Don’t Miss Out: 5 Great Reasons to Join a Parent Shadow Tour

Don’t Miss Out: 5 Great Reasons to Join a Parent Shadow Tour

So what’s a choir shadow tour? Let’s hear it from a La Cañada choir mom’s perspective.

Our Incantato Concert Tours for choirs, orchestras and bands featuring renowned student ensembles concertizing in prime European venues: St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Salle Gustave Eiffel in Paris or Notre-Dame Cathedral. Performance tours are one of our specialties at Inside Europe Travel Experiences.

Inside Europe started in 2007 as Incantato and we still refer to our performance tours as Incantato experiences. However, while parents or family and friends may not want to join the choir or orchestra trip (nor do most students wish for them to do so), there is a great way to travel alongside and be part of those magical performances on Europe’s most beautiful stages. And that is, by joining an so-called concert shadow tour or entourage experience — which essentially is a parallel vacation. The entourage travelers have priority access to all performances and share other magical moments, but their journey is definitely more relaxed than the actual performance concert tour.

But let’s hear it from a mom’s perspective on this repost from Lynne Coopers’ blog LIFE THREE POINT O
Lynne Cooper traveled

Shadow Toura trip conducted in parallel with a student performance tour that lets family members enjoy student performances without impinging on the independence of the students.

Imagine your child’s high school choir is going on an amazing tour of Europe. Just like you wish you could have when you were a student oh so many years and economic strata ago. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could also go on the tour – but without crashing your student’s party? Enter the “shadow tour.” As run by Inside Europe, we got to do just that. Higher class hotels, excursions more aligned with adult interests (winery anyone?), better restaurants, shopping opportunities and more flavor the journey as our tour followed respectfully behind our students.

Why go on a Shadow Tour? Let me count the reasons:

  1. Seeing your child perform in amazing venues with audiences that truly appreciate the music. On our trip to Spain, the choir performed at high mass in Madrid, in a 12th century octagonal church in the world heritage town of Cuenca, at the Montserrat Abbey, in Sagrada Famila (complete with construction noise in the background), at a Music Conservatory in Valencia, and in a majestic gothic cathedral in Barcelona.
  2. Gaining a finer appreciation for the repertoire. Each venue our students sang in brought out something special in the music: the piercing pain of “David’s Lamentation” in Cuenca, “Unclouded Day” soaring in the cavernous Santa Maria del Mar, the atonal “Suite Delorca” in the Valencia Conservatory recital room where every note and run was heard with distinct precision and clarity. I don’t always “get” a choral piece on the first listen. Hearing the same pieces multiple times and in so many different environments educated our ears. Over time and repetition, the songs unwrapped themselves like birthday presents – surprising us even as we gained familiarity with the works.
  3. Semi-sharing experiences. Because we visited many of the same places, but at different times, we both shared the experience  with our daughter and had different adventures. My experience in the marketplace in Valencia as the Fallas celebration literally exploded around us was different than that of a gaggle of teenagers bargaining their way through the stalls. Having seen similar sights, the stories we shared afterwards were richer and more meaningful.
  4. Spending quality time with other parents. Travel occurred out of the regular time stream. The stresses of work and home and schedules were magically suspended. It was possible – no, required – to sit in a café overlooking the sea for a long, leisurely lunch. Even bus rides were an opportunity to share stories – the museums visited, the soccer match, the bull fight, the accidental dinner of roasted goat in a grotto restaurant. We lie to ourselves and say that we’ll get together back home, do this more often. But all the good intentions in the world are powerless against the pressures of daily life. So once we return it will be quick hellos at the supermarket or chatting during intermissions at a school concert. The Shadow Tour offered a precious gift: time and place and people.
  5. It was a lot of fun!

All of us at Inside Europe Travel Experiences say Gracias, Grazie, Dankeschön: Thank you Lynne for sharing what it was like to be one of our shadow tours.

FYI: Just like any Inside Europe experience, entourage journeys are created anew each time, for you, our actual travelers, with your interests, passions and travel-style in mind. Our journeys are personalized for everyone in the group — with plenty of unique opportunities to be on your very own vacation, while benefitting from the convenience and attractive pricing of a group journey. Upgraded accommodations from our Inside Europe Sight-Sleeping Collection and lots of free time for individual exploring are just two of many special features offered.

Hey there, so you think "Let's all go to Europe" sounds great in theory, but impossible to do for real? Well, that's where we come in. We've been where we take you, personally, with our family and friends, but also with as many as 400 of our travelers. We make sure to hit what's on your bucket list and then add some of our favorites. Together, we turn your travel dreams into an incredible time and you'll make unforgettable memories in Europe.