Home 2017-18 Tour

2017-18 Tour

All members of YPO from Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras are invited to join us on a Concert Tour of Central Europe in June 2018 through Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. Students will participate in four professionally-produced concerts and enjoy an unparalleled educational and cultural experience.


Prague, Czech Republic

Dvorak Hall

Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum

Capital of the Czech Republic and historical capital of Bohemia, Prague is truly a golden city and a Renaissance jewel set in the heart of central Europe. From the extravagant medieval streets of Mala Strana to the baroque extravagance of the churches in the new town and on to the exquisite Jugendstil decoration of the major concert halls, Prague is a paradise for anyone who appreciates beauty in cities. Sightseeing may include St. Vitus Cathedral, the Lesser Town, the Charles Bridge, the Old Town, Prague Castle, and Karlstenj Castle. Performance on Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum.


Vienna, AustriaMusic in Vienna

Vienna is a city that breathes music. Home to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Johann Strauss, it combines superb architecture and imperial grandeur with a dazzling array of cultural activities. Sightseeing may include Parliament, the State
Museums, the Imperial Palace, the Opera House, the Stephansdom, and the Haus der Musik. Performance on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 in the Musik und Theater (MuTh).


Budapest, Hungary


Szechenyi Thermal Baths

Once two separate cities, Budapest now spans the Danube River, linked by eight bridges. With its hot springs, elegant concert halls, opera houses, and fine buildings, it is considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Europe. Sightseeing may include Fisherman’s Bastion, St. Matthias Church, Heroes Square, and the Szechenyi Thermal Baths. Performances on Thursday, June 21 in the Vigado Pest, and Saturday, June 23 at the MOM Cultural Centre.


Info, Info, Info!

  • What are the dates of the tour?
    We will depart Pittsburgh on Thursday, June 14, 2018, and return on Sunday, June 24, 2018.
  • What cities will we visit?
    Our core cities are Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.
  • How many performances will we do?
    Four, including one in Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum, and two in Budapest.
  • Are students who are members of YPO in 2017-18 season required to attend the tour?
    All YPO students are expected and encouraged to travel with the orchestra during a travel season. However with proper notice, permission to miss the tour may be granted without jeopardizing the student’s membership in the orchestra. The deadline to apply for permission to be excused from the tour will be in the Fall of 2017.
  • Who may attend the tour?
    Any current member of YPO may attend the tour. Some TRYPO alumni may be invited to join the tour if a current student declines his or her seat.
  • Who is planning the tour?
    TRYPO has hired the well-known and experienced tour company ACFEA.  ACFEA works with hundreds of organizations and youth orchestras such as PYSO, as well as very prestigious youth orchestras like the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.
  • What is included in the tour?
    9 nights in tourist-class hotels; sharing twin rooms with private facilities; continental breakfast and dinner daily; transportation by luxury air-conditioned motor coaches throughout land portion of the tour; the services of one ACFEA courier per motor coach throughout the land portion of the tour; 24/7 coverage by TRYPO full-time staff members and experienced chaperones (anticipating 8-1 student to chaperone ratio); on-site large instrument rental and transportation; round-trip air transportation from Pittsburgh to Prague and returning to Pittsburgh from Budapest; guided sightseeing excursions and admission fees to tourist sites; excess baggage fees for instruments that must be checked; all necessary fees, documents, and bonds allowing for transport of all instruments into, out of, and throughout the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary; TRYPO tour t-shirt.
  • What is NOT included in the tour?
    Passport fees; trip cancellation and interruption insurance (which is highly recommended); independent lunches and snacks throughout the tour; beverages other than coffee and tea with breakfast, and water with dinners; souvenirs and gifts.
  • How much is the tour?
    As you can imagine, the cost to bring a group of 80-100 people overseas for 10 days is expensive by itself even before you factor in instruments and concert halls! TRYPO always wants its opportunities to be affordable for our students. While the total cost per person of the tour to TRYPO is approximately $4,200 per person, we hare underwriting $500/student.
  • We love that TRYPO works to underwrite some of the fees for tour participants, but we don’t need the assistance. Can we pay the full $4,200 cost per person?
    Duh. Of course and that would be amazing and ensure we can help the students who need the assistance the most! Please make sure that you indicate this on your YPO Registration Form over the summer so that we can factor your generosity into our budgeting. Thank you!!!
  • Are there other ways that we can support TRYPO’s fund-raising efforts?
    Yes! Of course, you can always support us by making a donation, but we need all hands on deck with dedicated parents to assist with several committees:
  • Assisting with student fund-raising opportunities for students to be able to fund-raise for their own tour fees.
  • Assisting with TRYPO events to help TRYPO fund-raise the extra funds it needs to underwrite part of each student fee. These events could be things like host a dinner party at your home, spread the word about a restaurant night where a portion of proceeds benefit the TRYPO tour fund, writing letters, etc.
  • Please e-mail us at staff@trypo.org if you are interested in helping with fund-raising!
  • Is scholarship assistance available?
    Yes of course! TRYPO plans to offer a few different options of scholarship assistance for students, but all students and families are going to need to contribute in some way. Scholarship funds will only stretch so far and let’s make sure that the families who need the most help receive the most assistance. Limited need-based financial assistance is available for students who apply for and receive TRYPO tuition assistance for the 2017-18 season. Additionally, we will be looking for parent volunteers to assist us with coordinating student fund-raising efforts to cover the cost of touring.
  • Need-based assistance: Scholarship funds based on proven need from the family’s most recent tax return. Application due in August 2017. 
  • Matching awards: TRYPO will offer students who have demonstrated need small matching awards to assist those students with their own fund-raising.
  • Fund-raising websites: TRYPO students will be able to have their own fund-raising sites (similar to Go Fund Me) that will link directly to their TRYPO account where they can run their own mini-campaign to fund-raise for their touring funds.
  • Mini-Camp Fee Allocation: Returning students know that TRYPO always starts off its season with a mandatory retreat to not only get a head start on the season’s repertoire, but also make sure that students have an opportunity to get to know each other. In order to reduce the financial impact on family funds, we will still hold a mandatory season-start retreat (still Saturday-Sunday, September 2-3, 2017), but it will be held locally at a greatly-reduced cost so that families will have the option of directing the $295 Mini-Camp fee towards the travel expense.
  • Help! I really want to go on the tour, but I will need to deviate from the planned itinerary.
    The key is advance notice and communication! We should be able to accommodate just about anything you need to do with advance notice, and parental permission. Talk to us and we’ll work it out.
  • AIRFARE TRAVEL DEVIATIONS: If you need to some different airfare arrangements than the group, there are two options: 1) Participant does their airfare entirely separate from the group.  IE: Parent has miles, or they want to buy the airfare on a credit card to get points.  The reduction is approximately $1,175. Please keep in mind that booking your own airfare (even if it’s on the same itinerary as ours) means that ACFEA likely will not be able to assist you or your family in the event of a delay/missed connection. ACFEA will certainly try to keep your child with our group, but this could mean that in the case of a delay or missed connection, you and/or your child could get rebooked on a separate itinerary and there won’t be anything we can do about it.2) Participant wants to stay in Europe after the tour: ACFEA can assist you with booking custom return airfare departing on a different date or from a different city. Cost is entire tour cost, plus $75 deviation fee and any applicable fare increase. The fare rate and possible increase depends on what you want to do. ACFEA can coordinate parents’ airfare with the participant’s airfare, so the student is still part of the group booking, and gets all the protections the group would receive in the event of a cancellation/delay, but they still can come home with the family. [See update below for deviation details.]

Dear YPO members and families,


Thank you for your patience as we have been working on updates for our “United Through Music” Concert Tour of Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. I have a lot of information to share with you. I have marked each entry with an Info or Action Item to help you sort through everything here! I know there’s a lot of info here, but it’s also because we’re going to do something REALLY AWESOME! Please read carefully.


Info STUDENT TOUR SPOTS: You are receiving this e-mail because you have registered for tour, or we have not yet received your application to be excused from the tour, which was due on Dec. 5. If you are not attending the tour, please turn in the attached application to be excused from tour ASAP. Do you have special circumstances you need to discuss with us? Please let us know how we can help.


Info ITINERARY UPDATE: We are incredibly pleased to inform you that our presenters in Budapest have asked us to perform *two* concerts while we are in their fair city, so your Concert Tour now includes FOUR concert performances! (See updated itinerary attached.)


Info TOUR PROGRAM: After much discussion with our concert presenters and Mr. Wilcox, we are pleased to announce the programs for the remainder of the semester:

MAY 13 CONCERT (order not confirmed):

  1. Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture
  2. [Concerto Competition winner TBA]
  3. Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody
  4. Dvorak 8 (complete)
  5. “Appian Way” from Respighi’s Pines of Rome

TOUR PROGRAM (order not confirmed, program in some cities may vary):

  1. Dvorak Carnival Overture
  2. Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody
  3. Bartok’s Suite for Orchestra mvts. 2 and 3,
  4. Meyn Lion and the Mouse
  5. Dvorak 8 (complete)
  6. Encore: Smetana’s “Dance of the Comedians” from Three Dances from The Bartered Bride
  7. Encore: Puccini’s Intermezzo from Act III of Manon Lescaut
  8. Encore: Bernstein’s “Mambo” from West Side Story


Info FLIGHTS: Part of what we have been working on furiously with ACFEA (our tour company) is the best way to get our group to Europe. It is no secret for anyone who travels frequently that we don’t have many direct flights out of our airport so this has been a particularly tricky puzzle that has gone through many, many configurations, none of which were ideal for our group. Some of our configurations had us splitting the orchestra, with a few having a pretty good itinerary, and many having a really terrible itinerary. Some were out of our price range. Some had a 6 hour layover. Some had us getting into Prague around 11pm. After much work, ACFEA has found and we have accepted a travel itinerary that starts out with a bus ride to another airport (Newark). Out of all of the configurations we like this one the best because it keeps the orchestra together, only has one small layover in Frankfurt, gets us into Prague at a reasonable hour of the day, and is within our budget. (You can see the updated travel plans on the attached itinerary.)


Action Item TRAVEL DEVIATIONS: Flight info was what we needed in order to open up requests for travel deviations. See the attached form to request your travel deviations. You will submit this form directly to ACFEA at your earliest convenience but no later than February 14, 2018. Our ACFEA representative (her name is Amanda Bauman) will compile your requests, and she and I will review all of them for logistical details first, then Amanda will pursue options for everyone requesting a deviation. When she presents you with an option and any costs associated with that option, you will need to respond quickly to approve the deviation as she only can hold your option for a short time. Once you and she have confirmed your deviation plan, TRYPO will adjust your invoice and billing accordingly. Please note that there is a $75 admin fee for any change requests you select, if they are received before February 14, 2018 (in addition to any increases in fare prices). Any change requests after February 14, 2018 will incur a $150 admin fee (in addition to any increases in fare prices).  Please send your Individual Travel Request Form (attached here) directly to Amanda  at amanda@acfea.com or fax to 267-324-5574.


Action Item TOUR CENTRAL ACCOUNT: It is time to set up your Student Tour Central Account. Your Student Tour Central Account is what ACFEA will use to make your travel arrangements. When you fill out your Tour Central Account, you will tell us about your passport status, full legal name, check visa needs, purchase trip insurance, etc.  To get started, please click HERE to fill out a quick form. Some of these questions are for TRYPO, and some are for ACFEA. We will send your responses over to ACFEA and they will create a Tour Central Account for each participant of the Student Tour. You will then receive an email from ACFEA Tour Central to log into your account and start to update your info.


Info Action Item PARENTS/FAMILY/GUESTS ON TOUR: We know a number of you are planning to join us on tour. There are a few ways you can do that.

  • OPTION 1 COMPANION TOUR: For those parents and family members who would like to join the tour, we are pleased to announce that ACFEA has put together a Companion Tour for you. This Companion Tour will have you in the same cities as our young musicians, but with a better flight itinerary (which we can do because it is a smaller group), in slightly nicer hotels with more of a focus on sight-seeing and just being an overall lovely vacation for you. This tour is about the same cost as the student trip of $4,200 per person (based on double occupancy). See the attached draft itinerary to see what they have in mind for you. The Companion Tour will have its own courier, its own bus, include tickets to all the concerts, and include some meals. We do need a minimum number of travelers in order to book this trip for you. Please see the attached Companion Tour Packet for more info. Be sure to fill out the form linked below to register. Please register and pay your $200 deposit by Dec. 22 so we can be sure we have enough participants to confirm the tour. (More info in packet attached, and in link below.)
  • OPTION 2 AS A GUEST OF THE STUDENT TOUR: If you wish, you can join the student tour. The cost is $4,200 per person (based on double occupancy) and includes all the same hotels, itinerary, and arrangements as the students. There is less of a focus on your experience, and we are more focused on the students’ performances, safety, and educational opportunities. No, you cannot have your child as your roommate. Students traveling with the group need to stay as part of the group experience throughout the tour. This option does include concert tickets. (You can see the updated Student Itinerary for the most up to date version of this itinerary.) Be sure to fill out the form linked below to register, and then you can follow the payment schedule outlined in the original tour packet. (Still available on the TRYPO Members section of the website.)
  • OPTION 3 MAKING YOUR OWN ARRANGEMENTS: If you are planning to travel but are making your own arrangements, that’s great! Please let us know so that we aren’t surprised! Some of you have asked for assistance towards things like bus rides and concert tickets. Be sure to fill out the form linked below to let us know.
  • Action Item GUEST FORM TIME!: Whichever your preference (Option 1, 2, or 3), please click HERE to fill out this Guest Traveler Form. (Wondering why the costs for Option 1 or 2 are the same? It has to do with the way ACFEA breaks out the fees and costs to TRYPO. The Concert Tour is MUCH MORE expensive than the Companion tour because the overall costs include really expensive things like concert hall rentals and instrument rentals. The fact that the group is so large brings the cost per person down into the $4,200 range. The Companion Tour doesn’t include things like concert hall rentals, so we can dedicate more of your funds to nicer hotels, better flight itineraries, and more sight-seeing!)