Meet Music Travel Consultants Tour Director Dan CunninghamJef Furr
Traveling with Music Travel Consultants, it’s easy to forget all the “behind-the-scenes magic that comes with every Music Travel trip.” One special feature that makes an MTC trip unique is our dedicated Tour Director, right at your group’s side from your trip’s beginning, until it ends.
One of MTC’s most fun-loving Tour Directors is the witty Dan Cunningham. With an outgoing personality and his deep background in education, Dan is sure to make your group’s trip fun and a success.
Dan and wife Vicky live in Dowagiac, Michigan. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law and seven grandchildren. After 42 years as a teacher, coach and an administrator, including 25 years as a high school principal, Dan retired to tour directing in 2016.
Music Travel Consultants ran our popular MTC Tour Director questions past Dan. Enjoy!
How long have you been a Tour Director for Music Travel Consultants?
Dan: I have been a tour director for Music Travel Consultants for three years.
Do you have any background in music/music education?
Dan: I was in high school band all four years in high school. Both of my daughters were in high school band. I was principal and band dad for those eight years. I have great respect for music educators and music education.
How did you get started tour directing?
Dan: As principal at Owen Valley High School, and later at Concord High School, I had the opportunity to travel with excellent music groups. What great experiences! The trips were fun, educational and filled with great performances. I got to know some of the Music Travel Staff, and I let them know that if I ever had the opportunity to be a tour director, I would jump at the chance.
How many total trips have you tour directed?
Dan: I have tour directed seven trips.
What is the hardest part of being a successful MTC Tour Director?
Dan: Dealing with those unexpected issues. These might cause some temporary stress. However it’s always a great feeling when the issue is resolved. Use your resources.
What is the largest group you have tour directed?
Dan: The largest group that I had as the lead Tour Director was the Walton High School Marching Band from Marietta Georgia. There were 250 travelers going to Indianapolis to participate in the 2017 BOA Grand Nationals. Great trip with a great group.
Is there something you wish travelers knew before the trip departs?
Dan: Be patient.
If you have a question, please ask.
Be on time.
But most importantly enjoy the experience, have fun and wear comfortable shoes.
What’s your proudest moment or a time when you being there made a difference, an impact?
Dan: Any time during a trip that there needs to be an adjustment made or a problem solved and you can accomplish that task. This could be anything from helping a student replace a lost ticket to ordering 250 box lunches due to a change in the schedule.
What is your favorite place to travel/visit with and without groups?
Dan: New York, especially at Christmas time. Orlando is also fun. Any place where you can travel with a group of students is always a great experience. For relaxing I would chose a quiet beach with a golf course nearby.
What does it take to be a successful MTC Tour Director?
Dan: One thing that I find very important is to be organized and forward looking. Also, be outgoing. Getting to know your leaders of the group is important.
What are the benefits of having an MTC Tour Director at your side?
Dan: A Tour Director on the trip is there to make sure that the needs of the group are met. They can answer questions, deal with all logistics, including meal money, tickets and reservations. The Tour Director also has the resources to deal with issues that may occur during the trip.
Any advice or things you want to share with groups considering performance travel?
Dan: Before you chose a travel company make sure that you have done your research. I believe that you will find that Music Travel Consultants will be at the top of your list.
Do you think you have what it takes to wear the cape and be an MTC Tour Director like Dan Cunningham?
Contact Music Travel Consultants to start planning your trip.