Barbados is home to not only the Caribbean’s signature stunning beaches, but a varied history showcased in one of the oldest synagogues in America, a house that 19-year- old George Washington once lived in and one of the only Jacobean buildings in the Western hemisphere. The Bajan music scene is both rooted in the traditions of the Anglican Church– hymns, oratorios and cantatas are widely performed – and constantly developing with homegrown traditions fusing with American jazz and Caribbean calypso. It is a scene ripe for collaboration in a concert tour full of natural beauty and historical sights.
🇧🇧 Sights & Sounds 🇧🇧
- Barbados Chamber Orchestra
- Steel orchestras & tuk bands
- St. Nicholas Abbey
- George Washington House
- Nidhe Israel Synagogue
- Crystals of Harrison’s Cave
- Calypso, Spouge & Soca Music
This was by far my most memorable tour in six years with my choir. Our exchange with the students at the Escuela Nacional came on our very first full day of the tour, and was so exhilarating that my first thought was: How can we possibly top this? Remarkably, we did top it, at least once each day for the rest of the tour. Whether a concert to a sold-out house, a master class with a superb professional, a Rumba lesson from a 96-year-old-instructor/philosopher/seminarian, or a magical end-of-tour banquet in an outdoor plaza in Havana Vieja, Classical Movements saw to it that our tour wildly exceeded all of our expectations.
–Paul Rardin | Associate Director of Choirs, University of Michigan, 2011
Our students and the people of Cuba were able to quickly find an incredible commonality through the language of music. Thanks to the amazing work of Classical Movements I am proud to know that we were an instrumental part in building a bridge between our two countries.
–Colin Lynch | Director of Chapel Music, St. Paul’s School, 2011
Our recent tour to Cuba was wonderful, and a life-changing experience for our singers. The highlight was being able to work and sing with the Cuban professional choirs. The entire Chorus felt that the Cuban audiences welcomed us with open arms and appreciated our performances so very much. The special commission by composer Tania León and poet Carlos Pintado that Classical Movements commissioned for us was well-received in the land of her birth. It was moving for us to be a bridge between the two countries. Classical Movements handled the official documents very well, even though these papers were difficult to obtain. I would certainly recommend Classical Movements to anyone desiring to tour to Cuba.
–Susan McMane | Artistic Director, San Francisco Girls Chorus, 2011
Thank you can’t begin to cover what I want to express to you all for what you enabled, engineered, master-minded, fixed, strong-armed, charmed, finagled, anticipated, brainstormed, handled and imagined to make the Cuba tour happen. You are magicians. Thank you for believing in the Minnesota Orchestra enough to work so hard with such passion. This tour will be remembered for decades in our organization as being a seminal experience. Now, it’s our job to make the magic habit. I can’t wait for the next time…
–Mele Willis | Artistic Operations Manager, Minnesota Orchestra, 2015
I think what my students and I appreciated most about the tour was stepping outside our rigorous academic circle and focusing simply on community service and singing together. Throughout the tour, I saw friendships form and strengthen. I also was able to create individual relationships with students in a way that is much more challenging during the semester. These sweet moments together also strengthened our ability as an ensemble. My Glee Club has never sounded so beautiful, and I know this is in large part due to this tour.
–Lindsay Pope | Director, Mt. Holyoke Glee Club, 2014
It was a delight and an honor to be involved in this year’s Serenade! Festival. The wonderful array of voices from around the world—their enthusiasm and beauty in singing—and the marvelous repertoire that was performed made Serenade! a truly inspiring time for me. Congratulations on a great event, in every way!
–Philip Brunelle | Founder & Artistic Director, VocalEssence, 2012
When we arrived at the Walter Reed Hospital, we lined up to sing and began our concert. A few other people would walk in, look at us for a moment, and continue on their way. Then, there was a man who didn’t. He had been watching us from behind, and I didn’t realize he was there. He was in a wheelchair: both of his legs had been amputated. I felt sorry for him, but at the same time, I was proud—I felt proud of a total stranger. And then, he thanked us. I swear, everyone in the room teared up a little, including myself. We should be the ones thanking him, I thought. I guess that’s when I realized that we already had. That’s what this concert was for. Suddenly, it felt like the trip had a purpose. Everyone had been telling us that all along, but it didn’t become real for me until that moment.
–Samantha Morrison | Chorister, Canterbury Youth Choruses, 2011
I was very nervous at the end of last week, wondering whether Osmo [Vänskä] would make it back to conduct a big education festival here Friday night. I understand that you and your office worked like crazy to get him on a flight, and I want you to know how much I appreciate that! Friday night’s concert here was part of an annual music teacher’s convention, completely packed, with the orchestra and 250 high school singers on stage, and a couple of year’s worth of planning. Osmo was a big part of the event, so the stakes were high as far as we are concerned. Thanks for all of the extra work! Bravo!!
–Jim Bartsch | Director of Education, Minnesota Orchestra
My thanks for all you did to facilitate the needs of my travel with Choral Arts Society. Everything went so well, thanks to you all and your unflagging stewardship on behalf of the CASW. You run a great business! To behold your calm, cheerful demeanor in the face of potential disaster that first Sunday morning at Dulles, when United Airlines went on strike, was truly inspirational. I can only hope to emulate that when I encounter adversity of such scope.
–Deborah Lamberton | Host, WETA 90.9 FM (Tour to Grand Teton Music Festival)
We were thrilled with Classical Movements and the wonderful opportunities they made possible for the ACC on its recent tour to the USA and Canada. Excellent planning, beautiful performance venues, great audiences, comfortable accommodation, exciting sight-seeing opportunities and terrific tour guides made for a fun-filled, action-packed adventure, which ran smoothly from start to finish. The staff at Classical Movements were a pleasure to work with, both before and during our tour, and I would thoroughly recommend this company to any musical group wanting to tour with an experienced, well-organized agency, who go the extra mile to make your tour special. The Serenade! Choral Festival in Washington D.C. was a particular highlight, as it gave our young choristers a fantastic opportunity to share their music-making with some wonderful choirs from around the world, both in rehearsals and performance at the various concerts we were fortunate to attend or participate in. The finale concert in Strathmore Hall was spectacular!
–Andrew Wailes | Artistic Director, Australian Children’s Choir
I wanted to thank Classical Movements for an extraordinary job well done on our Pacific Northwest tour this past May. You exhibited extraordinary patience and accommodation to make sure that our tour could meet our budget, without compromising the musical and social experience in the least. You have a longstanding client, now, and I hope we can work together once again.
–Brian Robinson | Managing Director, Yale Symphony Orchestra, 2006
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of the wonderful work on the Staatskapelle tour in April. It is always such a pleasure to work with your team, and I hope we will have the opportunity to do so again soon.
–Donagh Collins | Askonas Holt (Dresden Staatskapelle tour to USA), 2005
Classical Movements’ travel expertise proved beneficial in dealing with the myriad flight and travel issues we encountered while traveling to New York, helping to facilitate a successful performance. As usual, the CM staff was calm under fire and is a pleasure to work with, in both the planning and execution of our tours.
–Robert McGrath | VP & Orchestra Manager, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, 2009
We are very pleased to have found Classical Movements to look after our US/UK tour in August 2004. To meet this kind of professional competence, where an understanding of our orchestra’s special needs is combined with the ability to get great prices for travel and hotel, is an enormous help. It has certainly taken a great load off my mind to know that we can concentrate on the music!
–Gregor Zubicky | Artistic Director, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, 2004
Many thanks to all at Classical Movements for their professionalism, dedication, hospitality and good humor in helping to make the LPO’s tour to the United States, celebrating the orchestra’s 70 birthday, such a success. The assistance and experience Classical Movements provided for our hotel arrangements, both in the long preparations before and during the tour itself, was and is very much appreciated by the orchestra and contributed in no small part to the success of the performances.
–Ed Hossack | Touring Manager, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Classical Movements is based in Alexandria but works mainly overseas, arranging tours by American orchestras and choruses and running music festivals all over the world. ‘Choral music is becoming so international,’ Helms says. ‘There was a time when it was all Handel, Bach, Mozart and such. But now there are so many fantastic composers. And in the course of their tours, so many American groups have started learning Maori, Chinese, South African and Brazilian songs. In the process of taking American groups around the world, we have had so many exchanges and collaborations, and we’ve had a great number of groups that wanted to come to the States,’ Helms says.
-Washington Post, Mark Jenkins | June 22, 2011
Neeta Helms, president of Classical Movements explains: ‘We are very aware that parents of the children pay a lot to give their children this [travel and music] experience. For them it’s a trip of a lifetime, and we want to deliver a high-quality music product.’
-Opus Osm, Mary Matz | July 18, 2011
Can you afford to ignore the company that does the tour arrangements for some of Washington’s premier institutions…the best tour agents in the world?
-Gala News, Judy Brophy (Choral Arts Society of Washington) | Fall, 1996
Classical Movements is the go-to company for ensembles planning concert tours.
-Baltimore Sun, Tim Smith | June 29, 2012
Music moves people. And then there are the people who move the music. From the corner of her second-story command center in a charming-but-creaky three-story townhouse in Old Town, Classical Movements founder Neeta Helms delivers musicians and singers all over the world with the precision of a Steinway piano tuner.
-Washington Post, Thomas Heath | Sept. 16, 2013