residence!

We left Albany on June 27th and returned July 6th.

Excursions included:

  • The Cliffs of Moher
  • The Arans Islands
  • Kylemore Abbey
  • Trinity College
  • with lots of free time in Galway, Sligo and Dublin

For a more information on future tours (including testimonials from friends who have joined past tours), please e-mail info@albanypromusica.org.