The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir embarked on a customized, seven-day tour throughout Spain as part of MCI’s exclusive American Celebration of Music concert series. Read what director, Dr. Michael Bates, had to say about his experience:


“Everything went so smoothly! I chose MCI because my previous experiences with them have been outstanding. Previously, they had planned our 2006 performance to Italy and our 2015 trip to New York City. Our MCI Team was very easy to work with. They were patient, accommodating and pleasant. Our Spanish Tour Escort was great!! She was knowledgeable, personable, efficient, effective, helpful, and a pleasure to be with. She always sought my input. She would go over the next day’s agenda with me the night before. She was warm, always upbeat and sensitive to the needs of students, staff and the other guides. She interacted extremely well with us and the students loved her. On the bus, she was engaging, humorous, and very easy to communicate with. She displayed genuine concern for the health of the students who had challenges with health and with our passport issue.

A performance highlight was, of course, the final concert. It was gratifying to see the response of the audience (estimated at 250). At the end of the concert they gave us a long (I was told it was at least 6-7 minutes) standing ovation. We did an encore and the reaction (standing ovation) was done again. I believe that was also the highlight for the Choir. It certainly served as validation for them as performers to experience the overwhelmingly positive response to their talent coming from persons of a different culture and historical background. I feel that our music spoke to the souls of persons who knew nothing about us, but appreciated the artistry and talent they witnessed. The whole trip gave all of as an

expanded perspective on the world and the challenges of a global society in which you might find yourself seeing up “close and personal” the lessons and people you had only read about in your history books. The sightseeing allowed history to come alive for all of us.”


Dr. Michael Bates, Director
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir