SCYO aims to provide a significant touring opportunity every 2 years, alternating between international and national destinations. The touring group is made up of notionally Youth Symphony and other relatively experienced musicians aged approximately 14-18. This should provide every musician the opportunity in their senior school years (or first year alumni), to tour internationally with the SCYO.
The tours are very busy, with many workshops and joint performances organized, with a little sightseeing thrown in. Commitment to the tour is generally required one year in advance, and costs are born by the musicians, although the SCYO supports where it can, with fund raising activities. A rough estimate of costs is a 12 day international tour may cost four to five thousand dollars, and a national tour approximately half that.
The ratio of adults to touring members is generally about 1 conductor or other required adult to 9 or 10 musicians, or better. See our International Tours and National Tours pages or facebook page for accounts of our previous tours!
Preparing string instruments for (airline) travel:
Carry on items
First thing to note is that different airlines have different rules. Some allow instruments to be carried on board the cabin and stored in overhead lockers providing the case is within size limits.
Check teh website of the airline.
Note these dimensions might be greater than hand luggage dimensions and mat be specific to musical instruments.Also note that the instrument counts as part of your carry on luggage, weight wise.
Average violin cases are around 80 cm long, however some larger ones, and viola cases may exceed the 85 cm length.
Larger instruments, for example a cello case, may be taken on board and strapped in to its own seat (paid for separately of course), providing it’s within certain dimensions.
Problem is only 1 instrument of this size is allowed per Airbus aircraft so if you are considering purchasing an extra ticket, you may want to confirm with the airline that the extra seat if for an instrument.
How to prepare your string instrument for travel:
The most common damage caused to string instruments from travelling is broken necks and damage to top and bottom plates due to instruments receiving a knock or dropped etc. Breakages are often found when there is no visible damage to the case.
Instruments are under a lot of pressure. A violin has around 20 kg of pressure down force on the bridge and a cello has around 40 kg.
If the instrument is dropped then this pressure can momentarily dramatically increase. This is what causes the neck to break, or the sound post to puncture the top or bottom, even if the case is unmarked.
The following preparation minimizes potential damage.
1. It is recommended to take a small amount of string tension off. Detune approximately 1 whole tone per string. Cellos are the most vulnerable due to their size so detuning a little bit further is advisable. This allows for large changes in humidity and temperature. Humidity in an aircraft is very low and combined with the cold temp, string tension increases putting more stress on the instrument. For long aircraft flights, professional players with expensive instruments place a humidifier inside the instrument or case. Not a bad idea if you have a nice instrument.
Do not take too much string tension off as the sound post may fall over.
Also ensure you push the tuning pegs in firmly after detuning to prevent the pegs from popping out or slipping further.
2. Ensure your bridge is standing upright and the feet are nicely in contact with the top plate. Place some soft cloth, rolled socks are good, or rolled up paper towel and place under the strings on either side of the bridge. Take a look at the photo. This prevents the bridge from slipping if the instrument is bumped or dropped. If the bridge falls, the tailpiece may damage the top and the sound post may fall. A cloth or piece of foam under the tailpiece is also a good idea to add support and protect the top.
3. When the instrument is in its case place some foam or cloth, again socks are good, around the neck and scroll. If the case is dropped it minimizes neck breakage. If the instrument body is not well fitted to the case, place some foam or cloth around the body to minimize movement.
If you have a nice new case (and you want it to stay that way) and you are checking it in with the baggage, then its a good idea to wrap the case in some bubble wrap as the case will most likely get scratched.
4. When re tuning your instrument at the destination, ensure the bridge is standing back upright or it can cause damage to the top.