TOUR BLOG

June 22 - June 27
About: Concert Choir, the entry level of our Performing Department, is a remarkably accomplished group of singers who have studied music for 3-5 years.  CC sings 3 part music and under the expert tutelage of their conductor Andrew Brown members refine their knowledge and sight singing skills in a powerful 2 year curriculum cycle.  In CC, singers begin a more inspired and serious exploration of music.  CC tours annually and appears on demand as a guest choir. Read More...
June 24 - July 8
About: Ensemble is the flagship performing group of the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir, representing the Choir in awe-inspiring international competitions and spectacular festivals. The group consists of  treble-voiced boys and girls who demonstrate superior musical proficiency, are under the age of 16, and are admitted by audition. Ensemble has won many awards in its 31 year history and was featured in the documentary "To Breathe as One" about the Laulupidu Song Festival in Estonia. Read More...
June 18 - June 22
About: Ecco ChoirEcco is the high school aged choir who performs engaging repertoire from medieval to contemporary to jazz. Using the culminated talents of maturing PEBCC students, Ecco prepares singers for the transition to college repertoire through professional level performance of a variety of A Cappella musical styles. Read More...
June 23 - July 7
Ensemble has been invited to participate in the Estonian Laulupidu this summer. We will fly to Munich, Germany, and then on to Helsinki. In Finland, we will be hosted by the superb choir Vox Aurea, based in Jyvaskyla, north of Helsinki. We are also working with choral friends from the Juvenalia Choir in Helsinki. For the second half of our trip we will take the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia. We will have a short visit with the Girls Choir from Jarva County in Estonia (which competed at Bratislava last summer). That choir is also planning to attend the Laulupidu, so it will give us a chance to practice our Estonian repertoire and to perform with them. Back in Tallin, we will be hosted by the ETV Girls Choir which has hosted Piedmont twice before at the Laulupidu. Read More...
June 16 – June 24, 2012
This year’s tour will take us to Mexico City and the surrounding area. Given the security concerns expressed at the parent meeting in June, we have arranged a eight-day tour of Mexico that will be produced by ACFEA, a touring company with an office in Mexico which has led dozens of musical tours in Mexico over the past thirty years. Our itinerary includes stays in the colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende and Queretaro, before a final performance and visit in Mexico City. We will have a professional guide with us at all times, we will stay in tourist class hotels, and we will travel exclusively by private bus. There are many historic sights and cultural opportunities for us along the way including the ruins of Teotihuacan, Bellas Artes and the Arts and Crafts Market in San Miguel, plazas and gardens in Guanajuato, and exquisite churches and the murals of Diego Rivera in Queretaro. Read More...
May 24-28, 2012
The Concert Choir has been accepted to participate in the Fort Worden Children’s Choir Festival in Washington State over the Memorial Day weekend. The festival is designed to provide an intense but fun-filled two days of music making with leading music educator and guest conductor, Rebecca Rottsolk. There will be opportunities to perform both individually and as a massed choir with the other participating choirs. The Festival includes rehearsal time in addition to recreation and social time. All festival activities will be held at Fort Worden State Park and Conference Center in Port Townsend, Washington. Read More...
June 24-July 8, 2011
Ensemble will be touring to Denmark and Sweden to participate in exchanges with several choirs in Denmark and to perform in Sweden. We will fly from San Francisco on Friday, June 24 to Billund, Denmark (with KLM/Delta Airlines), and proceed by bus to Herning for an exchange with the MidVest Pigekor, based in the center of Jutland (the large peninsula north of Copenhagen). While there we will have workshops, performances, sightseeing (the original Legoland is nearby) and also reconnect with the Aarhus Pigekor whom we met at Kathaumixw last summer. From there we will bus to Copenhagen where we will be hosted by another children’s choir which will arrange both performances and sightseeing for us. Then another bus ride to Stockholm where we will be based at a youth hostel and have opportunities to perform at the Sofia Church and possibly the Uppsala Cathedral and to experience the sights of Stockholm. Read More...
June 17-22, 2011
We are very pleased to announce that Concert Choir has been selected to participate in the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans. The Festival includes: • working with outstanding conductors Bob Chilcott ( a world renown composer and conductor) and Cheryl Dupont (Artistic Director of the New Orleans Children’s Choir) • premiering a new work by Bob Chilcott • performing in both individually as well as in the massed performance at historic St.Louis Cathedral • sightseeing in the New Orleans area During the festival, all participating choirs will be housed at the luxurious Loew’s Hotel on Poydras Street, just a block and a half from the French Quarter. If our schedule permits, we are hoping to visit Preservation Hall to hear some Jazz, experience a swamp tour, visit the famous Aquarium of the Americas, enjoy some Cajun food and dancing, and take a dinner cruise on a Mississippi paddle-wheeler.  Read More...
June 28-July 11, 2010
Ensemble and Ancora will be touring this June/July to British Columbia to participate in the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival competition. En route to Powell River to take part in the week-long festival, we will have choir exchanges in Seattle and the Vancouver area. The Kathaumixw Festival takes place every two years and is sponsored by the Powell River Academy of Music. We are very fortunate that Ensemble will be hosted by families from the Powell River Choir. The festival has invited over 30 choirs to participate in the festival and there will be children’s choirs, youth choirs, and adult choirs. Choirs will be coming from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Jamaica, New Zealand, Philippines, Slovenia, Taiwan, Uganda, and the USA. Read More...
June 28-31, 2010
The Concert Choir has been accepted to participate in the Fort Worden Children’s Choir Festival in Washington State over the Memorial Day weekend. The festival is designed to provide an intense but fun-filled two days of music making with one of the country’s leading music educators and guest conductors, Juan-Tony Guzman. There will be opportunities to perform both individually as the Featured Choir of the Festival and as a massed choir with the other participating choirs. The Festival includes rehearsal time in addition to recreation and social time. All festival activities will be held at Fort Worden State Park and Conference Center in Port Townsend, Washington. Read More...
June 22-July 6, 2009
Ensemble will be touring this June/July to Finland to participate in choral exchanges with 3 Finnish choirs, including the Vox Aurea choir from Jyvaskyla, which will be a headliner at our own Golden Gate Festival later in July. We will then go to Tallinn, Estonia, to take part in the very important and unique Laulupidu Songfest, which is expected to have up to 30,000 singers on stage at one time and about 300,000 in the audience. Read More...
May 21-25, 2009
Concert Choir has been selected to participate in the Children in Harmony Choral Festival in Orlando, Florida. The Festival, which takes place from May 21-24, includes: • working with conductor Barbara Tagg (Artistic Director of the Syracuse Children’s Choir) and composer Eleanor Daley • premiering a new work by Eleanor Daley called The Song of the Music Makers • performing individually at Epcot Center, in a shared concert in Orlando, and in the Finale Festival Concert at Epcot • visiting Disneyworld, Epcot Center, and Disney Hollywood Studio Park During the festival, all participating choirs will be housed at the Disney All-Star Music Resort, located on Disney property. Choirs coming include Cantabile Children's Chorus (Pennsylvania), Greenwich Public Schools Honor Choir (Connecticut), Elementary District Honor Choir (South Carolina), New Orleans Children's Chorus (Louisiana), Siouxland Youth Chorus (Iowa), Elm City Girls' Choir (Connecticut), and Lannaman’s Preparatory School Choir (Jamaica). In addition to sharing music, we will have opportunities to enjoy the Disney Parks. Read More...
June 16-July 1, 2008
Ensemble will tour to St. Petersburg, Russia, to compete in a major choral festival, and then on to the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) for touring and performing. We will depart San Francisco on Monday June 16th in the evening, flying to St. Petersburg via Munich. Return is on Tuesday, July 1st from Vilnius, Lithuania via Frankfurt and Chicago, arriving in San Francisco about midnight.    St. Petersburg (June 17-22): We will take part in the Grand Prix St Petersburg, a world festival of singing choirs, which will include participating in both concerts and competitions. We will be staying in a hostel or Standard Class hotel for 5 nights. We will have an opportunity to do some sightseeing, including the famous Hermitage Museum and Peterhof Palace and Garden (Petrodvorets) built for Peter the Great. Estonia (June 22-25): We will travel by bus from Russia to Estonia, where we will be hosted by the E-Studio Children’s Choir in Polva near Tartu. We will be there during Midsummer’s Eve -- the longest day of the year -- an occasion for many celebrations. Latvia (June 25-June 28): We will continue by bus to Riga, Latvia, where we will be hosted by the celebrated Riga Girls Choir. Lithuania (June 28-July 1): We will then bus to Vilnius in Lithuanisa, where we will be hosted by the Kivi Choir. Their hope is to rent a cottage in the countryside where both choirs can meet to share music and culture. Read More...
June 26-July 1, 2008
We are very pleased to announce that Concert Choir has been selected to participate in the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans. The Festival, which takes place from June 26-July 1, includes: • working with outstanding conductors Paul Caldwell and Cheryl Dupont (Artistic Director of the New Orleans Children’s Choir) • premiering a new work by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory (arrangers of Piedmont Choirs favorite Go Where I Send Thee!) • performing in both a shared concert as well as the massed performance at historic St.Louis Cathedral • sightseeing in the New Orleans area During the festival, all participating choirs will be housed at the elegant JW Marriott Hotel adjacent to the French Quarter. We are hoping to visit Preservation Hall to hear some Jazz, experience a swamp tour, visit the famous Aquarium of the Americas, enjoy some Cajun food and dancing, and take a dinner cruise on a Mississippi paddle-wheeler. Read More...
October 26 - November 1, 2007
This collaboration has its roots in a partnership begun in June of 2007 when two of the leading choirs in the world children’s choral movement joined together for “Project Attacca.” For this project, Carmina Slovenica of Slovenia has collaborated with The Piedmont Choirs from California to perform a special program of historical and contemporary music of the highest caliber, drawn from diverse cultures. This summer, the choirs held workshops at the international music center of Jeunesse Musicale in Groznjan, Croatia, also appeared in Porec and Kostajnica, Croatia, as well as Maribor, Slovenia, home to Carmina Slovenica. There Project Attacca was presented as part of the international Festival Lent, one of the largest summer arts festivals in the world. Carmina Slovenica travelled to California to join Piedmont Choirs in the reprise of the highly regarded European premiere.  Read More...
June 18 - July 4, 2007
Itinerary: By now you probably know that Ensemble will be touring in Slovenia and Croatia, and participating in a choral festival in Serbia. We will take a bus from Graz, Austrua to Groznjan, Croatia, which will be our base for four days. The famed Carmina Slovenica girls choir from Slovenia will join us in Groznjan and we will participate together in shared rehearsals and concerts. Groznian is the meeting point of young musicians from all over the world because the International Cultural Centre of Young Musicians has its seat there and during the summer months concerts and music events are held almost every day. We will be sightseeing there and nearby areas. We will perform a concert not only in Groznjan but also in nearby Porec, Rovinj or Novigrad. En route to Maribor, Slovenia, our bus will stop for us to visit the beautiful Skocjan Caves. In Maribor, Carmina Slovenica will host us for four days in their homes. Maribor is a beautiful town situated in a valley along the Drava River; we will be there during the annual celebration of the Festival of Lent, an exciting time of music, sports, etc. We will have performances both in Maribor and in the beautiful Gothic church in nearby Kostanjevica. We will then bus to Zrenjanin, Serbia, where we will participate in the International Choir Festival “Cantemus.” The festival includes several shared performances, including a final Gala Concert, as well as opportunities for visiting local cultural and tourist sights. We will be departing from Belgrade (Serbia) on July 4. Read More...
June 28 - July 5, 2007
The 2007 Concert Choir Tour will be to Vancouver, British Columbia to participate in the Coastal Sound International Choral Festival. Participants include Alaska Youth Chorus, Bel Canto Children’s Chorus (Pennsylvania), Cantare Children’s Choir (Alberta), Children’s Choir of the Royal Danish Academy of Music (Copenhagen), ChildrenSongå (New Jersey), Crystal Youngmen (California), Coastal Sound Choirs (British Columbia), Minnetonka Chamber Choir (Minnesota), Missasagua Children’s Choir (Ontario), Mount Royal Arioso Choir (Alberta), Rafiki Youth Choir (Ontario), Sing NSW Choir “Sirocco” (Sydney, Australia), South Shore Children’s Chorus (Quebec), Tampa Bay Children’s Choir (Florida). We will have an opportunity to do a little sightseeing on Thursday and Friday before Festival activities get underway on Friday before the evening opening concert. We will have daily rehearsals, workshops, and performances as part of the Festival except for Sunday, July 1 when Piedmont has a river rafting adventure on the Chilliwack River.  The Finale Concert takes place on Wednesday evening, July 4.  We will have time for an excursion and farewell lunch on Thursday, July 5th before we head back to the airport. Read More...
July 7 - July 21, 2006
Ensemble will be attending the 2006 Hong Kong International Youth & Children’s Choir Festival in Hong Kong. This Festival includes a competition with categories for General Children’s Choir, Contemporary, and Folklore as well as a solo competition. There will be an opportunity to premiere a new work in the contemporary competition. The Festival is sponsored by the Hong Kong Treble Choirs’ Association whose Artistic Director is Leon Shiu-wai Tong. In addition, there will be an outstanding panel of adjudicators from Singapore, China, Sweden, Canada, the Philippines, France, and the U.S. PEBCC was contacted by colleagues in Singapore. Ensemble and Bob have been invited to be the guest choir/clinician at the Singapore Youth Choral Festival which occurs after the festival in Hong Kong. This is a very great honor and will involve performances alone and with orchestra as well as homestays and cultural exchanges. We are hoping to visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in between the two festivals.   Read More...
May 26 - May 29, 2006
Concert Choir has been accepted to participate in the Fort Worden Children’s Choir Festival in Washington State over the Memorial Day weekend. The festival is designed to provide an intense but fun-filled two days of music making with one of the country’s leading children’s vocal specialists, Rebecca Rottsalk. There will be opportunities to perform both individually and as a massed choir with participating choirs. The festival includes rehearsal time in addition to recreation and social time. All festival activities will be held at Fort Worden State Park and Conference Center in Port Townsend, Washington. Read More...
June 28 - July 15, 2005
The tour will begin in Beijing where our choir contact will be the Central Broadcasting Youth Choirs which are arranging concerts for us.  We are also scheduling visits to the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Ming Tombs, plus an acrobatic show, if possible.  After 4 nights in Beijing, we will fly to Xian, famous for the excavations of Terracotta Warriors and Horses.  We will spend 2 nights there, with an opportunity for a joint performance with th “Little Swans Children’s Choir,” whom we met in 2001 in Meiningen, Germany.  From Xian, we will fly to Guangzhou where we will be hosted for 4 nights by the Guangdong Experimental Middle School Choir, one of the finest choirs we have ever heard.  They are scheduling special concerts for us there. We will travel by bus to Hong Kong where we will take part in the 2005 World Children’s Choir Festival, sponsored by the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM) and the Hong Kong Treble Choirs’ Association.  The Artistic Directors of the Festival will be Leon Shiu-wai Tong from Hong Kong and Kari Ala-Pollanen from the Tapiola Choir in Finland. There will be opportunities to perform with the other choirs, to attend workshops, and to learn new music.  Bob will also be presenting a workshop with Ensemble as his demonstration choir. The Festival is arranging housing for all the choirs in the dormitory of the Hong Kong Baptist University. Read More...
June 17- June 21, 2005
Concert Choir has been accepted to participate in the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans, where we will have opportunities to perform both individually and as a massed choir with the 12 participating choirs. The Artistic Director of the festival is Cheryl Dupont, the conductor of the New Orleans Children’s Chorus.  Bob Chilcott (composer, past member of the King’s Singers, and adjudicator for our own Golden Gate Festival as well as many other festivals worldwide) will be leading the massed performances with Ms. Dupont.  We will be premiering a piece by Chilcott specially commissioned for this festival. There will be daily massed rehearsals with the finale performance at the historic St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square.  The musical opportunity of this festival combined with the destination are quite exciting.  There will also be time to enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans with a dinner cruise on the Mississippi River, a chance to hear the Preservation Hall Jazz band in a private performance, a visit to the Aquarium of the Americas, and time to explore the Riverwalk and the French Quarter Market. Read More...
June 21 - July 6, 2004
Ensemble will tour to Estonia, Finland and Latvia. They will fly into Helsinki, where they wil perform at Temppelliaukio Church  and share conerts with the Juvenalia Choir at Helsinki Summer Organ festival and the Porvoo Cathedral Summer Concert Series.  They will also visit Suersaari Island for the Midsummer Festival. The Choir will then fly Riga and transfer by bus to Kuldiga, where they will be hosted by Cantus Children’s Choir. Then the Choir will depart for Estonia, visiting Tartu before proceeding to Tallinn. There they will be hosted the by the Estonian TV Girls Choir while they participate in the extraordinary Estonian Songfest Laulupiduu.      Read More...
July 3 - July 11, 2004
The Concert Choir has been accepted to participate in the International Choral Kathaumixw Festival in Powell River, British Columbia. This festival includes competitions in several categories, shared community performances in which Concert Choir will perform its own repertoire, as well as a Gala Concert at the end featuring massed music performed by all of the participating choirs. This festival is recognized worldwide for its friendly musical atmosphere and beautiful natural setting.   Powell River is located on the Sunshine Coast about 80 air-miles north of Vancouver. Read More...
June 30 - July 16, 2003
Day 1: We are safe and sound in Ljubljana! After almost a full day of travel we are hot and weary, but happy to have arrived. Our first flight lasted 10 hours. After a 3 hour layover in Frankfurt, we flew an hour to Venice and met Bob's son Ethan who had traveled from Singapore to join our group. We then hopped in our double decker bus for a 4-hour ride to Ljubljana. Gregor, our helpful host at St. Stanislav's, travelled with us on the bus and helped us through the border crossing into Slovenia. The Slovenian Children's Choir is a choir composed of singers from throughout the country who have auditioned to be in the choir. They are also staying at St. Stanislav's for our joint choral event. They greeted our singers with a hearty round of applause and then sang a traditional Slovenian song to us. Our singers then treated them to Amazing Grace, which the Slovenians have been practicing as well. I observed the Slovenians carefully studying Piedmont's singers' execution of the song. Even though our kids were bleary-eyed from a full day of travel, they performed well. We ate our dorm food dinner, met briefly to do a quick run-through of a Slovenian song which we will learn so that we can sing it with the Slovenian Choir, and had an orientation for the next few days. Bob emphasized that there was a lot of work to accomplish before we head to Gorizia for the competition. Lights went out early tonight. Read More...
July 3 - July 7, 2013
We made it! It was a very long day of travel for the Concert Choir troopers - two flights and a bus ride plus the time difference. Everyone should be extremely proud of the Piedmont representatives at the Niagara International Music Festival. The singers displayed amazing amounts of patience and calm throughout the travelling. On two full flights they read, napped, played cards, and chatttered at (gasp!) low volume. They let out a rousing cheer on the bus when we crossed into Canada on the Peace Bridge (see picture), and are settled into the dorms at beautiful Ridley College. (www.ridley.on.ca if you want to see pictures of the campus) After a quick dinner at the campus dining hall, which will be providing all our meals, we hopped on another bus and sang in the "Perform for Each Other" opening concert. Each of the nine choirs sang one or two songs - one choir of 18 sang Aglepta by Arne Mellnas, a classic of avant garde choral literature; we felt quite a home with the atonal stylings! Concert Choir performed Country Road and did a good job of it, especially considering how exhausted they all were. Today, Thursday, it's 85 degrees and muggy, though we've been enjoying air conditioning in various places. We rehearsed with all the treble choirs all morning - the guest conductor Jonathan Willcocks is warm and stimulating. The kids like him, and I'm confident the mass concert will be wonderful. After lunch we did some sight seeing at Port Dalhousie, a local spot with a beach and a 5 cent carousel, followed by some enforced rest time. Tomorrow we head off to Niagara Falls, and will sing a concert and then watch fireworks for the 4th! We have limited access to the internet, so I may not get a chance to update for a couple days - I'll do my best! Everyone is healthy and happy and singing in good form. Any emails messages can be directed to Martin or TJ, martinbenvenuto@hotmail.com or jessicamichiko@hotmail.com. Best wishes from north of the border, TJ CC Tour Chaperone Read More...
July 3 - July 17, 2002
The flight was long but uneventful. Other than missing a bit of sleep and lugging bags around four different airports in three countries in about 12 hours, everyone is well. The children's love and thoughts are with their friends and family as you celebrate the holiday. We arrived in Havana as the afternoon rain ended. About 90 degrees and humid. The bus was awaiting us as were our tour leaders Paige Betten, Mike Fuller and Wilma. Guillermo and Ismael are our drivers. The drive to the hotel went through part of the countryside and parts of Havana. The Copacabana Hotel is northwest of the downtown area. It fronts the ocean and provides beautiful views of the sea. The kids have doubles and triples. The water works and air conditioning is welcome. The Choir sang for the hotel guests and the hotel provided us with written stories about Cuba together with fresh Guarapo (made from freshly ground cane).Opting to keep going, everyone checked into their rooms and then gathered on a patio near the pool for some private salsa lessons. We had a great teacher to take everyone through the basics - both the steps and body movement.From there, onto the bus (which we have stocked with bottled water) for a short tour of Old Havana and dinner. We took over most of a restaurant called La Mina and that features a beautiful patio in the center of a old but renovated building. One of the first things to catch our attention was the flock of peacocks that inhabit the place and wander above and alongside the diners. Everyone welcomed the meal with the added fun of two Cuban bands. Lots of music and a little dancing and then it was onto the old fortress and the Christ statue that overlooks the Bay of Havana.It was then off by bus to the Karl Marx theater to see the theater and do a sound check for Thursday's performance. This was the last event in a long day and it was back to the hotel and immediately to bed. Young and old immediately turned in and got needed sleep. Read More...
June 26 - July 2, 2002
Hello all from Eugene Oregon! After a long but pleasant and uneventful bus ride we are happily settled in Eugene Oregon. It really payed off to leave so early because we were not rushed, and stopped right before the border with Oregon to have a picnic. We were eagerly greeted by all and our kids are making new friend already which is great. We had dinner after people unpacked and got settled in their rooms (food is abundant, good and with many choices, so no complaints there . . . yet), and then all choirs got together for a short introduction of festival staff, clinician, etc, and for each choir to introduce itself by singing one song. We sang Georgy Girl to the audience's delight, and the other choirs offered some nice selections too. The average age of the other participating choirs is much higher than ours (I would say 14-15 age average). So we are the young ones but are surely up to the task. I am now writing from the Phoenix Inn, and hopefully your children are carefully observing their lights out ""curfew"", which will not be difficult to implement considering how tired we all are. Tired but happy. Love from all us and till tomorrow,  Martin Read More...