The performance division of Director’s Choice Tour & Travel remains dedicated to providing band, choir and orchestra students with positive, educational and enriching performance opportunities.
In 1996, several active music educators created Director’s Choice to provide performance and travel opportunities with the student’s educational requirements as a priority. With an unexpected amount of direct input from well-respected band, choir and orchestra directors across the southwest United States, DC Festivals began hosting music festivals in Dallas and San Antonio in the spring of 1997.
Over the next ten years, DC Festivals provided performance opportunities in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, South Padre Island, New Orleans, Branson, Durango, Beaver Creek, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Orlando. Although participants primarily came from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana — DC Festivals assisted music ensembles from all 50 states!
In 2006, Choice Music Events (CME) was formed to replace DC Festivals. The leadership of DC Festivals, along with several prominent leaders in the music community, believed an independent not-for-profit organization could attract more groups at a lower price point than other festival companies. Choice Music Events acquired a license agreement from DC Festivals to autonomously continue the production of the Showcase of Music events. It was believed other group travel companies would join Director’s Choice Tour & Travel (DCTT) by utilizing this independent company and hopefully reduce costs associated with several companies operating in the same destinations at different performance sites. In addition, the affiliation with the newly formed Foundation for Music Education (TFME) would allow any profits realized by this purely educational event to benefit current and future music educators.
In December of 2010, after four years of operating as an independent not-for-profit organization, the license agreement for the Showcases of Music and the other performance events were released. The belief that an independent company could prosper was uncorroborated because of a lack of participation by the group travel industry and increased economic hardships faced by performing schools. Furthermore, the expectation that festival companies would consolidate within one self- regulating company never came to fruition. Without a reduction in operating expenses and the additional difficulty in daily procedures, it was determined this initiative could not lower the cost of these events and was no longer a practical option.
Beginning in 2011, CME and all live performance opportunities licensed to TFME will once again be managed by Director’s Choice. Participating ensembles, their respective directors, tour operators and individuals will not observe any changes in price or service as a result of this modification. Director’s Choice will continue supporting TFME and encourages all other individuals and corporate organizations interested in the future of music education to join this effort.