St. Thomas Youth Choir - Tour 2001

This past July the choir toured England and Wales, participating in both the Shrewsbury International Music Festival and Norwich Music Festival. The itinerary of the tour is shown, along with some pictures from the tour.


JUNE 28 – JULY 10, 2001

Day 1 – Thursday June 28

4:30pm -1 - 47 passenger highway coach from Greyhound Lines to report to the Shopping Plaza located at Elm and First Ave in St. Thomas to load luggage

5:00pm - board coach for departure to Toronto

Posing for the choir photo before setting out to the airport.

7:00pm - arrive at Toronto Pearson Airport - Terminal #1 to check into the Air Canada Group Desk

NOTE: Each person is allowed 1 piece of checked baggage and 1 carry on.

10:10pm - depart on your evening flight on Air Canada flight #862 - Toronto to London, England

- dinner served during your flight

Day 2 – Friday June 29 To Shrewsbury

- breakfast served during your flight

10:25am - morning arrival at London's Heathrow Airport – Terminal #3

- clear customs and collect luggage

11:25am - meet your Macpherson motorcoach for loading

- board the coach and transfer north to Much Wenlock with a stop enroute to purchase a light lunch (location to be determined by the coach driver and group leader)

6:00pm - evening arrival at Stokes Barn in Much Wenlock for your accommodation for the next 7 nights

- your Festival Escort, Gill Pugh, will greet you upon arrival, then settle in and unpack

8:00pm - Welcome Reception for all conductors hosted by the Mayor or Shrewsbury & Atcham (an opportunity will be given to exchange gifts with the Mayor)

Day 3 – Saturday June 30 Shrewsbury

8:00am - prepare breakfast on site

- Note: there is a breakfast briefing for all conductors at the Prince Rupert Hotel at 8:00am

All of the participant at the Shrewsbury International Festival.

8:45am - depart Stokes Barn for Shrewsbury

9:30am - assemble in the grounds of Shrewsbury Castle for Massed Festival photograph with the Mayor and Town Crier

11:00am - walk in the "Festival Parade" through the streets of Shrewsbury, featuring all Festival participants, led by the Mayor of Shrewsbury and Town Crier (you will need to be in your uniforms for the parade and photographs // Canadian Flag will be provided to carry)

The choir starting out on the parade route.

1:00pm - free time to purchase lunch (optional attendance in the Market Square to listen to fellow festival performers)

2:00pm - assemble for a walking orientation tour of the town with your Festival Escort followed by free time for individual sightseeing and shopping

4:15pm - depart Shrewsbury for Market Drayton

4:45pm - arrive at the Festival Drayton Centre and prepare for a rehearsal

5:45pm - end of rehearsal

6:00pm - supper will be kindly provided

7:00pm - prepare for concert

7:30pm - performance (45 minutes) at the Festival Drayton Centre shared with a local choir

9:30pm - end of concert

9:45pm - depart for Much Wenlock

10:15pm-arrive at Stokes Barn

Performing at the Festival Drayton Centre.

 Day 4 – Sunday July 1 Shrewsbury – HAPPY CANADA DAY!

8:00am - prepare breakfast on site

10:00am - transfer to the church

10:30am - assemble in the Holy Trinity Church in Much Wenlock, for a short sound check

11:00am - service begins - performance by the St. Thomas Youth Choir during the service

12:00noon - service ends and return to Stokes Barn for lunch and the remainder of the afternoon

-dinner at Stokes Barn

7:15pm - return to Shrewsbury

8:00pm - attend the Festival Social Evening for all participants in the Music Hall

11:00pm - end of social evening...return to Much Wenlock

11:45pm - arrive at Stokes Barn for the night

Day 5 - Monday July 2 Shrewsbury

7:30am - prepare breakfast on site

8:15am - transfer to Shrewsbury

9:00am - assemble at Shrewsbury Abbey to prepare for the massed choir rehearsal

9:30am - massed festival chorus/orchestra rehearsal under the direction of the Festival's Artistic Director, Professor E. Jon de Revere

11:00am - approximate end of massed rehearsal – free time in Shrewsbury and own lunch arrangements

12:45pm - assemble in the Market Square and prepare for your performance

1:00pm - outside performance (45 minutes) in Market Square

A quartet from the choir performs at the Market Square.

1:45pm - end of performance with free time this afternoon in Shrewsbury or visit Ironbridge

5:00pm - arrive back at Stokes Barn for own dinner arrangements

6:45pm- depart for Shrewsbury

7:30pm - performance by the St. Thomas Youth Choir (approx. 15 minutes), plus participate in the Massed Festival Chorus in the Choral/Orchestra performance at the Shrewsbury Abbey

9:45pm - approximate end of concert and depart for Much Wenlock

10:15pm - arrive at Stokes Barn

The massed choirs performing in Shrewsbury Abbey.

Day 6 – Tuesday July 3 Shrewsbury

7:00am - prepare breakfast on site

8:00am - depart Stokes Barn for Shrewsbury

9:00am - rehearsal in the Music Hall

10:00am - end of rehearsal and depart for a sightseeing excursion to Chester

11:10am - arrival in Chester

11:30am - assemble at the Cathedral

11:45am - informal acappella performance (20 minutes) at Chester Cathedral

11:55am - end of performance with free time to purchase lunch and sightseeing and shopping

The choir at the main doors of Chester Cathedral after their performance.

3:30pm - depart for Much Wenlock

5:00pm - arrive back at Stokes Barn for dinner

6:30pm - depart Stokes barn for Shrewsbury

7:15pm - arrive at the Music Hall

7:30pm - performance (approx. 20 minutes) in the Music Hall – this concert will feature fellow participants from Slovak Republic and the USA

9:30pm - approximate end of concert, return to Stokes Barn

Day 7 – Wednesday July 4 Shrewsbury - Wales

7:00am - prepare breakfast on site

8:00am - depart Stokes Barn for a sightseeing excursion to Wales

10:00am - your first stop this morning will be in Betws-y-Coed located at the peaks of Snowdonia, a hill-walking centre since the 19th century

-point of interest is the Waterloo Bridge built by Thomas Telford (a gifted engineer responsible for many of Britains road's, bridges and canals) to mark victory against Napoleon

11:00am - continue your journey to Conwy, one of Britain's most underrated historic towns

11:30am - set apart from other medieval towns by its amazing well-preserved town walls, fortified with 21 towers and three gateways, the walls form an almost unbroken shield around the old town

-visit Conwy Castle

The ruins of Conwy Castle on the north shore of Wales.

-purchase lunch along High Street for some great little spots

1:00pm-depart the area for Llandudno, an informal seaside town with Victorian roots, which has embraced the flashing lights and funfairs of the 20th century (15 minute drive)

-this afternoon visit the Pier, more than 700 m long with it's canopied walkways

Picture of choir members from one tower to another in Conwy Castle.

-the town is also associated with the author Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgdon), the writer of the magical tales of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass" (The Gogarth Abbey Hotel was the summer home of the Liddell's with their young daughter Alice)

2:30pm - return to Stokes Barn for dinner

6:00pm - depart for Shrewsbury

7:00pm - arrive and prepare for the concert

7:30pm - concert at United Reformed Church – concert will be shared with the Shrewsbury Male Voice Choir (45 minute concert by group)

9:30pm - approximate end of concert, return to Stokes Barn

Day 8 – Thursday July 5 Shrewsbury

7:30am - prepare breakfast on site

8:30am - depart Stokes Barn for Much Wenlock

8:45am - arrive at a William Brookes School and meet the Director of Music, Paul Kelly, to prepare for a performance

9:20am - performance (50 minutes – to include introduction of choir and a little background information about the group and your home town) for the students and staff

10:10am - end of performance (refreshments will be provided and free time to meet some of the students and staff

10:45am - depart the school for a visit to Bridgenorth or Church Stretton and the Longmynd

4:30pm - return to Stokes Barn for dinner

6:20pm-return to Shrewsbury

7:15pm - assemble at the Music Hall and prepare for performance

7:30pm - performance (approx. 7 minutes) in the Grand Farewell Concert in the Music Hall

8:00pm - approximate end of concert and return to Stokes Barn

Cleaning up before leaving for Norwich.

Day 9 - Friday July 6 To Norwich

7:00am - prepare breakfast on site followed by checking out and saying good bye to your hosts

8:00am - depart Much Wenlock for Nottingham

11:00am - arrive at Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery, which sits high on Castle Rock commanding a magnificent view of Nottingham and the beautiful countryside beyond (your visit will include the caves)

-in Robin Hood's day it was the home to his arch enemy The Sheriff of Nottingham – today it houses The Gallery of Fine Art and the First Municipal Museum

-suggest a group photograph at The Robin Hood Statue located beneath the castle walls

12:00noon - walk to "The Tales of Robin Hood"

12:15pm - this afternoon you are invited to step back in time to a long gone world of story telling and adventure – travel back in time through 700 years of captured history in unique "Adventure Cars"

1:30pm - at the conclusion of your tour you will have time for a picnic lunch on the grounds or purchase in the area

2:00pm - meet your coach and continue to Norwich

5:00pm - approximate arrival time at the Norwich Youth Hostel to check in for a 3 night stay

6:00pm - dinner at the hostel

7:30pm - evening joint concert with Broadland Youth Choir at the St. George's Colegate church in Norwich

8:30pm - estimated conclusion of the concert and return to the hostel for overnight accommodation

Day 10 – Saturday July 7 Norwich

8:00am - breakfast at the hostel

9:30am - load the coach and transfer to St. Andrew's and Blackfriars Halls (part of a former monastery in the heart of the historic city of Norwich)

10:00am - registration

10:30am - sing-throughs begin – Session One (South Cheshire Youth Choir, Acapella and the St. Thomas Youth Choir)

-choirs will sing through a short repertoire (approx. 15 minutes – 4 or 5 pieces) and you must stay in your seats listening to the other choirs as well

11:30am - break followed with Session Two (other choirs)

12:50pm - lunch break

1:50pm - Session Three (other choirs)

2:40pm - all choirs meet in St. Andrews Hall for seating plan

3:00pm - massed choir rehearsal - 2 pieces

5:00pm - buffet dinner with the festival followed with free time to change and rest (group paying directly for dinner)

6:45pm - all singers to be seated on stage

7:00pm - public concert begins

9:00pm - concert ends with informal party to follow at Blackfriars Hall

11:00pm - party concludes and return to the hostel for overnight accommodation

Day 11 – Sunday July 8 Norwich – Yarmouth

8:00am - breakfast at the hostel

morning at leisure in Norwich the depart for a day trip to Great Yarmouth to enjoy the beach, shopping and sightseeing (a day of leisure)

Dipping their feet in the North Sea at Yarmouth beach.

 On the coach going to after visiting the beach.

6:30pm - dinner at the hostel

-packing and light's out early due to a long day ahead

Day 12 – Monday July 9 To London

8:00am - breakfast at the hostel

9:00am - board your coach and depart for London

12:00noon - check in at the Rotherhithe Youth Hostel for an overnight stay (note early check has been requested to pick-up keys)

Fun on the coach.

12:45pm - depart the hostel and head into London

1:30pm-arrive at the Tower of London, where you will have time to stretch your legs, walk around taking pictures, purchasing lunch (you will not be going into the tower)

2:30pm - if time permits - depart on a 1 hour self-guided overview tour of London with your group leader and driver

 3:30pm - conclude your tour at Westminster Abbey

-time allowed for a self-guided visit (admission not included – approx. £5.00 per person), then walk over to Big Ben for photo ops

Chasing pigeons at Trafalgar Square.

walk up Whitehall past Trafalgar where you can take pictures and proceed to Covent Garden Market where you will have free time for shopping and purchasing dinner

6:30pm - after dinner meet at a central location and walk as a group to the theatre

7:00pm - arrive at the New London Theatre on Drury Lane

7:30pm - enjoy an evening production of "Cats" (option added)

10:15pm - estimated conclusion time of the show, meet your coach and return to the hostel for overnight accommodation

The choir in front of Westminster Abbey in London.

 Day 13 – Tuesday July 10 Home

7:30am - breakfast at the hostel

8:30am - pack-up and check out of your rooms, then meet your coach for loading

9:45am - board the coach and depart for the Greenwich Pier (approximately 30 to 40 minutes from the hostel, pending traffic)

10:30am - arrival and receive instructions for loading

10:55am - depart on a 1 hour leisure cruise from Greenwich Pier to Westminister Pier

11:55am - docking and meet your coach to depart for London Heathrow Airport – Terminal #3

1:00pm - arrive and check in at the Air Canada Group Desk

3:30pm - depart on Air Canada flight # 849 from London, England to Toronto Pearson International Airport

-dinner will be served in flight

6:05pm - early evening arrival into Toronto, Ontario – Terminal #1

-clear customs and collect luggage

7:30pm - meet your hired 47 passenger coach from Greyhound Lines for loading for your return home transfer

9:30pm - estimated time of arrival at the St. Thomas Shopping Plaza