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Local choirs invited to create special ‘A Dusk Chorus’ performance as part of this year’s Foyle Mari

10 May 2024

Choirs from right across the region are being encouraged to take part in a magnificent performance as part of this year’s Foyle Maritime Festival.

A jam packed four-day programme of events will take place from Thursday 27th until Sunday 30th June, with a spectacular showcase taking place on the Saturday evening with lights, music, animation and a breathtaking firework display.

‘A Dusk Chorus’, will happen at 8pm on Saturday 29th June as the opening event for the Festival Showcase along the riverfront. It will consist of up to 15 local choirs performing an agreed portfolio of songs for approximately 50 minutes along the riverfront. The choirs will be staggered at designated locations between the City Hotel and Sainsbury’s.

Event organisers are now calling on choirs from across Derry, Strabane and the wider North West region into Donegal and our neighbours in Inishowen to get involved and help create a human wave of music and melodies along the riverfront to kickstart the special showcase night.

Helena Hasson, Festival Coordinator, encouraged any local choirs to get involved in what promises to be an unforgettable experience.

“We are trying to create something we’ve never done before and if we do it right, we know that this will be a pretty special experience for everyone involved. We need 12 to 15 local choirs to get involved to do the concept justice and we know that we have the talent out there on our doorstep, it’s just getting them involved.

“We welcome all genres, ages, genders, abilities and sizes of choirs and will work with each individual group on a one-to-one basis to facilitate their physical requirements such as access, seating etc. for their own performance. The songs for the 50-minute performance will be chosen in a collaborative fashion the choirs, along with the choir masters and conductors to ensure this is a truly unique event.

“We have already had a great response from several local choirs but there is definitely room for a few more hence the extended invitation. It’s important to stress that each choir will be singing in the way they normally do, regarding composition and key etc. There will be no set key that choirs sing to and all of the songs will be agreed by the groups to ensure everyone is comfortable with their performance. We’ve received numerous song suggestions so far and quite a few choirs have all proposed the same tracks. It’s not about creating a perfect performance but one that is united and meaningful so I’d invite any choir thinking they may like to be part of it to contact the festival and register.”

The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Beyond Blue’ in acknowledgement of the power and poetry of our local rivers, seas and oceans and the poignant relationship we have with them. The theme encourages guests to look beyond the horizon and see things from a different perspective, find new ways to meet the needs of society without causing any further harm to our natural assets.

A range of animation, workshops and performances will take place over the four days of the festival influenced by this theme however the festival showcase on Saturday evening. Starting at 8pm and running until midnight the riverfront will slowly descend into a magical world of light, fire, tall ships, fireworks and colourful sea creatures to form a mesmerising riverscape that stretches beyond our everyday horizon.

The entire process will be managed and arranged by the festival and events team with support from MRK Events, who are curating the full Maritime Melodies Programme for the festival. A set fee of £250 will be paid to each choir that participates in the event, regardless of size, notoriety etc.

For more information or to apply to take part, please contact [email protected]

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