Why Do We Tour?

Looking back over the past 30 years that I have spent in the field of music education, I am quite comfortable in saying that one of the most effective educational activities that I have experienced is touring. Over the past 20 years, touring has been an integral part of the Youth Symphony experience - all of our auditioned groups tour. Ranging from 1-day local tours to 20-day international tours, musicians in the Youth Symphony are involved in sharing their music with others. I believe that it is essential that we, as musicians and humans, give of our talents to others. At the same time, we gain so much by learning about other people, their community, culture, customs, history and language. A critical part of all of our tours is spending time with other musicians, sharing meals together, performing for each other, and growing as individuals and a team. I have so many wonderful memories of our musicians interacting with others - spending 3 days with a youth orchestra in Madrid, seeing the gleam in the eyes of an 18 year old orphan conducting our YS in Budapest, living with a Japanese family, living with Colorado farmers and ranchers. When planning tours, I look for diverse musical and cultural experiences. I believe that most people will have an opportunity to visit Western Europe, so I look for destinations that are not as accessible. Of course, a primary focus of our tours is musical excellence, so our tours include exceptional venues and cultural exchange.

For our young musicians, our tours can be life changing. I invite you to consider sharing a rare musical adventure - join us as a companion traveler on our next journey. You will be inspired - and changed.

-Gary Nicholson, founder and music director