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Community choral festival reaches young and old this October

Community choral festival reaches young and old this October

Communities across Derry and Strabane District Council are gearing up for this year’s City of Derry International Choral Festival, 21 – 25 October. Building on the success of last year’s community programme, which reached nearly 5000 people, this year’s line-up is even bigger and better, with a host of free events in a range of new locations. Funded by DCSDC, the festival will include concerts in the Gasyard and St Columb’s Park House, as well as pop up performances in care homes, shopping malls, parent and toddler groups, leisure centres and more.

Alice Lewis, Community & Outreach Officer, explains, “Last year we were thrilled by the positive response to our first community and outreach programme, where we had capacity audiences and standing ovations, and numerous requests to come back again! This year we’re delighted to expand the three core strands of our programme – Choral Trail, Sacred Trail and Community Concerts – not only across the city of Derry but also into Strabane.

We’re particularly excited to be working in partnership with the team at the Gasyard to put on a combined concert and tea dance on Saturday 24 October at 12.30pm. Three choirs will perform at the event, including local group Momentum, the Lisburn Harmony Ladies Choir and Salutaris Chamber Choir from Belarus, with additional music from Eddie Breslin. With complimentary refreshments and a Halloween theme, this will be a tea dance with a difference!

Over at St Columb’s Park House on Sunday 25 October, there’ll be ‘Songs in the Park’ at 1pm, with new local choir Glórtha an Fheabhail (Voices of the Foyle) performing alongside Newtown Park Gospel Choir from Dublin and Vox Iuvenalis from the Czech Republic. Last year’s event at the same time was packed out so come early and enjoy a coffee or lunch at the Café in the Park.”

The Festival’s popular Choral Trail will bring singing to young and old, including parents and toddlers at Glenview Community Centre, disabled adults at Foyle Disability Day Centre, bingo players at St Joseph’s Galliagh and parents taking their kids swimming at the Foyle Arena on Saturday 24 October. On Friday 23 October choirs travel to Asda in Strabane, as well as other shopping centres, schools and care homes.

The Sacred Trail sees visiting international choirs sing as part of Sunday service in churches and chapels across the city. This year ten places of worship will host choirs from a range of countries including Belarus, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Sweden, Slovenia, Poland and Germany. St Columb’s, Christchurch and St Eugene’s are taking part, as well as St Joseph’s Galliagh, All Saints Clooney and others.

All events are free. For more information visit

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