March 22-26, 2018

Perform in some of Dublin's most historic and beautiful venues. Meet musicians from around the world and share your music together. Come and see for yourself why Ireland is known as one of the friendliest places on Earth!

The majestic St. Patrick's Cathedral, both the largest and tallest church in all of Ireland, is a fitting backdrop for an unforgettable musical experience at the Dublin International Choral Festival. Share your voices with choirs from Ireland and all over the world; sing your own repertoire for each other, and join together to dazzle a local audience with Händel's Messiah . Your festival itinerary will expose you to two facets of Irish culture: sophisticated, cosmopolitan energy, in the lively city of Dublin; and extraordinary natural beauty, in the picturesque countryside of County Wicklow. Urban and rural Ireland alike are steeped in history; you will tread in the footsteps of past generations as you admire the Book of Kells at Dublin's Trinity College and explore the walking trails in the monastic settlement of Glendalough. As you sing and take in the sights, you are sure to note the warmth and joy of the Irish people. Fáilte!

ITINERARY

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2018 | DEPART NORTH AMERICA

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2018 | DEPART NORTH AMERICA

Depart North America this evening on an overnight flight to Dublin. Dinner and snacks will be served on your flight.
THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2018 | WELCOME TO DUBLIN, IRELAND

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2018 | WELCOME TO DUBLIN, IRELAND

Morning arrival in Dublin, Ireland. Upon arrival in Dublin, your Music Contact International tour manager will greet your choir at the airport.

Together, board your waiting motor coach and embark on a guided tour of Dublin’s city center with a local expert. Travel through the north and south sides of the River Liffey to see such sights as the General Post Office, O’Connell Street, the Customs House, and vast Georgian squares like Merrion Square.

Visit Trinity College, the oldest and most prestigious university in Ireland. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, the college lies at the very heart of Ireland’s capital. See the college’s most prized possession, the world famous Book of Kells. Dating from around 800 AD, it is one of the oldest books in the world. The book’s incredible illustrations make it an artistic and historical masterpiece.

Following free time for lunch, check in to your hotel, settle in, and refresh.

Early this evening, transfer to Dublin's City Hall for the welcome reception of the Dublin Choral Festival. Enjoy listening to a performance by a well-known local Irish choir followed by time to mingle and exchange with the other participating choirs.

A special welcome dinner will be planned for your choir at the hotel later this evening.

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2018 | DUBLIN CHORAL FESTIVAL FRIENDSHIP CONCERT

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2018 | DUBLIN CHORAL FESTIVAL FRIENDSHIP CONCERT

Following breakfast in the hotel, travel south out of Dublin into County Wicklow, the “Garden of Ireland.” This region features all the types of scenery that make Ireland so beautiful. The coastline is bordered by charming sea resorts such as Bray and Greystones, in the heart of its gentle hills are the picturesque villages of Enniskerry and Avoca, and throughout, you’ll see rolling mounts where nothing but heather grows. Visit Powerscourt Gardens, a magnificent example of aristocratic gardens from the 19th century. The gardens have many stunning features including the Triton pool with its 100-foot fountain, winged horses flanking a grotto, American, Italian and Japanese gardens, and the famous Bamberg Gates. There are countless rare plants and flowers and wonderful views of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Enjoy time for lunch at the lovely restaurant in Powerscourt or choose just tea and scones in their cafe.

Continue on to visit Glendalough, a 6th century monastic site. The English name originated from the Irish "Gleann dá Locha," which translates to "the valley of the two lakes." It was here that St. Kevin founded a monastery which grew to become a famous center of learning throughout Europe. The buildings that survive date from the 8th and 12th centuries, with the most famous being the Round Tower.

Return to Dublin late this afternoon.

Tonight, your choir will perform a friendship concert with a Dublin-based choir at a local venue. Enjoy singing for each other and getting to know one another through your shared love of music!

An early or late dinner can be arranged for your group upon request.
SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2018 | DUBLIN CHORAL FESTIVAL REHEARSAL

SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2018 | DUBLIN CHORAL FESTIVAL REHEARSAL

After breakfast in the hotel dining room, meet a local guide and embark on a walking tour of Händel's Dublin. Your tour will introduce you to the sights connected with Händel's stay in Dublin and the amazing first performance of his masterpiece, the Messiah, which took place on April 13, 1742 in Dublin.

Enjoy free time to buy lunch and explore the city following your tour.

Early this evening, transfer to St. Patrick's Cathedral for the first festival rehearsal of two Messiah choruses in preparation for tomorrow's massed sing.

Dinner can be arranged for your choir to complement your schedule.
SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2018 | DUBLIN CHORAL FESTIVAL REHEARSAL & CONCERT

SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2018 | DUBLIN CHORAL FESTIVAL REHEARSAL & CONCERT

Enjoy breakfast, then enjoy the morning at leisure for individual sightseeing and shopping opportunities in Dublin. Alternatively, visits to the Guinness Storehouse, Dublinia, or the National Museum of Ireland can be arranged.

In the afternoon, transfer to St. Patrick's Cathedral for a joint rehearsal with all participating choirs for this evening's performance.

Tonight, the massed sing of the Dublin Choral Festival in association with MusicTown takes place at St. Patrick's Cathedral or the adjacent St. Patrick's Park. Each choir will perform a brief repertoire, followed by the massed sing performance of two choruses from Händel's Messiah.

After the concert, a festive farewell dinner is arranged for your group at one of Dublin’s famous pubs.
MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2018 | DEPARTURE OR EXTENSION

MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2018 | DEPARTURE OR EXTENSION

After breakfast, transfer to the Dublin Airport for your return flight home, or choose to extend your stay in Ireland with a customized extension.

PACKAGE

  • Accommodations
    •4 nights in a hotel in Dublin

    Transportation
    •A private, modern, air conditioned motor coach with a professional driver is provided for all transportation as described in the itinerary, including round-trip transfers between the airport and hotel

    Meals
    •Breakfast each morning at the hotel •Welcome dinner served at the hotel •Farewell dinner served at a Dublin pub or restaurant

    Tour Manager
    •A full-time Music Contact International tour manager to accompany your group during their entire stay, from arrival to departure

    Performance Opportunities
    •Friendship concert with an Irish host choir •Closing concert rehearsals with all participating choirs •Closing concert performance and massed sing

    Guided Tours & Special Events
    •Guided tour of Dublin, including a visit to the Book of Kells •Attendance at the welcome reception with canapes •Full day excursion to County Wicklow •Walking tour of Händel's Dublin

    Complimentary Places
    •Two complimentary land packages for every 30 paying travelers (31st & 32nd travelers are complimentary), based on double occupancy accommodations
  • October 5-9, 2017
    Depart from North America on October 4th

    Upon arrival in Ireland, your Music Contact International tour manager will greet you at the airport. Together, transfer to your hotel in Dublin. There will be time to refresh from your journey before taking an orientation walk with sightseeing, a visit to the Book of Kells, and time for lunch. Visit the festival performance venues, including St. Patrick's Cathedral. Dinners are arranged nightly in local pubs or in the hotel dining room, where you will meet participating choir directors who will be bringing their choirs to the festival in the spring.

    Over the course of the weekend, enjoy time in Dublin, Kilkenny, Galway, and Limerick to see all that Ireland has to offer, including various possible performance venues around the country. Meet with local festival organizers to ask questions about the massed sing and repertoire.

    *The Complimentary Orientation Trip is an invaluable opportunity to preview the venues and hotels and to discuss program points of the festival. Your travel to Ireland is complimentary, including airfare from New York’s JFK Airport, accommodations, ground transportation, and most meals. This Orientation Trip is for the choir director or official representative of each registered choir. Participation is not required, although the weekend is extremely helpful for visualizing the components of the festival and seeing what else Ireland has to offer your choir. If you are unable to attend the Orientation Trip, Music Contact International is happy to relay any specific questions to the festival organizers on your behalf.
  • Please let Music Contact International know if your choir is interested in remaining abroad longer. We are happy to plan an itinerary according to your choir’s interests. The magnificent cities of Galway, Kilkenny, Cork, Belfast, and more are only a short drive away.

EXTENSIONS

  • A A two-night stay in Belfast will add an exciting element to an already wonderful stay in Ireland. Belfast is a spectacular capital city, rich in culture and history, where artistic and intellectual genius continues to flourish. Home to such famed sites and individuals as the Titanic, the Ulster Orchestra, Queen’s University, C.S. Lewis, Van Morrison, and Kenneth Branagh, Belfast is sure to offer something for everyone. Extending your stay in Ireland in the city of Belfast will undoubtedly prove to be an unmatchable cultural experience as you are awed by the centuries of fascinating history.

    Day 1:

    Mid-day arrival in Belfast. Enjoy a guided tour of Belfast with a local guide.A See the Albert Memorial Clock Tower, the Grand Opera House, City Hall, Queens University, and the Botanic Gardens. Visit Crumlin Road Gaol, dating back to 1845, and expand your understanding of the civil unrest that plagued Northern Ireland’s history. You may have the opportunity to perform an informal concert at the Gaol. Later this evening, check in to your hotel, where an Arrival Dinner will be served in the hotel dining room.

    Day 2:

    Following breakfast, explore Titanic Belfast, an interactive exhibition that recreates the story of the world’s infamous ship. In the evening, join a local choir for a Friendship Concert at a local venue such as Hillsborough Parish Church. After the concert, a Festive Farewell Dinner will be arranged at a local restaurant.

    A Day 3:

    After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the Dublin Airport and your return flight to North America. Welcome home!
  • A When the Dublin Festival concludes, continue on to the thriving bohemian city of Galway on Ireland’s west coast! This 500 year old city of 50,000 in habitants is one of the major centers of Gaelic studies, with store signs still written in the ancient language. Galway is a popular seaside destination with a lively city center full of colorful shops, restaurants, and traditional Irish music echoing through the cobblestone streets.

    A post-extension to Galway is the perfect way to end your stay in Ireland!

    Day 1:

    Depart for Galway, stopping en route at the Kilbeggan Distillery, the oldest licensed pot stilled whiskey distillery in the world. ALearn how Irish whiskey was made in 1757 and how it is still made today. Then continue on to Clonmacnoise, a wonderful early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. After, transfer to Galway and check in to your hotel. An Arrival Dinner will be served in the hotel dining room.

    Day 2:

    Following breakfast, depart for the Cliffs of Moher. Drive through the Burren Region and see the limestone pavements that have been eroded to distinctive patterns. Arrive at the Cliffs of Moher and look out at one of the most impressive views in Ireland. Return to Galway, and stop along the way at Rathbaun Farm where you will become enchanted with its thatched cottage home, turf fire, stone walls, and an array of animals.A Upon arrival in Galway, take some time to prepare for an evening concert. Perform a concert tonight at a local venue such as the Galway Cathedral or St. Nicholas Collegiate Church. A festive Farewell Dinner will be arranged to complement your concert schedule.

    Day 3:

    After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the Shannon Airport and your return flight to North America. Welcome home!
  • A Enhance your Dublin Festival experience with a two night extension to Killarney and Limerick, Ireland!

    When the Dublin Festival concludes, continue on to the Irish countryside and experience Irish culture, history, music, and natural beauty at its best! A post-extension to Killarney and Limerick is the perfect way to end your stay in Ireland!

    Day 1:

    Depart for Killarney, stopping en route at Blarney Castle, one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic fortresses. Explore the castle’s spectacular grounds and kiss the famed Blarney Stone.A After free time to shop for traditional Irish goods at Blarney Woollen Mills, continue on to Killarney and check in to your hotel. An Arrival Dinner will be served in the hotel dining room.

    Day 2:

    Following breakfast, check out of your hotel and enjoy a Jaunting Car Ride through the stunning natural beauty of Killarney National Park. Next, take in the gorgeous coastal scenery of the Dingle Peninsula. Tonight, arrive in Limerick and check in to your hotel. Enjoy a Festive Farewell Dinner including live music and entertainment at the Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet.

    Day 3:

    After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the Shannon Airport and your return flight to North America. Welcome home!

YOUR TOUR INCLUDES

Traveler's Resource Website

Traveler's Resource Website
The site is customized exclusively for your group, and is full of exciting and interactive features that you will find informative and helpful before, during, and after the tour.

•Current tour itinerary with full descriptions of each day
•Detailed maps of the places you will visit
•Blog platform to communicate with group members
•Recommended books, movies, websites, and videos

Online Payment System

Online Payment System
Group leaders have the option to use our Online Payment System, which enables you to effortlessly collect payments for your trip. Group leaders receive weekly automated reports with traveler balances and due dates.

Travelers can log in to our secure website to review the cost of their trip and all payment deadlines, register for the trip, and make credit card payments. All travelers receive automated reminders when payments are coming due.

Additional Materials

Additional Materials
•Customized handbook for each person traveling with your choir, including a detailed program and travel information.
•Electrical adapters*
•Luggage tags
•Passport holder*

*for international travelers