Performance Festivals: Educator Tips

Is it time for your student performers to take their show on the road? We spoke with industry experts who provided tips on how to find the best and most appropriate performance festivals opportunities for your eager students.

Have a Vision

According to David Mazzarisi, Performing Arts Consultants director of operations, it is important to know the goal behind your students' performance travel experience. Students may be excited to perform in a unique venue, may want to experience an event through music and the performing arts, or may be looking to discover the world through music. Their overall goal will help you determine which festival is the best performance choice.

Tom Merrill, Festivals of Music executive director, pointed out the importance of reviewing your travel budget before selecting your destination. "Too many groups consider destination before content and goals of the tour. As a result, sometimes the quality of musical aspects of the tour get scaled down because of budget needed to actually get to the destination."

Consider Your Options

All performance festivals aren't created equal. Educators are advised to consider what a particular festival offers students and whether these offerings reinforce their teachings. Laura Kreutzer, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company corporate director, youth sales, notes a positive experience is achieved through highly qualified adjudicators, venues conducive to an excellent performance, and trained, knowledgeable, considerate staff.

Debra Troen, senior production manager representing the staff of World Projects, suggests you consider the amount of work it will take to prepare your class for each performance festival before finalizing your festival selection.

Many festivals also offer unique learning opportunities in the form of clinics. Ron Simmons, Music Festivals/Music Showcase Festivals executive director, adds that clinics provide fun learning opportunities that enhance your overall trip package.

Once You've Chosen a Festival

World Project staff emphasizes the importance of communication. Communicate your performance goals to the festival manager and inquire about additional opportunities. Also, always remember your audience and venue when selecting your repertoire.

Click here to read even more about this interesting topic in the January 2016 edition of Teach & Travel magazine.

Photo courtesy of Cedar Fair Festivals/Carowinds.


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