21 - 25 October 2020

Programme of Events

A change of tune for 2020!

The City of Derry International Choir Festival is getting a digital make-over for its 2020 edition and we’re thrilled to announce an exciting and diverse programme, taking place online this October 21 – 25. 

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Amazing Grace

Wednesday 21 October, 7pm


This year's festival opens with the young voices of school children from Derry, Strabane, Omagh and Donegal performing a virtual rendition of the powerful and stirring Amazing Grace.

A New Topography of Love

Thursday 22 October, 7pm


A World Premiere performance of brand new music by Northern Ireland composer Brian Irvine and writer/filmmaker John McIlduff from award-winning production company Dumbworld.  Featuring Derry chamber choir Codetta and the Beckmann Foundation Singers, Mexico.


Friday 23 October, 7pm


Ireland’s premier a cappella vocal band, the award-winning Ardú, specialise in arranging well-known popular music for six singers, creating funky beats, rhythms, melody and harmony with only their voices. Join us for this exclusive concert recorded live from The Glassworks, Derry.


Saturday 24 October, 7pm

Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae, under the direction of Nigel Short, is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles renowned for its passion and precision. Join us for this very special concert recorded live and exclusively for the City of Derry International Choir Festival in St Stephen Walbrook Church, London. 

This event will be viewed on Eventbrite. Tickets are FREE BUT LIMITED. Get yours here.

Danny Boy with Bob Chilcott

Sunday 25 October, 7pm


A global virtual choir performance of the iconic and much-loved Danny Boy, conducted by world-famous choral director and composer Bob Chilcott, and performed by 200 singers from across the world closes the 2020 Festival on Sunday 25 October.

Virtual Choral Trail

Various dates/times from 21-25 October


A series of video performances from choirs across the globe, performing a wide range of musical styles including sacred, popular, jazz and gospel music. 



Nigel Short Workshop*

Saturday 24 October, 10am

Nigel Short, director of Tenebrae, and one of the world’s most respected choral directors, leads a webinar workshop for singers. Participants will have the opportunity to work on two magnificent choral works – My soul, there is a country from Songs of Farewell by Hubert Parry, and the exquisite Versa est in luctum, by Alonso Lobo. This workshop is free, but places are strictly limited, so book here now to avoid disappointment. 

Lucinda Geoghegan Workshop*

Wednesday 21 October, 10.30am

Join Kodály expert Lucinda Geoghegan for a webinar workshop focusing on delivery of the music curriculum in primary schools under the current Covid restrictions. Expect tips and ideas for non-contact games and rhymes for early years music education.

Primary school teachers sign up to take part here.

Sing Joyfully Symposium*

Wednesday 21 October, 12.30pm

Join us for the Sing Joyfully Symposium panel discussion.
Our special guests, drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds including education, singers, choral leaders, festival directors and medical practitioners, will discuss the implications of current guidelines in relation to Covid-19 and share their experiences of the many creative ways they have continued to Sing Joyfully!  Sign up here


DerryChoirFest Podcast Series

Various dates/times from 21-25 October


A five-part podcast series featuring special guests, including renowned choral directors Ragnar Rasmussen (Norway) and Josep Vila i Casañas (Catalonia), local community choir director Siobhan Heaney, and contributions from Sing Ireland and the Contemporary Music Centre.

Listen here

DerryChoirFest Playback Series

Various dates/times from 21-25 October 


An exclusive mini-series featuring brand new festival footage through the years. Relive highlights from guest artists, international choirs, youth and community singing, from the inaugural festival in the 2013 City of Culture year, to the seventh edition in 2019.

  • Lotter Funded arts council of Northern Ireland
  • Derry City and Strabane District Council
  • Inner City Trust
  • arts council of Northern Ireland
  • Caldwell & Robinson
  • Allstate
  • FinTru
  • Ulster University
  • Sing Ireland
  • Contemporary Music Centre
  • CFN