England and Scotland tour planned for May 2020, alumni and community members invited

England and Scotland tour planned for May 2020, alumni and community members invited 

Jan. 16, 2020

Ever wanted to experience the history, culture and choral music of England and Scotland?

The “Of Stones and Stars” 2020 Companion Tour to England and Scotland, a trip that parallels Maryville College’s Concert Choir Spring Tour, is open to and designed for community members, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and other friends. Both tours are scheduled for May 5-15, 2020.

The 10-day itinerary includes London, York, St. Andrews, Stirling and Edinburgh. The tour includes visits to some of Scotland’s most famous castles, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle. There will performance opportunities in locations such as Gresham Hall in London, Evensong at York Minster, a tour of King’s College, visit to St. Cecilia’s Music Museum and a joint concert with St. Salvator’s Chapel Choir in St. Andrew’s.

"The 'Of Stones and Stars' 2020 Tour to England and Scotland will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all participants, regardless of whether you are a performer, alumni or a friend who wants to travel, see the sites and experience beautiful art and music," said Stacey Wilner, director of choral activities at Maryville College. "Our goal is for everyone on this journey to experience both the earthly delights and spiritual insights of a musical tour of England and Scotland."

Perform International Tours, which is organizing the tour, specializes in custom concert, educational and cultural group tours. The trip price includes airfare, accommodations, tour guides and excursion/entrance costs, all concerts, as well as breakfast and dinner daily. There are options for both double occupancy and single occupancy rooms.

To register, please visit the Perform International Tours website.

For more information, see the brochure, visit the "Of Stones and Stars" Facebook page, or contact Shelley Maddox '05 at shelmaddox@yahoo.com.

Tour theme represents 'coming together of Heaven and Earth' 

Wilner said the tour theme, “Of Stones and Stars,” is a representation of the "coming together of Heaven and Earth." Part of the concert program will include American and British folk music that deals with topics of war, religion and redemption. Selections include traditional music, such as “Loch Lomond” and an ethereal arrangement of “Amazing Grace” by Swedish composer Eriks Esenvalds. The remainder of the program will include music that is "a bit more celestial in concept and inspiring to the spirit," such as “Northern Lights,” a musical depiction of the aurora borealis by Ola Gjeilo, and a setting of the chant “Ubi Caritas” by Maurice Durufle. 

"Stones often play an important role in societal development, especially evident in the mystical world of the Celts and Saxons," Wilner said. "From the astronomical wizardry of Stonehenge to the refinement of St. Paul’s Cathedral, stone work is an essential part of their culture. The tour includes a tour and performance at Rosslyn Chapel, a well-known center for the Scottish Rite, or the Masons, and fans of the the Da Vinci Code. The cathedrals of Europe are indeed an engineering marvel that inspire a sense awe, both historically and spirituality for many who enter their doors.

"British and American folk music greatly resemble each other musically in regard to tonality and structure, as well as in instrumentation," Wilner continued. "Participants on the tour will also have the chance to experience that style of music as part of our concerts, as well as the opportunity to join with locals in pubs and other venues along the journey. Our ultimate goal is for everyone on this tour to experience a culture and musical diverse 'ends of the spectrum' of the human experience."

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”