Derry Gets Vocal for Third Choral Festival

With over two thousand singers lined up across five days, the 'City of Song' will be in full voice for the international festival's third installment

Final preparations are underway for the third City of Derry International Choral Festival, kicking off next Wednesday, October 21, when organisers will welcome over 60 choirs to the city.

The five-day festival has seen a growth in participation in each consecutive year and looks forward to its best year yet in terms of the spread of participating countries and the quality of the participating choirs.

The International Competition, the focal point of the festival, will see ten top-quality choirs from Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, England and Ireland battle it out for the top prize of the Oak Tree of Derry Trophy and £2,000.

Thirty national and 20 school choirs will take part in competitions, choral trail performances around the city, workshops, community concerts and a sacred trail across the five days.

The festival kicks off with two very special guest artists on October 21, when Bob Chilcott leads the Sing Joyfully! choral symposium and The King’s Singers perform a concert of Great American Songbook favourites in the Opening Gala Concert.

October 22 sees twenty-six primary schools participate in Bluebottle, a magical new Dumbworld production that brings together live projected shadow animation, a 300-strong choir and the Ulster Orchestra. Audiences will have the opportunity to catch the 50 minute whirlwind of music at both 5.00pm and 7.30pm.

Festival Manager Fiona Crosby said: 'Our third edition is going to be the best yet. We are very excited to welcome so many choirs of different styles and genres and excited to hear the music of so many different countries.

'On top of competing choirs we have a brilliant series of guest artist concerts and I am particularly looking forward to The King’s Singers, Bluebottle and the world premiere of three new choral pieces on October 23, as part of the Singing Shakespeare project.

She added: 'With such a varied line-up of events there is truly something for everyone with an interest in music.'

The third City of Derry International Choral Festival runs from Wednesday, October 21 until Sunday, October 25. Tickets are on sale from the Millennium Forum box office. For more information visit our festivals section.