Five Memorable Performance Venues for any Ensemble

Feb 1, 2016

Travel Notes

The top performance travel destinations offer a wealth of excellent venues in which students can test their musical chops. In 12 years of traveling with my own groups, I’ve found some venues are truly a cut above the rest. If you’re looking for memorable performance venues for your next tour, here are five of my favorites that are sure to leave lasting memories for your students.

National Mall

Home to many of the United States’ most important monuments, a performance at the National Mall leaves a lasting impression on all who perform there. The mall is awash with striking backdrops for a performance, the most popular being the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. Adding in a few well-known patriotic selections to your concert’s program will add to the atmosphere and draw in bigger crowds.

USS Intrepid

Visiting an aircraft carrier is an exciting prospect for many, but performing on the deck of one is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. The USS Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space museum in New York City affords this experience to groups, where they invite bands, orchestras, and choirs to let their music soar on the flight deck alongside F-16A fighters and a former British Airways Concorde.

Field Museum

Chicago’s Field Museum attracts over 2 million visitors annually and houses one of the world’s most extensive collections of artifacts. Thanks to the building’s architecture, the museum’s main hall doubles as a well-received performance venue. All types of groups are invited to perform in the towering great hall, which attracts both museum goers and the occasional T-Rex dinosaur. Additionally, the performance venue is perfect for choral ensembles and provides a learning experience for bands interested in playing in a live acoustic.

Casa Loma

Toronto’s Casa Loma gives groups the opportunity to perform in a Gothic castle, without needing to cross the Atlantic. Originally built as a residence for Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, today Casa Loma is open for visitors to tour both its grand interior and pristine gardens. Performances take place either inside the stately library and dining hall, or outside, where the castle serves as a picture postcard-worthy backdrop.

Walt Disney World® Resort

While the application requirements for performances mean that not every group can perform at the Most Magical Place on Earth, the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida has so many performance and workshop options to offer that nearly every ensemble can find something meaningful for them.

Leading a parade through Magic Kingdom® Park is a memory that stays with students for a lifetime. The parade is always a huge draw for park guests, making it one of the best-attended performance opportunities available. Choirs and orchestras aren’t left out at the Walt Disney World® Resort: other popular opportunities include Waterside stage at Disney Springs®, Epcot® Future World March, Festival Disney® for competing ensembles, the Candlelight Processional and massed choir program at Epcot®, and the Thanksgiving Parade of Bands.


All of these venues are sure to leave a lasting impression on your students. Know that what makes these venues unique also makes them extremely popular. Book early to ensure your group can perform at one of these unique venues before the best dates fill up.

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