Derry musician Dónal Doherty delighted to accept honorary MBE

Dónal Doherty, the conductor of Codetta Choir, has been awarded an honorary MBE for his services to music in the north.

The well-known Derry musician, who is also artistic director of City of Derry International Choir Festival, received one of the honorary awards bestowed on foreign nationals by Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in her birthday honours.

He received the award for his services to music in the north.

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Dónal commented: "I'm absolutely delighted to accept this award on behalf of everyone involved in the City of Derry International Choir Festival, members of Codetta choirs and the many wonderful colleagues I've worked with over the years in connection with music and music-making. It has been and continues to be a privilege to share the joy and transformative power of music and singing with so many."

Dónal Doherty

Mr. Doherty's love of choral music was nurtured as a member of the Schola Cantorum in St. Finian’s College, Mullingar and later at University College Dublin.

He was appointed Head of Music Services for the Western Region of the Education Authority of Northern Ireland in 1996 and assumed responsibility for both the Western and Southern Regions in 2011.

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He served as Director of Music at St. Eugene’s Cathedral from 1982 - 1996 and, in 2013, was appointed Director of the Music Promise initiative, a key element of the inaugural UK City of Culture programme in Derry.

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In the same year, he founded the City of Derry International Choir Festival.

His international prize-winning choir Codetta was formed in 2001. Since then, they have earned a reputation for choral excellence including the top award of the Fleischmann Trophy at the Cork International Choral Festival in 2017.

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Current initiatives include both the ground-breaking North Belfast Youth Choir programme and the Codetta Junior and Youth Choirs in Derry, which were launched in September 2017.

MBEs have been awarded to nominated persons from Ireland, Britain and the former British empire for those deemed to have realised “outstanding achievement or service to the community” under a convention established by George V of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in 1917.