The Baltics is an absolute MUST for any choir.  This lesser-known trifecta of countries is absolute best value for your group’s money, and you will not find another destination in Europe more appreciative of the transformative power of choral music.  Every single detail of our trip, from the time we touched down in Tallinn until we took off ten days later from Vilnius, was perfectly planned and executed. Not a single minute of my time as director was spent worrying about transportation, venues, food, etc, so that I was free to focus completely on the music and my students.  

The audiences in the Baltics were the best I have experienced anywhere in Europe!  the venues were PACKED with standing room only, and the audience members were extremely engaged in our performances, often closing their eyes and crying during our pieces.  We were welcomed to each venue by such warm, wonderful audiences.  They gave us standing ovations and went out of their way to speak to us afterwards to let us know what an impact the singing had made on them.  We were so impressed by the age ranges in the crowd and how completely engrossed they were in the performances. For the people of the Baltics, singing isn’t just a pastime – it’s their national identity; it is their freedom. This made a tremendous impact on my students!  

Our city tour guides were certainly a cut above!  They were so friendly, energetic, and knowledgeable.  They related well to the college students and were so pleasant.  We hated leaving them behind as we moved to a new city as the students were very engaged in learning from them.  Each tour guide beautifully represented their own country. 

What can one say about our dedicated Tour Manager?  My students absolutely fell in love with him, and it was VERY hard to leave him behind.  His quick wit, inexhaustible knowledge, and his ability to easily relate to absolutely everyone in our group made him an instant hit!  We laughed ourselves silly from his sense of humor, and he seamlessly fit in with our group.  Whenever we had questions, he patiently listened and answered, and his knowledge of music was impressive!  He even coached us on our Estonian pieces.  He took charge at every hotel, restaurant, tour stop, and concert venue, and with him at the helm, absolutely every detail was flawless and ran seamlessly.  

I cannot speak highly enough of this trip!  I have loved all my tours with MCI, but this one will hold a particular place in my heart.  Thank you for offering this to us! 

Elizabeth (Shoenfelt) Aragunde, DMA

Shippensburg University

Department of Music & Theatre Arts

Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers, director