April 19, 2018     Kate Huffman

Prelude: Professional Development on a Major Scale


Encore not only works to plan and organize exceptional performance tours for bands, choirs, orchestras, and other music groups across the country, we also work to support music directors throughout the tour planning process and with their programs at home. 

One of the ways in which Encore supports music directors is in the professional development opportunities provided at Prelude, our professional networking weekend for ensemble directors, which takes place annually in a stunning and musically significant setting . Though Prelude provides wonderful opportunities for networking, site-inspections, and artistic development, we’ve heard from Prelude Attendees that one of the most important aspects of Prelude is the professional development and information they receive during our Director’s Workshop.

As Paige Long, Director of the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra, states in our video about Prelude below, directors have been able to discuss a range of topics—from tour planning, to teaching techniques and issues at home—at the Director’s Workshop, which they greatly benefit from with their ensembles and while on tour. 

  During a discussion at this year’s Prelude, one of the participants shared a problem that he was having state-side that might affect his ability to tour in the future. A few colleagues said ‘I had the same thing and this is what I did!’ and this man was so grateful, he said, ‘I think you saved my program!’ 

—Paige Long, Director of the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra

Sarah Watkins, Executive Director of the Norwalk Youth Symphony and a veteran leader of performance tours, found that she still had more to learn from her colleagues at Prelude:

 I recommend every group leader participate in the Prelude tour. I have served as a group leader on four international tours; I thought I knew everything about traveling with a group of young musicians but I found out I had more to learn.

Prelude not only gives you a chance to exchange ideas with other group leaders but also gives you a glimpse at a potential destination for your performance group.  

— Sarah Watkins, Executive Director of the Norwalk Youth Symphony

Program Manager Sabrina and Encore Group Leaders smiling for the camera at a Prelude dinner

In addition to gaining valuable information and skills that will help directors at home and while on tour, Encore offers directors the opportunity to earn professional development credits toward recertification by attending Prelude! Find out the easy steps to take to earn professional development credits by attending Prelude or by traveling with Encore by visiting our page on the Courses 4 Teachers website. 


Encore is very excited to share that Prelude 2019 will take place in Milan, Italy!


Visit our Prelude webpage to find out more about the upcoming experience and to find out how to qualify for this free, professional development and travel opportunity!

Customize Your Tour

Are you ready to take your ensemble to new places? Get a quote from one of our tour consultants who will help you customize a trip to meet your goals.

Get A Quote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *