Derry’s walls to come alive with music during festival

The opportunity to experience open air music on the streets of Derry again will be one of the highlights of the forthcoming Every Voice Festival.

The festival, which is now in it’s fourth years, is adopting a hybrid format when it takes place between August 16 and 22.

Every Voice Festival is managed and run by local arts organisation Allegri.

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It engages local communities by offering dynamic music experiences for singers and audiences in the region under the ethos that “every voice matters”.

After the success of last year’s fully virtual format, the festival line up will showcase newly recorded content from both the Every Voice Cloud Choir and local young singers.

It will also deliver in-person creative arts workshops for ages 8-14, premiere an online sacred music concert celebrating 1,500 years of Colmcille and host an exciting programme of live singing on the city’s Walls.

The festival will also welcome two workshop leaders, Dr Roísín Blunnie and Aga Serugo Lugo, who have vast experience and will deliver in-person, Covid-safe workshops tailored specifically for local adult amateur singers.

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The workshops will be held in the Holywell Trust and will strictly adhere to government guidelines.

There are also youth workshops running between August 16 and 20, which includes group singing, African drumming, drama, Chi-Me, visual arts, two day-trips and a performance showcase.

The impact of Covid-19 on choral singing has been devastating but local choirs and singers have found ways to meet online and share music performances in a virtual sphere.

“The last year has been an extremely uncertain time for the arts with serious concerns being raised about the long-term future of collective singing in particular,” comments Every Voice Festival Creative Director Maurice Kelly.

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“Allegri has remained extremely busy since March 2020 finding new and creative solutions to continue collaborative music-making for local choristers.

“We have worked closely with local groups to present an exciting programme of online and live community music-making, ensuring we reach our audience while adhering to the guidelines that are currently in place.”

One element of these lockdown activities is the Cloud Choir, made up of over 100 community singers who have been meeting online via Zoom since April last year.

Some of these singers will also be taking part in ‘Sing in the City’, a live open-air public performance in the city centre on Saturday, August 21.

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Organisers say this will be an especially poignant event, as local audiences can once again experience the thrill of live singing on the streets of Derry.

“While we have all faced many challenges, the joy of singing unites singers, audiences and communities in a way that few other activities can, and our festival will be a true celebration of the transformative power of singing together.

“We can’t wait to share it with local people,” Maurice said.

To register for any of the workshops email [email protected]

To find out more about the forthcoming Every Voice Festivalin Derry visit