Americans in Paris: Main Street to Tour Europe

The Main Street singers will once again perform concerts on their annual international Main Street tour from April 9-27 in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

“We have so many wonderful connections and wonderful sites that we’re going to be seeing,” Choral Music Director Mark Shaull said.

Yet the “big news” this year, according to Shaull, is that they have the opportunity to perform a formal concert in the Notre Dame cathedral in France, which is “unheard of” due to the fact that people on any musical level are usually only allowed to perform just a song or two.

“It’s an honor to be able to sing there, but we know we all definitely have a lot of work ahead of us to prepare for that,” junior Stephanie Ashton said.

In addition to performing at Notre Dame, the Singers’ schedule consists of around 14 formal concerts over their 19-day trip in cities such as Paris, Bruges and Hasselt.

In order to prepare, they have been rehearsing hard all year, especially in January during their camps.

“There is one word to describe the pre-tour rehearsal schedule: intense,” senior Julia Davis said. “We have practice almost every night that lasts up to three-and-a-half hours, plus extra long ones on weekends. We also get together during brunch and lunch.”

While the singers do have the chance to visit and explore another continent, their main focus is touring. In Europe they have more respect for the singers.

“Maybe they don’t know how to view us here, but when we go over there it’s a very noble situation to walk into,” Shaull said.

The international tour is always one of the main events the singers look forward to.

“Not everyone has the chance to travel abroad, and even fewer are able to connect with people internationally the way that Main Street Singers do,” graduate Tommy Yacoe ‘07 said.

Since some upperclassmen have already gone on the international tour, they know that they’ll be able to reenact their favorite memories.

“One of the my favorite parts of tour is meeting people after our concerts,” junior Nucky Chu. “They are always so appreciative and supportive as they describe their experiences as audience members.”

While some members have already gone on tour, there are new members that are excited to go for the first time.

“I’m definitely looking forward to going to all these new countries for the first time, and also concertizing in cathedrals and churches around Europe,” junior Ka Lau said. “But above all, I look forward to sharing with people our love of music, and that there are high schoolers who are interested in classical music.”