Choir Festival announces exciting line-up of international choirs

The Fifth edition takes place from 25-29 October

Above, Collegium Vocale, Norway, a participating Choir in the 2017 International Competition at the City of Derry International Choir Festival. 

Following the success of the first four editions of the City of Derry International Choir Festival, it returns again from 25 - 29 October 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 28 October 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.

Artistic Director of the festival, Dónal Doherty, commented on this year’s line-up saying, “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 & keep an eye out for further exciting news about the Gala Concerts.”

The provisional timetable for the 2017 festival is as follows:
Wednesday 25 October
International Choral Symposium
Opening Gala Concert

Thursday 26 October
Primary school competitions and workshops
Evening concert

Friday 27 October
Post-primary school competitions and workshops

Saturday 28 October
National competitions for Female Voice, Male Voice, Mixed Voice and Popular, Jazz & Gospel Music
Community Concert
International Competition

Sunday 29 October
Sacred Trail
National competitions for Sacred Music, Vocal Ensemble and Youth Choirs
Community Concert
Closing Gala Concert and Awards Ceremony

The Choral Trail will run throughout the weekend in city centre and wider community locations. For all festival information and updates visit


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