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Choir festival announces full line up for October event

01 August 2018

Following the success of the first five editions of the City of Derry International Choir Festival, it returns again this autumn from 24-28 October with an impressive line-up of internationally-recognised guest artists performing in the city’s most iconic venues.

Organisers are delighted to announce that this year’s festival will open with the region’s premier symphony orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, in concert with local chamber choir Codetta, the 2018 Festival Chorus and soloists. The Opening Gala Concert will take place on Wednesday 24 October in the stunning setting of the Guildhall, and will feature an all-Mozart programme including one of the most famous choral works in the classical music repertoire, Mozart’s Requiem, and Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, conducted by acclaimed Norwegian conductor Ragnar Rasmussen. The Festival Chorus is open to all singers who wish to take part and those who would like to join can find information on rehearsals and the concert performance on www.derrychoirfest.com.

The festival continues its evening concert series on Thursday 25 October, when chart-topping London-based vocal ensemble VOCES8 take to the stage of St. Columb’s Hall for an evening of a cappella music. VOCES8 are renowned for their exquisite, beautifully integrated and versatile singing, spanning all genres of music. They have performed on stages worldwide and are regularly heard on international television and radio. Their ‘Sing Joyfully’ programme, to be performed at the City of Derry International Choir Festival, offers a mix of angelic and ethereal Renaissance music with Jazz and Pop favourites including Nat King Cole, Van Morrison and Simon and Garfunkel.

The slickest of the lot… fans of a cappella ought to hear this.” BBC Radio 3

On Friday 26 October, the young, dynamic and internationally-acclaimed early music vocal ensemble The Marian Consort will perform ‘In Sorrow’s Footsteps’, a programme of Renaissance and 21st-century sacred works in the beautiful surroundings of Christ Church. This concert will also feature the Irish premiere of English composer Gabriel Jackson’s Stabat Mater, alongside Derry’s own Codetta Youth Choir.

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “The City of Derry International Choir Festival has an international reputation as a major celebration of the choral tradition.  This year sees yet another impressive programme featuring professional, world-class, award-winning choirs alongside local and national choirs.  In only 5 years, the festival has achieved excellent artistic profile, demonstrated significant benefits to the local economy, engaged the communities of Derry-Londonderry and put Northern Ireland on the map for all the right reasons.

In addition to the evening concert series, organisers look forward to welcoming more than 60 choirs to the city to take part in competitions and workshops as well as Choral Trails, a Sacred Trail and Community Concerts as part of the inaugural Every Voice Fringe Festival, in partnership with local choir Allegri.

Tickets for all festival events on sale via Millennium Forum Box Office from Thursday 2 August. For more information and updates visit www.derrychoirfest.com