Line-up Announced for Derry Choir Festival

Over 50 choirs from across the world will compete and perform in the city this October as part of the festival's fifth edition

Collegium Vocale, Norway, a participating choir in 2017's International Competition

Following its success over the past four years, the City of Derry International Choir Festival will reach the milestone of its fifth annual outing when it returns this year from October 25 to 29.

Organisers are looking forward to welcoming more than 50 choirs from across Europe and beyond to take part in competitions, concerts, performances and workshops on the weekend before Halloween.

Earlier this year the festival announced Tenebrae, one of the world's leading vocal ensembles, as a guest artist of its 2017 programme. Classic FM is noted to have said of the group: 'Choral music doesn't get more magnificent than this.'

One of the focal points of the weekend will be the International Competition in St. Columb's Hall on October 28, which will see eight choirs each representing a country, competing for the prestigious 'Oak Tree of Derry' trophy and a cash prize of £2,000.

The competitors are:

Chantage, England

Collegium Vocale, Norway

Donghua University Choir, China

Eller Girls’ Choir, Estonia

Ensemble Vocal de Freamunde, Portugal

Laetare Vocal Ensemble, Ireland

Mundus Cantat, Poland

Sjølund Chamber Choir, Denmark

Adjudicating the International Competition (and the school and national competitions) will be a panel of distinguished choral directors with a wealth of experience as international jurors. The festival will welcome the return of Josep Vila I Casañas, one of the best-known choral conductors in Catalonia and Spain, who previously adjudicated in the third edition of the festival in 2015.

Accompanying Josep on the adjudication panel will be: Hermia Schlichtmann from Germany (Lecturer in University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt and Conductor of Rhein Cantabile Chamber Choir), Ambrož Čopi from Slovenia (Conductor of the Academic Choir of the University of Primorska, winners of the 2014 City of Derry International Choir Festival), Orla Flanagan from Ireland (Assistant Professor of Music at Trinity College, Dublin and Conductor of Mornington Singers) and Amy Bebbington from England (Director of Training for the Association of British Choral Directors and Conductor of Dorking Camerata).

Artistic Director of the festival, Dónal Doherty, commented on this year’s line-up saying: 'We're delighted to have such a fantastic range and quality of choir coming to participate in this, our fifth festival. It is a real sign that Derry is now recognised internationally as a destination of choral excellence. This is a must-see event for all music lovers, so get the dates in the diaries now & keep an eye out for further exciting news about the Gala Concerts.'

For full details of the festival and forthcoming updates visit www.derrychoirfest.com.