City’s first Choral Festival announces its competitors

The Cuban choir 'Solfa' will participate in the competition too.
The Cuban choir 'Solfa' will participate in the competition too.

Derry is to host a major International Choral Festival this October, the only one of its kind on these islands, and organisers have now announced the eight competitors for this international competition.

This inaugural City of Derry International Choral Festival will no doubt prove another highlight of 2013. The event has already received a hugely positive response for its first year, with 20 school choirs from across Northern Ireland and more than 30 national choirs (Ireland and UK) taking part from October 24-27.

Activities will include school competitions and the Big Sing workshop, national competitions and performances and workshops in the Equal Voice, Mixed Voice, Youth, Sacred and Gospel categories.

Choirs will also take part in a Choral Trail throughout the weekend in various locations around the city including Guildhall Square, the Craft Village, shopping centres and hotels, and there will be a Sacred Trail on Sunday, October 27, in the city’s churches too.

The highlight of the four day event will undoubtedly be the international competition, which will take place on the evening of Saturday, October 26. Eight competitors will compete for a prestigious locally-designed bespoke trophy as well as a significant monetary award.

The international competitors will also feature in the closing gala concert on Sunday, October 27, and take part in the Choral Trail.

The international competitors are: Ad Solem, England; Polifonica, Belarus; Polifonico, Italy; Solfa, Cuba and the participating Irish choirs are Cois Cladaigh; New Dublin Voices, Ireland; Open Arts Choir and Voci Nuove, Ireland.

A fantastic line up of guest choirs will perform at the festival, including the choral ambassadors of Latvia and champions of the World Choirs Games 2012, Latvian Voices, who will perform in the opening night concert on Thursday, October 24; Holst Singers, one of Britain’s foremost choirs, described by the BBC as “a leading chorus on the international stage” and conducted by Stephen Layton, performing in the City Songs event on Friday, October 25; and Gospel Singers Incognito (semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent 2013) taking part in the Gospel section on the afternoon of Saturday, October 26.

With more than 60 choirs taking part in the festival, the city is set to come alive with a celebration of everything choral music has to offer!, on Facebook (City of Derry International Choral Festival) and on Twitter: @codichoral.