International Competitors

St. Columb’s Hall, 19.30
Presented by Stephen McCauley, BBC

The International Competition will undoubtedly be the highlight of the City of Derry International Choral Festival, featuring 6 competitors who will compete for the prestigious Oak Tree of Derry trophy.


1. Poznań University of Technology Choir “Volantes Soni”, Poland
(Dr Paweł Łuczak)
Sicut Cervus, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Pater Noster, Andrzej Koszewski
Sicut Lilium Inter Spinas, Marek Raczyński
Szła Dzieweczka, Antoni Gref

2. Bogor Agricultural University Student Choir, Agria Swara, Indonesia
(Arvin Zeinullah)
Unser Keiner Lebet Sich Selber, Heinrich Schütz
Readymade Alice, Perttu Haapanen
Gloria Patri, Budi Susanto Yohanes

3. Chamber Choir of Mannheim University of Music, Germany
(Harald Jers)
Jagdlied, Felix Mendelssohn
Jaakobin Isot Pojat, Pekka Kostiainen
Ecco Mormorar l’Onde, Claudio Monteverdi
The Slow Spring, John Høybye

4. Wellensian Consort, England (Christopher Finch)
The Tyger, John Tavener
Hear My Prayer, O Lord, Henry Purcell
Lay a Garland, Robert Lucas de Pearsall
Way Over in Beulah-lan’, Spiritual, arr. Joseph Jennings


5. Mornington Singers, Ireland
(Orla Flanagan)
Timor et Tremor, Orlande de Lassus
Regina Coeli, Rhona Clarke
Richte Mich, Gott, Felix Mendelssohn
Kalejs Kala Debesis, Selga Mence

6. Erkel Ferenc Mixed Choir, Hungary
(Zsófia Cseri)
Sfogava con le Stelle, Claudio Monteverdi
Daemon Irrepit Callidus, György Orbán
Lacrimosa, Bella Máté
With a Lily in Your Hand, Eric Whitacre


Bogor Agricultural University Student Choir, Agria Swara, Indonesia
Arvin Zeinullah

The Bogor Agricultural University Student Choir plays a key role in the life of the university. Initially set up in 1986, Agria Swara was reformed in 2001 and since then has had renowned conductors such as Victor Purba and Ingrid Maryane Cahya. Its current conductor is Arvin Zeinullah.

Its general activities include performing at university events, such as graduation day, but it also sings at a number of national events. In addition, Agria Swara has successfully participated in a number of prestigious national and international competitions, winning the Golden Diploma and Mixed Choir competition at the Rimini International Choir Competition in 2009, and the Mixed Choir and Male Choir competitions and Outstanding Programme Award at the 1st ITB International Choir Competition in Indonesia in 2010. It was semi-finalist in the International Harald Andersén Chamber Choir Competition in Helsinki in 2012, and won 3rd prize at both the Montreux Choral Festival in 2014 and the International Choir Contest of Flanders-Maasmechelen, Belgium in 2015.

It was also awarded the PEACE Trophy in the 60th Fleischmann International Trophy Competition in Cork in 2014.

Mornington Singers, Ireland
Orla Flanagan

The Dublin-based Mornington Singers has established itself as one of Ireland’s leading choral ensembles. The choir specialises in a cappella repertoire, with a particular focus on music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and is committed to the promotion of choral music including the commissioning of new pieces. In 2014 the choir held a successful choral composition competition for Irish composers incorporating a workshop reading of selected pieces from the 34 entries, and concert performances of the three winning compositions.

The choir has performed with Lesley Garrett, Andrea Bocelli and David Puttnam, and has recorded for film and television. Competition performances have included the Florilège Vocal de Tours, Cork International Choral Festival and Maribor International Choral Competition. In May 2014 the choir was named Ireland’s Choir of the Year and awarded 3rd Prize in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition at Cork International Choral Festival. Dr Orla Flanagan has conducted the Mornington Singers since 2002. She holds an Advanced Diploma from the Kodály Institute in Hungary and a Doctorate in Choral Conducting from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and is Assistant Professor of Music at Trinity College, Dublin.

Volantes Soni, Poland
Paweł Łuczak

Poznań University of Technology’s choir, “Volantes Soni”, was founded in 1999. Since its inception, it has been working under the auspices of the University Cultural Centre of the University of Technology. It performs at all of the key ceremonies in the university and promotes the university by singing on major stages in its home town and throughout Poland. The choir has organised and participated in many charity concerts in Poznań’s churches, hospitals, special schools and orphanages.

Volantes Soni has a diverse repertoire of sacred, folk and popular music, and it has performed some of the great vocal and instrumental works, such as the Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and the Misa Criolla by Ariel Ramirez. The choir has taken part in many international and national competitions and festivals in Poland and abroad, winning numerous awards. In 2015 it won 2nd prize at the Fourth National Choir Competition in Aleksandrów Kujawski, and in 2013 it won a “Golden Diploma” in three categories (folk, sacred and Catalan music) and 2nd place in the final of the Third International Festival and Choir Competition “Canço Mediterrània” in Lloret de Mar, Spain.

Since 2005, the choir has been conducted by Paweł Łuczak, a graduate and currently Assistant Professor in the Poznań Academy of Music.

Erkel Ferenc Mixed Choir, Hungary
Zsófia Cseri

The choir’s predecessor was established in 1948. It reformed in 1997 under the direction of two youthful conductors, and its current conductor, Zsófia Cseri, has led the group since 2002. The choir has members of all ages, with different jobs and various levels of musical training. However, it is the overall love of music, singing and community that forms a tight bond to keep them together.

In 2003 the choir won 1st prize at the Budapest International Choir Festival, followed by a silver diploma at the Choir Olympic Games in Bremen in 2004. In 2006 it won 2nd prize and a special award at the Kodály Zoltán IV. Hungarian Choir Competition, and in 2008 it was placed 3rd in the Bartók Béla XXIII. International Choir Competition in Debrecen. In 2010, at the 1st Heart of Europe International Choir Competition in Gelnhausen, Germany, it won two silver diplomas and a 3rd prize. In 2011 it won 1st prize, a golden diploma and a special conductor’s prize at the 13th Budapest International Choir Competition. In 2012, at the 51st Seghizzi International Choir Competition in Ghorizia, Italy, it was awarded 2nd prize with a golden diploma, two 3rd prizes with silver diplomas, a special award for 20th century repertoire and 3rd prize in the Grand Prize Competition. It came second at the 4th Liviu Borlan International Choir Competition in 2014 and it won the 2016 Budapesti Vándor-Révész International Choir Competition.

Chamber Choir of the Music Academy Mannheim, Germany
Harald Jers

The Chamber Choir of the Music Academy Mannheim consists of around 30 singers. Students and non-students develop their skills performing choral works from all periods and mainly from the a cappella repertoire. The choir regards itself as a representative ensemble of the university, offering students an insight into semi-professional choral work. Its concert repertoire focuses specifically on stylistic and thematic aspects, and includes both well-known and rarely heard choral works.

The choir gives regular concerts in Mannheim and the surrounding area. It has gained broad regional recognition after winning several prizes at international choral competitions. In addition, it has been invited to perform at national and international festivals and give radio broadcasts. It was recently invited to undertake a concert tour of England and a joint concert in Cambridge. At the German Choral Festival in Stuttgart in May 2016 the choir won a first and second prize, and a special prize from the SWR Vocal Ensemble for contemporary choral music.

Wellensian Consort, UK
Christopher Finch

The Wellensian Consort has forged a reputation as one of Britain’s finest young chamber choirs, renowned for the vibrancy of its performances. Formed by Christopher Finch in 2009, the Wellensian Consort soon triumphed in the leading British choral competition ‘Choir of the Year’, winning the overall title in 2010 in a competition broadcast on BBC Radio and TV that featured over 100 of the leading British choirs.

The choir has broadcast on BBC Radios 2, 3, and 4, and on BBC 1, and has performed at many of Britain’s leading concert venues and festivals, including the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall, St John’s, Smith Square, and at the Cheltenham International Music Festival. In doing so the choir has established relationships with many of Britain’s leading composers, including Sir John Tavener, Giles Swayne, Bob Chilcott, David Bednall and Will Todd. Originally formed to celebrate the 1100-year anniversary of Wells Cathedral School, the choir consists of alumni of this specialist music school. The members of the Wellensian Consort now live and work throughout the country, and many are current or former students at British music colleges and universities or hold scholarships in leading cathedral and collegiate choirs.