After the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the Bucks County Women’s Chorus’ 2020 performance tour to Greece just four weeks before they were scheduled to depart, the group has been not-so-patiently waiting to bring their vocal talents abroad once again.
From May 1-8, 38 members, along with spouses and other companions, excitedly landed in Dublin for eight days of music-making and sightseeing. Given the size of the chorus, which totals 80 members, not everyone is able or willing to participate in the international tours, which take place every two years.
Nearly half of the women signed up for the trip moments after it was announced in January 2021. Many who went to Ireland had never traveled with the ensemble previously, though a number were veterans of the tours, which have included Italy, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Estonia and Finland.
The chorus performed three times during the trip: in Cobh, Balbriggan (a suburb of Dublin) and Belfast. Additionally, the ensemble sang for the Lord Mayor of Dublin and presented other impromptu performances along the way. In between those concerts, they explored the cities and countrysides, enjoyed an Irish dance class with a former member of the Riverdance ensemble, took a cooking class with a local TV chef, and visited museums and other attractions.
“It was an amazing tour in an incredibly beautiful country,” said chorus director and founder Pat Guth. “After two years of very little travel, our ensemble and their guests enjoyed a week of music, camaraderie, great food and fun.”
The chorus had the opportunity to meet and perform with a number of local musicians, including the Douglas Harmonia Singers of County Cork and the Balbriggan Gospel Choir. They also participated in a workshop at the Irish Institute of Music and Song.
Members of the chorus, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, are already thinking about their 2024 journey, though the destination hasn’t yet been decided. In the meantime, the ensemble is adding to the list of more than 100 local concerts they’ve presented in the last 10 years. A portion of the choir is currently preparing for their second appearance with the ‘70s rock band Foreigner when they come to Parx Casino in late July.
Interested singers who would like to learn more about the Bucks County Women’s Chorus can visit buckscountywomenschorus.com