Derry City & Strabane - Applications now open for the eighth City of Derry International Choir Festival, 21 - 25 October 202




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Applications now open for the eighth City of Derry International Choir Festival, 21 - 25 October 202

27 January 2020

The City of Derry International Choir Festival has opened applications for participation in the 8th edition of the autumn festival, due to take place from Wednesday 21 October until Sunday 25 October 2020.

Last year’s event (October 2019) was an outstanding success that saw 80 choirs participating in 69 events in 30 venues across the Derry and Strabane region, with audiences of over 15,500 throughout festival week. The festival brought over 2,800 bed-nights to the city, during off-peak season, resulting in ‘House Full’ signs in many of the local hotels, and visitor spend was estimated at over £250k while attending the annual event.

Organisers have already begun planning for 2020 and look forward to welcoming guest performers and choirs from around the world to take part in five days of wonderful choral singing comprising concerts, workshops, choral and sacred trails, competitions and conducting masterclasses.

In addition to the usual format, the festival will introduce two new elements to the 2020 event. Primary schools from across the Northwest will be invited to take part in a BIG SING with a difference, when 1,000 voices will come together for a very special day of workshopping and performing of a brand-new, specially-commissioned piece of music by Belfast composer Brian Irvine. Another new feature of the festival will see the winners of all national competitions go head-to-head in a sing-off to be crowned National Choir of the Festival.

As always, one of the highlights of the festival will be the International Competition, in which selected choirs will compete for the prestigious ‘Oak Tree of Derry’ trophy, as well as a cash prize of £2,000. The quality and range of international choirs participating in this competition is growing each year, and expressions of interest are already in from exciting choirs in Europe and Asia so early applications are recommended to avoid disappointment.

Dónal Doherty, Artistic Director of the festival, says “Festival 2020 is already shaping up to be very exciting, with a strong emphasis on events that will demonstrate the power of music to improve the quality of life for all. This will be a transformative event for the whole city.”

Details of how to apply and other festival information is available at