Performing on a concert stage is always a memorable and rewarding experience for everyone involved, and musicians look forward to playing for enthusiastic, appreciative audiences all over the world. But for you first-time touring groups, these performances are also learning experiences that will expand your worldview and musical perception.
For starters, the audience you will be performing for on tour is a completely different group of people than back home. Instead of your typical friends, family, parents, and colleagues showing up like those sincerely supporting you back home, your tour audience is fresh and unfamiliar. They may not know you personally, but they have a genuine interest in your performance after somehow getting word if it through an online announcement, a concert poster, a newspaper advertisement, word of mouth, or other means of marketing. In this case, performing your best and making a good first impression is a priority, as this is how the audience will remember your ensemble long after the concert is over.
The repertoire you choose for your tour may also contribute to this overall impression, as the audience could be more or less familiar with it, depending on when it was written and how far away from home you might be. This does not mean you should be afraid of programming new music, however, as many audiences are open and receptive to contemporary repertoire depending on the occasion. Overall, it helps to know a little bit about your prospective audience in advance, and you can get a sense of it based on your destination and concert venue type.
Aside from your audience, the most obvious environmental change while on tour is the performance space itself. Your concert venue(s) will be different in many respects from your hometown concert hall, auditorium, or church, from the layout, to stage size, to acoustic properties. Inevitably, your group is going to sound different, so anticipation, active listening, and a little bit of adjustment will be necessary.
Performing in a new environment is the essence of the tour experience, so take it all in, and enjoy demonstrating your best musicianship for curious audiences who are there to see you for who you are. Think of it as your finest musical hour, and we wish you the very best in making your tour the experience of a lifetime!