Derry will be filled with song during September and October thanks to a series of pop-up performances and community concerts as part of the inaugural Every Voice Fringe Festival.
Pop-up groups formed as part of the fringe event, as well as established local choirs from Derry, Strabane and Donegal, will join choirs visiting the City of Derry International Choir Festival to bring a joyous celebration of all things choral to local audiences.
Managed by local choir Allegri in partnership with the City of Derry International Choir Festival, the event will launch with a community youth music workshop and showcase on September 23, with an army of local singers taking to the stages of Derry’s Guildhall and Alley Theatre in Strabane the following week (September 28/29) to perform individual pieces and new collaborations under the theme of ‘Joy!’
The concert will feature the premiere of a specially commissioned piece composed by Dr Shane Lynch, a noted US music professor and composer and City of Derry International Choir Festival 2018 adjudicator, with lyrics by talented local poet, Mícheál McCann, a recent graduate of The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast.
From the weekend before (Saturday, October 20) and during the week of the City of Derry International Choir Festival itself, local people and visitors will be able to catch informal performances along the Choral Trail in hotels, shopping centres, cafes and, even, Altnagelvin Hospital, to name but a few. Locations such as community centres, Foyle Hospice and Ardnashee School will also become music venues during the week.
Sunday, October 21, will see a Sacred Community Concert - a ‘Songs of Praise’ style event with church groups, gospel choirs and other local choirs performing a wide selection of sacred repertoire, as well as congregational singing.
The evening will begin with a Procession of Song from The Gasyard Centre to First Derry Presbyterian Church where the concert will be held.
Other highlights of the Fringe Festival include a late-night concert in the Ballroom, St. Columb’s Hall, featuring a local, national and international choir, along with performances in the Craft Village, City of Derry Airport and Holywell Trust’s Garden of Remembrance.
Margaret Kelly, Chairperson of Allegri, said: “We are so excited to present the Every Voice Fringe Festival programme which will showcase not only the wealth of singing talent we have locally, but also our beautiful city and ever-supportive local audiences.”