HOSTING A WARTBURG ENSEMBLE

Planning to host a performance?
Wartburg College would like to make this performance a successful and memorable experience for both you and the ensemble’s students. We suggest that you form a concert committee to help plan for this performance and to ensure that the various arrangements do not fall on one individual’s shoulders. Wartburg College also will touch bases with our alumni and friends in the community who may be interested in volunteering for the concert committee. Here is a suggested duty roster for the Concert Committee:

The following information has suggestions to help guide each committee member with the various tasks. Naturally, every city and host organization is unique. Therefore, this guide will need to be adapted to fit your location.

Tour Contact Information

Sarah Bouska
Music Tour, Camp, and Promotion Manager
100 Wartburg Blvd
PO Box 1003
Waverly, IA 50677-0903
sarah.bouska@wartburg.edu
Office: 319-352-8743
Cell: 641-420-8140

Assistant Music Tour Coordinator
musictours@wartburg.edu
Office: 319-352-8575

HOST RESOURCES

3 Months Out
Form the committees and discuss performance logistics. Decisions should be made concerning items the committees will be responsible for and items Wartburg College will be responsible for.

2 Months Out
Begin organizing by scheduling meetings and updates. A list of additional churches, community organizations, retirement communities, etc., should be compiled and the first announcements should appear in your organization’s newsletter. Estimated needs for posters and bulletin inserts should be determined.

4-6 Weeks Out
You should have received your requested amount of posters and bulletin inserts. These should be distributed according to your compiled list. Wartburg will be sending these to all churches and schools. Hospitality and logistical needs should be reviewed and set up as well as additional media and press releases.

2-4 Weeks Out
Follow up telephone calls and invitations to remind people about the performances.

1 Week Out
Confirm logistical needs: Ushers, equipment, tables, arrival, departure, etc. Confirm hospitality: host families set, meal arranged, receptions, etc. (Note: Wartburg College supplies concert programs)

Concert Day
Follow the schedule previously arranged. Please feel free to call the contact number provided to you on the itinerary with any questions. Thank you for your hard work making this performance a success!

The performance facility duties are usually coordinated by the performance chairperson. You will receive an itinerary emailed in advance of the tour with arrival times. Typically, the ensemble will arrive between 3 and 3:30 p.m., depending on concert time. Please be sure the facility is unlocked and that someone familiar with the layout of the facility is on hand. It is very important that all facility arrangements have been made, including riser accommodations, stands, chairs, sound equipment, and dressing rooms. Please contact the music tour coordinator to make these arrangements.

All ensembles will need a tuned piano for their performances. We ask that two dressing rooms be available for the performers, along with a room where the group may assemble for warm-up just prior to the concert. Please arrange for a small dressing room for the director as well. Please have these rooms unlocked at arrival.

The performance facility duties are usually coordinated by the performance chairperson. You will receive an itinerary emailed in advance of the tour with arrival times. Typically, the ensemble will arrive between 3 and 3:30 p.m., depending on concert time. Please be sure the facility is unlocked and that someone familiar with the layout of the facility is on hand. It is very important that all facility arrangements have been made, including riser accommodations, stands, chairs, sound equipment, and dressing rooms. Please contact the music tour coordinator to make these arrangements.

Check with the music tour coordinator for exact number of ensemble personnel. Typically, the size of the touring ensembles are:

  • Castle Singers: 35 members
  • The Wartburg Choir: 85 members
  • The Wartburg College Wind Ensemble: 65 members

Ushers should be well acquainted with the auditorium prior to the concert.  The ushers should arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the concert start time. Concert programs will be provided by the ensemble and may be passed out by the ushers. A table for display and CD sales purposes will be needed at the entrance to the concert. If the concert is a ticketed event an additional table may be necessary. Ensemble members and Wartburg staff will attend to the table during intermission and following the concert.

Good promotion and publicity for these tour concerts is critical for a successful event. Just remember: You are not in this by yourself!

Wartburg will be responsible for:

  • Promoting the event to alumni, friends, and family throughout the area.
  • Sending relevant concert press releases to area newspapers, television stations, and radio stations.
  • Mailing promotional items to all Lutheran churches and public/private high schools in the area.
  • Providing posters, bulletin inserts, and various other promotional pieces as needed.

Media Outreach
If you  have not seen a story it in the paper or on television within 1.5 weeks of the concert, we encourage you to contact your local media, send them the press release, and ask them to post the event in their calendar section.

Wartburg will provide you with as many posters and bulletin inserts as you can use and distribute. Here are some additional tips and ideas for spreading the word.

For your constituents:

  • Display posters throughout your building(s).
  • Place information in all newsletters and calendars.
  • Post information on church and school websites and social media sites.
  • Ask your constituents to put concert information on their social media sites.

Additionally in churches:

  • Use bulletin inserts in two bulletin programs (Tip: place three weeks out and then again one week prior to the performance).
  • Make multiple announcements on Sunday morning (especially on Sundays with the bulletin inserts).
  • If your church has an exterior marquee or changeable letter board, be sure to promote the concer there.

Area congregations and schools:

  • Wartburg College will be sending information to all schools and church congregations in a 30-mile radius.
  • Follow up to make sure posters are hung up in visible areas.
  • Request that an announcement be given in church.
  • Request that the event be listed in all newsletters and calendars.
  • Tip: Word of mouth and personal invitations are the No. 1 way individuals find out about performances. With this in mind, we encourage you to:
  • Place a follow-up phone call to as many churches and schools as possible. This call should confirm that they have received promotional items and serve as an opportunity to personally invite them to the performance.
  • Contact music directors directly at schools and churches. Students could get extra credit for attending the performance.
  • Contact civic groups such as Lions, Kiwanis, and Rotary clubs to hang posters and encourage their members to attend.
  • Contact retirement communities. Activity coordinators are always interested in arranging events for their residents to attend.
  • Contact the Chamber of Commerce for additional ideas and suggestions.
  • Check with local banks or businesses with visible marquees or changeable letter boards for availability. 

Official Ensemble Names and Directors

  • The Wartburg Choir, Dr. Lee Nelson, director
  • Wartburg College Castle Singers, Dr. Nicki Bakko Toliver, director
  • Wartburg College Wind Ensemble, Dr. Craig A. Hancock, director

Suggested Messaging
The        insert ensemble     under the direction of   insert director will appear in concert at       venue        in       city    on      date      at      time       p.m. The concert is sponsored by     organization(s). The program will feature works by    information provided at a later date . This performance is open to the public, with free-will donations accepted.

About Wartburg College
Wartburg is a selective liberal arts college of the Lutheran Church (ELCA), nationally recognized for community engagement. The college’s 1,500 students come from approximately 60 countries and 30 U.S. states. Wartburg is dedicated to challenging and nurturing students for lives of leadership and service as a spirited expression of their faith and learning.

Wartburg College requests the following guidelines be followed when arranging home stays for the ensemble members. It is required that students be housed in groups of two of more (NO SINGLES). Wartburg would prefer that hosts live within a 20-30 minute drive from the concert location. Students should be provided with a bed to ensure adequate rest while on tour. Roommates can be expected to share a double bed; however, sleeping bags or sofas are not an option.

IMPORTANT—Please do not assign students to unfamiliar host homes. It’s vital that you know all host family situations are safe and stable.

Hosts are responsible for transportation to/from the host home and should provide breakfast for the students the morning following the concert and a sack lunch for later in the day.

Ensemble lists containing roommate pairings, expected arrival and departure times, and allergy and diet restriction information will be sent approximately one month in advance of the performance. Wartburg College will need a list (preferably prior to arrival) of student assignments with hosts’ names, telephone numbers, and addresses in case we need to contact ensemble members regarding schedule changes or other emergencies. The college will make arrangements for staff and bus drivers to stay in a local hotel at the college’s expense. Dr. Craig Hancock, Wind Ensemble director, enjoys staying in homes if someone is interested in hosting him.

Please Note: In some instances due to timing or destination, the ensemble may stay in a hotel. All hotel arrangements would be made directly by the college.

Group Meals: Preferably, the ensemble and staff will be served the evening meal as a group prior to the concert. If this is not possible, host families may provide evening meals. Host families also are asked to provide breakfast and a sack lunch for the students. Please let the music tour coordinator know the arrangement used. The ensemble often has several vegetarian members; you will be notified how many.

If you serve the students the evening meal as a group, the time will be determined by the concert time. If the concert is at 7 p.m., the requested dinnertime is approximately 5 p.m. If students will be eating the evening meal in homes, the host family should plan to pick them up and return them to the concert location no later than one hour prior to concert time. Allowances should be made for time if there is a distance to be traveled to the host’s home.

Sample Ensemble Photos and Videos

Wartburg’s Marketing & Communication Office grants media organizations permission to use ensemble images and logos below in stories about or related to the college. All images are print quality jpegs at 300 ppi. If you require an image that is not offered on this page, please email emily.christensen@wartburg.edu.

Right click the link and select the “Save As” option to download.

ENSEMBLE DIRECTORS

Karen Black

Cantor and College Organist, Professor of Music, Rudi Inselmann Endowed Professor in Organ

Craig A. Hancock

Professor of Music

Simon Harding

Knightliters Jazz Band Director

Rebecca Nederhiser

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

Scott Muntefering

Associate Professor of Music Education / Eugene and Ruth Weidler Drape Distinguished Professor in Music

Lee Nelson

Professor of Music / Zahn Chair in Choral Conducting

Nicki Toliver

Associate Professor of Music / Associate Director of Choral Activities