Monday, June 9, 2014

Performance Impressions at Herderkirche in Weimar, Germany

The Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir had a wonderful performance at Herderkirche in Weimar, Germany on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Please have a look at the pictures below taken by Ann Buenger:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Safe travels to our travelers from Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir!

Dear Members of the 2014 Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir,

We wish you safe travels to Germany! Incantato Tour Manager Ivo will be welcoming you on Friday, June 6, 2014 at the Frankfurt airport to start your transfer to the wonderful city of Weimar - your first stop on your 2014 Germany and Czech Republic Performance Tour.
Enjoy your time in Europe!

Your Incantato Concert Tours Team

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Your venue at Traukirche where J.S. Back got married on June 8, 2014

The small town of Dornheim in Thuringia has a interesting history. In the mid 12th Century the St. Bartholomäus Kirche was built. Today, the tower and west wall from the original construction time are still preserved. After extensive restorations the church was opened again in 1999 and it is well known for its wonderful acoustic. Therefore many concerts are held throughout the year.

It was also the place where famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach married his cousin Maria Barbara in October 17, 1707. Many tourists come to Dornheim to take a look at the J.S. Back's wedding church.

The Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir is going to perform at this magnificent church on Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Travel Tip: Money Matters

Dear Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir travelers,

We all know money is a delicate subject. The best way to use your money during your upcoming 2014 Germany and Czech Republic Performance Tour with Incantato Concert Tours is to have a debit or credit card. 

Paying with these cards allows you to minimize cash needs and also allows you to withdraw money from any ATM machine with only being charged a small withdrawal fee. The fee differs between banks. Be sure to call your bank before your departure to tell them where you are going and for how long so they won't freeze your account. The debit cards given by the bank has the compatibility of Visa, MasterCard, however, Visa is the most widely accepted worldwide. 

If you bring cash, you can exchange it but you will lose more money as they charge for their services. 
Please keep in mind that most places in Europe won't accept traveler's checks anymore. Also, be prepared to pay for water in restaurants/ bars and a little fee for restroom use (usually 0,50 EUR). 

We suggest you have some spending money available and our recommendation is around 20 US-Dollar per day for the meals not included, snacks, drinks, postcards, some souvenirs. It is not imperative that you have this amount of money. There are many ways to lower your expenses such as:

  • Most restaurants abroad have menus outside, so you can check their price range before you enter it.
  • Venture off the main roads to find a restaurant. These usually have more character, better food, and also better prices.
  • Bring your own water bottle. Most places have safe tap water to fill up with.
  • Buy food from the "convenient" stores. You don't have to sit down in the restaurant for every meal.
  • Hop around for souvenirs. Many stores have the same things on sale for very different prices.
Last but not least, there are no free refills on soft drinks in Europe which is why most Europeans ask for little to no ice in their drinks.

Last but not least, remember that your Incantato Tour Manager is with you pretty much 24/7. The guide is there to help you make the right choices abroad and answer all the questions you may have.

Travel Tip: Electricity and Cell Phones in Europe

Dear Mountain Views Presbyterian Church Choir travelers,

To charge your digital cameras, laptops, etc. in Europe during your 2014 Germany and Czech Republic Performance Tour, you will need an adapter.
The U.S. plug (2 or 3 prong here in the U.S.) will not fit in an European socket. In most cases the European socket takes a plug with 2 round prongs. The adapters allow an U.S. plug to plug in to the back of the adapter and the front of the adapter plugs into the European socket. You'll find adapters at stores like Radio Shack, Walmart or even online at etc.

Please click here for a detailed overview of all sockets types, here for a global map showing the spread of the different plug types used around the world and finally here for a detailed list of the countries of the world with their respective plug and outlet types, voltage and frequency.


Incantato Tours discourages their travelers to bring their cell phones to Europe because of the high costs for calls ($1/minute or more), text messages (50 cents and up) and data charges for online services.
Therefore Incantato Tours will supply a free local cell phone for the tour director to use with free incoming calls and allowance for emergency outgoing calls only.
If you would like to have more information on this subject, please check the "international section" of the website of your cell phone provider:

Travel Tip: What to pack for your Incantato performance tour?

Dear Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir,

As your departure for your 2014 Germany and Czech Republic Performance Tour with Incantato Concert Tours gets closer, Incantato Tours provides you with some travel tips to make it easier for you to get ready for your tour.

For most people, packing for a trip is the most difficult part. The solution for many is to just pack as much as you possibly can into your suitcase and backpack, but as a colleague explains it:

"You'll be thanking me later when you don't break your back from having to carry everything on your own. Don't do it!" 

Her advice:

"Pack as lightly as you can. The best way to get it all to fit nicely into your suitcase is to fold it nicely 
and then roll it tightly. It can all fit into your bag like a puzzle."

Keep in mind, however, that many cathedrals have a dress code and will not allow you to walk in if you are wearing tank tops or shorts. A scarf is a good solution to this code. And shorts should always go to your knees (both for Ladies and Gents).

Below are a few things that we think are essential to have to be comfortable with what the weather brings and with the weight of your bag - remember, airlines allow only one checked bag per person and a small carry-on.

A sample packing list (just a suggestion!):

  • Rain jacket, maybe with fleece insert
  • Umbrella
  • Gloves, scarf, hat… if you tend to feel chilly!
  • An adapter plug/converter (if you are bringing electronic devices, please check if they are compatible, most new devices are)
  • Camera and batteries or charger with adapter
  • At least two pair of jeans/pants, ladies may want to bring a couple skirts or dresses, too
  • A sweater or two, (or three, if you tend to feel chilly).
  • Plenty of shirts, including a polo or two and at least two dress shirts (Europeans dress much more formal than Americans)
  • Plenty of undergarments and socks for daily changes
  • A watch, make-up and jewelry if applicable (carry on any valuables at all times)
  • Choir music and attire
  • Don't forget shoes, we recommend a maximum of three pairs (tennis shoes, good everyday shoes, dress shoes). Bring nice concert shoes, but make sure that you will be able to walk long distances in them. Europeans do not wear flip flops other than to the pool or at the beach.
  • Put all liquids that are in your carry-on into a zip-lock bag. And remember the 311 rules by TSA | Transportation Security Administration.
  • All scissors, fingernail clippers, etc. are better packed in your check-in luggage along with liquids over 3 ounces. Bring enough contact lens solution and prescription medication that you may need for the whole duration of the trip.

If you forget anything there are plenty of shops where you can by shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

Performing in one of Luther's and Goethe's most favorite city - Dessau (Germany)

Johanniskirche (St. Johannis) is a baroque Lutheran church located in the city center of Dessau, Saxony-Anhalt, a city with breathtaking architecture and landscape. Even Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was moved by his visit to Dessau in 1778:

“As we wandered among the lakes, canals and forests yesterday evening, I was deeply moved by the way in which the gods had allowed the Prince to create all around him a dream.”

In July 28, 1688 Prince Johann Georg II. granted the Lutheran community in Dessau the permit to build their own church. Cornelius Ryckwaert, a Dutch architect, started to construct the church and master builder Martin Grünberg from Berlin was responsible for the construction project.
In May 2, 1702 the church opened its doors to the public. In 1944 during World War II it was destroyed almost completely but built up again in 1955.

Martin Luther often visited the city of Dessau to preach to the community. His most important visit was in 1534, during which he offered Communion to the people on the Thursday before Easter.

The Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir is going to perform at Johanniskirche in Dessau on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

Your Recital in Berlin's Largest Protestant Church

The Cathedral of Berlin (German: Berliner Dom), completed in 1905, is Berlin’s largest and most important Protestant church as well as the tomb of the Prussian Hohenzollern dynasty.

This outstanding high-renaissance baroque monument has linked the Hohenzollerns to German Protestantism for centuries and undergone renewed phases of architectural renovation since the Middle Ages.
First built in 1465 as a parish church on the Spree River it was only finally completed in 1905 under the last German Kaiser -Wilhelm II. Damaged during the Second World War it remained closed and finally reopened after restoration in 1993.

Reaching out well beyond the borders of the parish and of Berlin, the cathedral attracts thousands of visitors, year after year, from Germany and abroad. It is located close to the famous Museum Island borough.                                            

The Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir is going to have a recital at this stunning cathedral on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 11:30 am.

Picture on the right side, copyright Maren Glockner

Friday, May 16, 2014

Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir at Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany

Incantato Tours is proud to announce the Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir Performance at the magnificent Thomaskirche in Leipzig, Germany on Monday, June 9, 2014 at noon.

The great Thomaskirche is one of the main highlights of Leipzig, a town many refer to as the “City of Music.”
Thomaskirche houses many renowned musicians, including the Boys Choir, as well as the final resting place of the grand composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Today people come from all over the world to the Church of St. Thomas to experience church services, unique performances from the Boys Choir and the Gewandhaus Orchestra, as well as intricate organ concerts.

The church once served as a critical pawn during the Christian Reformation, as Martin Luther often preached in the 12th century church. In 1355 the original Romanesque chancel was remodeled in a Gothic scheme, coinciding with the congregation’s split from the Roman Catholic Church.
Johann Sebastian Bach served as the choir director at Thomaskirche from 1723 until his death in 1750. A statue of Bach standing outside the church’s entrance was dedicated in the composer’s memory in 1908. Although renovations in the mid-1800s resulted in the removal of all Baroque equipment, a commemorative Bach organ, in the style of the original used by Bach, was installed in the sanctuary in 2000. The older romantic organ also remains, but is considered “unsuitable” for playing Bach’s music and is only used when appropriate.
The roof’s unusual 63 degree angle and sanctuary’s intricately designed vaulted ceilings result in unbelievable acoustics and highly complimentary reverberation.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

St. Georg - your venue in Mellingen, Germany

Incantato Tours is happy to announce that the Mountain View Presbyterian Church Choir is going to be the feature choir for mass at St. Georg Church on Sunday, June 8, 2014 in Mellingen, Germany.

St. Georg is a protestant church located in the village of Mellingen. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful village churches in Thuringia due to its magnificent baroque pulpit. Even famous artist such as the German-American painter Lyonel Feininger used the beautiful church as motive for their art.

The first time St. Georg was officially named in a priest's letter was in 1282. At that time, there were two churches in the city of Mellingen - St. Michael and St. Georg. Due to the reformation both churches were joint together to St. Georg.