Applications open for city's sixth International Choir Festival

Applications are now open for the sixth City of Derry International Choir Festival, which takes place on October.

Saturday, 3rd March 2018, 1:00 pm
Eller Girls' Choir, Estonia, winners of the City of Derry International Choir Festival 2017 (Image by Lorcan Doherty Photography)

The sixth edition of the autumn festival will run from Wednesday October 24 until Sunday October 28, with choral acts from across the world expected to gather in the city over the five days.

Organisers have said that following on from the “outstanding” success of the first five festivals, there are now more ambitious plans for 2018.

These include guest performances by some of the world’s most acclaimed choirs and vocal ensembles.

In addition to all of the familiar elements of previous festivals – the five days of choral singing comprising concerts, workshops, choral and sacred trails, competitions and conducting masterclasses – this year’s festival will also include the opportunity for greater community participation and a wider range of visiting international choirs.

School and national choirs are being invited to take part in a variety of competitions that cater for all musical styles including sacred, gospel, popular and jazz music.

A spokesperson for the City of Derry International Choral Festival said:

“The festival is open to all types of choral ensemble, ensuring that there is opportunity for every type of choir to enjoy the excitement of competing, meet new choirs and hear different genres of music.

“As always, one of the highlights of the festival will be the International Competition, in which selected choirs will compete for the prestigious ‘Oak Tree of Derry’ trophy, as well as a cash prize of £2,000. “

The spokesperson added: “The quality and range of international choirs participating in this competition is growing each year, so early applications are recommended to avoid disappointment.

“Non-competitive applications are also welcome for choirs to take part in informal Choral Trail performances in venues throughout the city, practical workshops with guest artists and adjudicators, community concerts and Sunday church services.”

Dónal Doherty, Artistic Director of the choral festival, said: “It’s very exciting to be planning our sixth international festival. We’ve already lined up some incredible guest choirs for the gala concerts and there has been enormous interest shown by choirs from all over Europe in competing in the International Competition. Derry is now firmly on the world map as a quality destination for high-quality singing.”

Details of how to apply along with all available festival information at