Paris Choral Festival

Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day & the Liberation of France

 

Join choirs from across the United States to sing in La Madeleine in Paris under the direction of Dr. Craig Jessop in commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.

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Commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day & the Liberation of France in the Paris Choral Festival

In 1994, Music Celebrations International, partnering with the United States Department of Defense and Department of the Interior, was recognized as the official tour operator to bring performing ensembles from the United States to France to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of D-Day and the Liberation of France. MCI clients performed for WWII Veterans on June 6th at the American Cemetery in Coleville, Normandy. In 2004, 2014, and 2019 MCI organized significant tours and events to commemorate the 60th, 70th, and 75th anniversaries.

To continue this celebration of the centuries-old Franco-American friendship, and to commemorate another milestone anniversary, Music Celebrations International is pleased to announce the Paris Choral Festival taking place on July 2-9, 2024 (80th Anniversary of D-Day and the Liberation of France) under the artistic direction of Dr. Craig Jessop.

Prior to the finale performance, choirs will journey to nearby Normandy for an Independence Day choral remembrance and wreath-laying at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial – site of the June 6th, 1944 Allied Invasion.

An uplifting and inspired program of patriotic music will be selected by Dr. Craig Jessop, the Festival Artistic Director. Dr. Jessop is a former music director of the Tabernacle Choir; Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force music programs, where he served as director of the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants in Washington, DC; commander and conductor of the Band of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein, Germany; and commander and conductor of the Air Combat Command Heartland of America Band.

Craig Jessop

Artistic Director

LA MADELEINE

Inaugurated during Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign, L’église de la Madeleine, more commonly known as La Madeleine, is a church in the heart of Paris that was built in the style of a Greco-Roman temple. This Roman Catholic church, dedicated to Mary Magdalene, is one of the best known buildings in Paris, and is host to some of the most important concerts in the city. Its prominent location, along with its tremendous size, allows it to be uniquely set apart against a stunning Parisian backdrop. The interior is lavishly decorated with marble, and has a single nave with three domes. At the altar sits a statue of Mary Magdalene being carried up to heaven by two angels, by the Italian sculptor Baron Charles Marochetti. La Madeleine also has a statue of St. Augustine created by Antoine Etex, as well as two by François Rude – the masterpiece Baptism of Christ, and the baptismal font.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

CAEN / NORMANDY AREA / PARIS

DAY ONE:
Monday, July 1, 2024

  • Depart via scheduled air service to Paris, France

DAY TWO
Tuesday, July 2

  • Arrive in Paris
  • Meet your MCI Tour Manager, who will assist the group to awaiting chartered motorcoach
  • Transfer to Caen via Rouen
  • Excursion to Rouen to see the Cathedral. In the Place de la Cathédrale stands the Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame, one of the largest and most magnificent in France. The most striking feature is the elaborately articulated west front which was several times painted by Claude Monet. Also see the sight of Joan of Arcs execution
  • Continue to Caen for late afternoon hotel check-in
  • Welcome Dinner included, and overnight

DAY THREE
Wednesday, July 3

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Excursion to Mont Saint-Michel. One of France’s most recognizable landmarks, the Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Over 60 buildings within the commune are protected in France as “Monuments Historiques.” Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most striking sights that France has to offer! Perched on its rocky islet and surrounded by walls and bastions, this old abbey has the appearance of a fortified castle. Enjoy a full guided tour of the Abbey which also includes La Merveille (the incredible grouping of buildings on the north side of the Mount) and entrance to the Abbey
  • Lunch, on own
  • Continued afternoon sightseeing, followed by return to Caen
  • Dinner included, and overnight

DAY FOUR
Thursday, July 4

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Morning excursion to Coleville and participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the American Cemetery, site of the June 6th Normandy Invasion
  • Lunch, on own
  • Visit the Point du Hoc where you can see the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument. It was erected by the French to honor elements of the American Second Ranger Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James E. Rudder. During the American assault of Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, these elements scaled the 100-foot cliff and seized the German artillery pieces that could have fired on the American landing troops at Omaha Beach. At a high cost of life, they successfully defended against determined German counterattacks
  • Also visit the Les Braves Omaha Beach Memorial – a memorial that is located in the center of Omaha Beach and commemorates the fallen American soldiers of World War II who lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy, June 6th 1944. The memorial represents three elements: The Wings of Hope, The Rise of Freedom, and the Wings Of Fraternity. French sculptor Anilore Banon created the monument in 2004, commissioned by the French government to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. Originally intended only as a temporary exhibit, this piece still stands today
  • Dinner included, and overnight

DAY FIVE
Friday, July 5

  • Breakfast at the hotel, followed by check-out
  • Morning transfer to Paris
  • Lunch, on own
  • Morning guided tour of Paris historique. See the most historic parts of the city including seeing the Notre-Dame Cathedral during the restoration process after the devastating fire in 2019, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Place de la Concorde, Luxembourg Palace and Gardens, Latin Quarter, Place de la Bastille, Invalides Hospital, and other Parisian highlights
  • Dinner included, followed by an evening cruise on the River Seine
  • Overnight at the hotel

DAY SIX
Saturday, July 6

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Morning Rehearsal
  • Lunch, on own
  • Enjoy a tour of Paris artistique, including entrance to the Louvre, the largest and greatest art museum in the world, with more than 45,000 works of art displayed over 700,000 sq. ft. It’s packed with enough artistic masterpieces to make the Mona Lisa weep. Rembrandt, Reubens, Botticelli, Ingres, and Michelangelo are all represented here; subjects range from the grandiose (Antoine-Jean Gros’s gigantic Napoleon Bonaparte Visiting the Plague-Stricken in Jaffa) to the mundane (Vermeer’s tiny, exquisite Lacemaker). You can gape at a diamond the size of a golf ball in the gilded Galerie d’Apollon
    or marvel over exquisite bronze figurines in the vast Egyptian section, there’s something for everyone
  • Dinner included
  • Evening Rehearsal
  • Overnight at the hotel

PARIS CHORAL FESTIVAL

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION

You can also call us at 800-395-2036
or send us an email at info@musiccelebrations.com