What’s In a Name?

January 1st, 2010 by Corey Black

Capitol Music Fest was born in 2003.  It was a music festival in our Nation’s Capitol, Washington, D.C.  In fact, in the wake of September 11th, 2001, it was the only music festival in Washington, D.C.  It was well run, it was inexpensive, and it took place in a super-cool venue, the George Washington National Masonic Memorial.  That first year, we sold a package that included the festival and four days of sightseeing, meals and lodging for a mere $300 per person!

As the years went by, we expanded our tours to include other cities; New York, Chicago, Orlando, and even Oahu, Hawaii!  Our client list grew and we were always thrilled when a teacher recommended us to a friend.  They would say, “if you are taking a trip, make sure to call Corey and Apryl!”   No one would ever refer to us as “Capitol Music Fest”, but hey, we were just happy they were calling!

We continued to run our music festival in Washington, D.C. year after year.  We noticed that the popularity of music festivals began to decline.  Many teachers were turning away from the formality of an adjudicated music festival.  After all, if the first chair trumpet player decided to stay home for a soccer tournament, the whole band would suffer.  In place of the music festival, teachers were choosing to perform in a cool public venue or better their ensemble while on the road by participating in a workshop or clinic.

So what is a company to do when someone “moves their cheese”?  Move with it!  We decided to slowly phase out the music festival and roll in a cool new workshop concept call Partners in Performance Workshops.  During these workshops we hire professional musicians (one per part) to sit in with the visiting band or choir or orchestra, and play the group’s music , side by side with the students.  It is a 90 minute workshop under the direction of a guest clinician and they have been very well received!

In 2010 we found ourselves as a travel company called Capitol Music Fest that did not run a music festival in the Nation’s Capitol.  It just seemed silly.  Meanwhile, I had a two year old daughter who would sit in the back of my car and every time the traffic light turned green she would yell, “green light, GO!”  We thought she was onto something!  After all, as a travel company, we certainly want people to GO!

Changing our company’s name to Green Light Group Tours has turned out to be a great decision!  It is memorable, it is more fitting to what we do, and it has allowed us to expand our travel offerings to non-musical groups as well.  Plus we love to wear green clothes, use green pens, send out green itineraries, eat green eggs and ham… ok, we haven’t gone that far yet!

The next time you are considering a trip for your group, please give us a call- Green Light Group Tours!