Derry’s Choral Festival now among the best in Europe

Principal funders at the launch of the City of Derry International Choral Festival. From left to right: Fiona Crosbie (Festival Manager, Choral Festival), Mayor Elisha McCallion (Derry City and Strabane District Council), D�nal Doherty (Artistic Director, Choral Festival) and Ciaran Scullion (Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland).
Principal funders at the launch of the City of Derry International Choral Festival. From left to right: Fiona Crosbie (Festival Manager, Choral Festival), Mayor Elisha McCallion (Derry City and Strabane District Council), D�nal Doherty (Artistic Director, Choral Festival) and Ciaran Scullion (Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland).

The third annual City of Derry International Choral Festival was launched this week with organisers telling invited guests that the festival now “rightly sits alongside the grand prix competitions in Europe” in terms of quality.

The four day long festival will see more than 60 school, local, national and international choirs compete in a range of categories, perform in public spaces throughout the city, participate in choral workshops and take part in exciting concerts over the five-day event, alongside an outstanding line-up of visiting guest artists.

Highlights will include the Grammy award-winning King’s Singers, workshops with world-renowned choral composer Bob Chilcott, the world premieres of three new works as part of the Singing Shakespeare project, and Bluebottle, a musical performance for children and families, featuring a choir of 300 local school children, the Ulster Orchestra and live projected animation. The festival’s focal point, the International Competition, will feature 10 top-quality competitors from Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, England and Ireland.

Artistic Director of the festival Donal O’Doherty told assembled guests: “This festival showcases the right of this city to appear on stage in terms of our high standards of choral singing.

“When we launched this festival, we quote Seamus Heaney and his belief that we would ‘reach for a farther shore’- this year I’ll mention a line from our piece ‘Bluebottle’ which will be performed by our schoolchildren.

“Everything you need, want or dream about, you’ll find in a song.”

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Elisha McCann said she was looking forward to the event, which would not only bring choral singing into the city centre but throughout our communities also.

Tickets can be booked at www.millenniumforum.co.uk