City of Derry International Choir Festival returns

Collegium Vocale from Norway will compete in the 2017 festival
Collegium Vocale from Norway will compete in the 2017 festival

Following the success of the first four editions of the City of Derry International Choir Festival, it returns again from October 25 until October 29 with an impressive line-up of international choirs from Europe and beyond. The organisers look forward to welcoming more than 50 choirs to the city to take part in competitions, concerts, performances and workshops on the weekend before Halloween. As already announced, the festival is also delighted that world-renowned vocal ensemble Tenebrae will be part of this year’s ambitious programme.

The highlight of the weekend will be the International Competition, to be held on Saturday October 28 in St Columb’s Hall. Eight choirs, representing eight countries, will compete 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 the 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 Internatioanl 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: “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 and keep an eye out for further exciting news about the gala concerts.”

For all festival information and updates visit www.derrychoirfest.com.