Talent gathers for City of Derry Guitar Festival this weekend

Sarah Murphy and Sean Woods who performed the opening recital of the annual City of Derry Guitar Festival in the Great Hall at Magee College on Friday. INLS3511-161KM

Sarah Murphy and Sean Woods who performed the opening recital of the annual City of Derry Guitar Festival in the Great Hall at Magee College on Friday. INLS3511-161KM

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Strummers from afar have descended on Derry for the 11th City of Derry Guitar Festival.

The festival got into full swing last night in the Foyle Theatre at North West Regional College to kick off a weekend of concerts including classical, flamenco and rock guitar.

Pat Coldrick and John Walsh performed at the opening concert. Dublin-based guitarist Pat performed a collection of guitar classics and his own compositions, followed by the passion of Flamenco as John took the stage for the second half of the show.

Tonight’s Guitar Gala will explore the interaction between guitar and other instruments, with performances by organiser Sean Woods with Benyounes String Quartet and flautist Sarah Murphy. The series of concerts will conclude with solo performances by classical guitarist Tatyana Ryzhkova and the king of Celtic guitar Tony McManus tomorrow night at the World Stage concert.

There will also be a Student Gala on Sunday 7pm.

Around 40 top class international guitarists will be in the city for the event.

Sean says; “We’ve got guitarists of all styles coming to the festival. There are guitarists from from Denmark, Scotland, Wales, England, south of the border and of course many from the local area. We cater for all guitar tastes from rock to classical and flamenco - so there’s something to suit everyone.”

Budding guitarists and those with a little more experience on the strings can take advantage of several courses taking place over the weekend, as Sean explains. “We offer guitar courses and world class concerts by artists such as Tony McManus, Pat Coldrick, John Walsh, Tatyana Ryzhkova and Sarah Murphy - Some places are still available on our songwriting, classical, flamenco, acoustic and electric guitar courses. For more information visit our website www.cityofderryguitarfestival.com

“The courses run for three days and there’s even a course for absolute betginners so if you havn’t plucked a guitar in your life but are interested why not come along for a free day of guitar tuition. The course for absolute beginners is free on Friday. There’s also a mastercalss for electric guitar and a Thin Lizzie workshop.”

Concert tickets cost £12, £10 concession and £6 for students. Festival Passes are also available. Admission to the Student Gala is free. For bookings please call 028 71311288 or visit http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/cityofderryguitarfestival. Course places are available. For further details on the Festival please visit www.cityofderryguitarfestival.com, email cityofderryguitarfestival@gmail.com or call 028 71311288.