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Martin Luther & Music

Lutheran Heritage Tours for Choirs

Luther 2017The 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 celebrated Martin Luther’s remarkable legacy. The sites and cities of Luther Country continue to welcome pilgrims from around the world.

Lutheran Heritage MapWalk in Luther’s humble footsteps across Germany: from the house in Eisleben where he was born, to the cell in the Fortress of Wartburg where he translated the New Testament into German, to the Castle Church in Wittenberg where he nailed his 95 Theses. Experience the rich heritage of your Lutheran faith as you visit the world’s largest Reformation memorial in Worms, or stand in St. Thomas Church where Luther first introduced the Reformation in Leipzig in 1539. While you ponder the significance of the Great Reformer’s life and work, you will also enjoy Germany’s rich culture and its hearty cuisine.

In addition to being the land of Luther, Germany is renowned for its significant music history and tradition. Many of the most notable composers lived or worked in these same cities, and their influence remains evident today.

Revisit the places of Luther’s life while enjoying a variety of performance opportunities, including—

  • Singing as a guest choir for a Sunday morning worship service or Mass
  • Short, informal daytime performances in historic churches
  • Full-length evening concerts, often in smaller towns where there is more opportunity to interact with local audiences.

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” – Martin Luther

Give your ensemble the experience of a lifetime as your musical repertoires ring throughout the very churches, halls, and cathedrals for which they were composed, and together reflect on the courage and faith of Martin Luther and the other fathers of the Reformation. The potential to enrich your faith through travel is endless!

Sample 10-Day Itinerary

choirWitte will create a custom-designed performance tour for your group that offers a variety of experiences according to your goals and desires.

Day 1—Departure

Day 2—Berlin
Wilkommen in Deutschland! Today’s sightseeing includes views of the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate, with a visit to the Museum at Checkpoint Charlie to learn about the history of the Berlin Wall. We’ll also make a visit to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and enjoy a relaxing cruise of Germany’s dynamic capital.

Day 3—Berlin
After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Dietrich Bonhoefferhaus, a memorial to the life and work of the young German pastor Bonhoeffer. After perusing the interesting exhibits, we’ll drive along Unter den Linden and on to the Nikolaiviertel to see the Nikolaikirche, the oldest church in Berlin. An evening performance can be arranged in one of Berlin’s historic churches.

Statue of Martin Luther, ErfurtDay 4—Wittenberg
On our morning walking tour with a local guide, we’ll visit Luther House, the Stadtkirche, and the Schlosskirche, where Luther famously affixed his 95 Theses to the church door and which is also home to his tomb. During our walking tour, your choir can sing one or two songs when we visit the Stadtkirche and Schlosskirche. Later we’ll visit the Melanchthon House.

Day 5—Eisleben, Leipzig
This morning we’ll travel west to Eisleben to visit Luther’s birthplace, as well as the house in which he died in 1546. Then we’ll continue on to Leipzig and the St. Thomas Church, where Luther’s sermon on Whitsunday in 1539 effectively introduced the Reformation to Leipzig. If your choir is in Leipzig on a Sunday, there are numerous churches happy to welcome a visiting choir. Regardless of the day of the week, there are opportunities for informal daytime and full evening concerts. If your choir would also like to include visits to some of the museums devoted to composers, we recommend making Leipzig a two-night stay with one full day devoted to music history.

Day 6—Erfurt, Eisenach
Today we’re headed southwest to Erfurt, the “Town of Flowers.” Our first stop is at the Augustinian Monastery where Luther once lived and worked. We’ll also visit St. Peter’s Cathedral where there may be an opportunity to sing one or two songs. After a stop at the Kramerbrücke bridge, have some free time for exploring or shopping before continuing west to Eisenach.

Day 7—Eisenach
Our sightseeing today will take us first to the impressive Fortress of Wartburg, where we’ll see the Knight’s Hall, the dining room, the Wartburg museum and Luther’s room. Next on our agenda are visits to the Bachhaus (Bach’s birthplace and museum) and St. George Church.

Day 8—Mainz, Worms, Heidelberg
On the road again, we’ll visit Mainz to see the Gutenberg-Museum, home to two original editions of the world-famous Gutenberg Bible. We’ll continue on to Worms to see the 19th-century Luther Monument, and then we’ll head for Heidelberg, our home for the last two nights of our tour. A full evening concert can be arranged in Heidelberg or one of the nearby towns.

Day 9—Heidelberg
We’ll start today by touring the romantic Heidelberg Castle. Then we’ll walk through the historic city center to visit the University Library and the Holy Ghost Church. The next few hours are yours to finish your souvenir shopping before we reconvene in the evening for a festive farewell dinner.

Day 10—Return
All too soon, it’s time to head home! After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport to check in for our return flights to the U.S.

Planning a Lutheran Heritage Tour for Your Choir

Johann Sebastian Bach, Leipzig It all begins with a DIALOGUE between you and one of our Group Tour Specialists. Together we will narrow down the big decisions on the right cities, time frame and length of your trip to fit your goals and budget.

From there, one of our Group Tour Specialists will further the conversation until they present to you a TOUR PROPOSAL document, which includes a planned itinerary, details on trip components and inclusions, and pricing and payment options.

Once we are in agreement on the details, you accept our proposal with a set-up deposit, and we get to work booking components and designing your PROMOTIONAL BROCHURE—a custom-designed, full-color registration packet.

At this point it’s time to advertise and RECRUIT for your tour. We are available to help you with promotional materials or even participation in meetings.

Witte can receive all of the passenger REGISTRATIONS and deposits directly or they can route through your organization. From there, we manage each individual account and any special arrangements desired!

We take care of the details and you prepare your group for TRAVEL. We’ll be in steady communication, adjust to any last-minute realities, and have you on your way before you know it!

Why Witte

Fischmarkt Square, ErfurtSince 1975, Witte Travel & Tours has designed and operated exceptional tours for pastors and their congregations, religious organizations, universities, and choral groups who desire to add a spiritual dimension to their travels. Each Witte Tour is a made-to-order combination of religious and touristic activities, and we excel at arranging the perfect concert schedule to meet your performance goals. Our background knowledge of Reformation destinations and concert venues, as well as our longstanding personal connections to these people and places, will ensure that your pilgrimage and your performances are a blessing on every level.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are staffed by friendly professionals with travel expertise and extensive knowledge of history, geography, and the performing arts. All of our account executives are experienced musicians, teachers and performers. In addition, we have direct operations staff and an extensive network of local concert organizers throughout Europe. And, to ensure that everything runs smoothly, every Witte tour is led by a multi-lingual tour manager with superb leadership and organizational skills who understands the intricacies of managing a successful tour.

Our services include:

  • Personalized, full-color brochures with registration forms
  • The convenience of online registration
  • All arrangements for flights, land transportation, accommodations, sightseeing and special events
  • Full breakfast daily and other meals according to your specifications
  • Accounting services including individual billing, all major credit cards accepted
  • Arrangements for individuals to extend their stays, visit other destinations, and/or depart from different cities

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what our clients say

I am always greatly satisfied with Witte Travel & Tours service. Things always go well, but if there is an issue, it is quickly addressed and corrected in a professional manner. I cannot recommend them enough. Thank you Witte!

- William Ortega, Director, Glenbard West High School Orchestra

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