Courage Choir – Isle of Wight blog

For our second tour of the Autumn, we went to the Isle of Wight with the brilliant Courage Choir!

We departed from Bradford-on-Avon on the coach bound for Southampton where we would be getting the ferry over to the Isle of Wight. Once arrived in the very sunny Isle of Wight we headed straight for lunch at the scenic Hideaway Cafe before Courage Choir’s first al fresco performance in the courtyard at Springfield Retirement Home. The staff and residents were so welcoming and were delighted by Courage Choir’s performance, the first live music they have heard for over two years.

After the concert it was time to go to the hotel to get ready for a delicious 3 course evening meal hosted by Andy, who became a firm favourite over the weekend with his entertaining manner.

Day two began with a special Kitchen Dancing meets Sound Escapes dance workshop (led by Jo) which was great fun to kick off the day and culminated in our grand finale Showstopper routine to the very rousing ‘Before The Parade Passes By!’.

For the morning, there was an optional excursion to Quarr Abbey to visit the gallery, gardens and grounds and Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday residence. In spite of the rain, several members of the group went into Shanklin for the afternoon to leisurely explore shops and brave the beauty of the coastal paths. It was then time to get back to the hotel for a meal and then prep for the second concert, and evening performance at St Catherine’s Church in Ventnor.  The performance began at 7pm and Courage Choir were in top performance mode, the audience just loved it!

Sunday morning was time to check out of the hotel and load the coach with luggage, but not departing for home before one final performance. An morning concert at the incredible Needles Landmark Attraction, also home to the world famous rocks ‘The Needles’, the colourful Alum Bay  and Lighthouse. The trip could not have ended on a better note (literally!).

It was time to say goodbye to the Isle of Wight but the spirit and excitement of the weekend was not going anywhere. It was such a long-awaited tour, being pushed back multiple times, so it was brilliant to finally bring it to fruition.

Testimonial:  ‘Just had a fantastic weekend away with Courage Choir, all organised by the lovely Jo from Sound Escapes. Everything was so well organised and fun. If you want a well planned, good value, fun, relaxed trip then I would highly recommend Sound Escapes’ – Maggie, Courage Choir.  

Brilliant tour, expertly organised. Kindness and compassion. Nothing was too much trouble. Colin, our driver, was a complete gem and so knowledgeable about the isle. Lovely hotel staff where nothing was too much trouble
Felicity CourageChoir Director, Courage Choir
Fantastic tour in Bonnie Scotland, enjoyed by all who went, singing and non-singing. Brilliant organisation from Jo who really made it all look so easy.
Kate HymansTour organiser for Masterworks Chorale
From cathedrals and abbeys, churches and stately homes, all steeped in centuries of history, some in Roman Towns others in quintessential English ‘picture postcard’ villages, every choir and musical ensemble should spend a tour exploring the United Kingdom and Ireland. Whatever part of the country you to choose to visit, by working with a knowledgeable team of people who know the regions inside out from both a tourism and musical perspective, you will be guaranteed the richest of touring experiences
Tim KnightBritish composer and Choral Director
Care and attention to detail of the highest degree. The planning with Jo Porter was detailed and meticulous, with nothing being missed, and although she was not involved in the accommodation arrangements, she nevertheless checked it out and acted as an intermediary.
Robin SpencerChoir Secretary, Phoenix Choir

In May 2020 we were due to tour the Stirling area in Scotland and due to the current coronavirus pandemic we took the difficult decision to call off the tour. I’d like to give our thanks and praise to Jo and her team for all the planning and preparation she had done to put the itinerary together – she was able to provide us with an excellent range of stunning concert venues, plus some great suggestions for our leisure time, and we look forward to working with her again soon.

Sally ColesSecretary, Cantamici
As a Chorister, and eventually Head Chorister in our local church choir for eleven years, Jo was talented, dedicated and could always be relied on to work to the utmost of her undoubted abilities. I would expect that she would apply the same attributes to her professional life
P BuckmasterChoral Director
Jo and her team came up with a fantastic itinerary for our choir and planned everything to the last detail. We always felt we were in safe hands and that they were on the end of a phone to help us with anything we needed. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Rosie SayersChairperson for Sing It Loud Community Choir