18 - 22 October 2023

Programme of Events

Our 10th Festival ran from Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 October 2022 and featured a brilliant line-up of concerts, competitions, workshops, choral trails, pub trails and more!

Scroll down for all details…

Come and sing with Phil Coulter

Saturday 8 October, Ebrington Square, 14:00

To celebrate the legendary Phil Coulter’s 80th birthday year and his contribution to music on a global scale, we invited YOU to join us for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sing the iconic The Town I Love So Well with Phil himself. The momentous and historic performance was recorded for broadcast online as part of the 10th City of Derry International Choir Festival. Kindly sponsored by Allstate NI.

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Carmina Burana

Wednesday 19 October, Millennium Forum, 7.30pm


The City of Derry International Choir Festival opened with a spectacular concert performance of the epic Carmina Burana.

The 100-voice Festival Chorus (made up of singers from across the northwest) were joined by Northern Ireland’s premier symphony orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, for the opening gala performance of the annual choral festival.

Soloists for the well-known and much-loved Carmina Burana included Derry’s own operatic sensation, Laura Sheerin, internationally-renowned tenor Benito Rodriguez and rising star baritone Omar Lara, from the Opera Studio Beckmann in Mexico, all under the baton of esteemed conductor Gabriel Bebeşelea.

This concert will also featured the WORLD PREMIERE of a brand new work by Dumbworld’s Brian Irvine and John McIlduff entitled A New Topography of Love, Part 3 The Singing Stopped. Performed by Festival Singers, Festival Chorus and Ulster Orchestra.

Polish Radio Choir

Thursday 20 October, Guildhall, 7.30pm


A very special choral treat with the world-class Polish Radio Choir in the beautiful surroundings of the Guildhall as part of the tenth City of Derry International Choir Festival.

This stunning choral ensemble presented a unique concert of contemporary compositions by some of Poland’s most outstanding and renowned composers, set to the poetry of some of the most influential and revered Polish Romantics, in this historic ‘Year of Polish Romanticism’.

For the past 70 years, the artistic achievements of the Polish Radio Choir have earned it a firm place among the most distinguished vocal ensembles in Poland.


Friday 21 October, Millennium Forum, 7.30pm


The Finnish word Rajaton translates as “boundless” – accurately describing this six-voice a cappella phenomenon’s approach to music.

In 2022, Rajaton were celebrating 25 years of music-making together, and as part of the 10th City of Derry International Choir Festival, they performed in Derry for the first time with an exciting mix of musical styles, ranging from pop to jazz to classical music.

The inspirational ensemble’s deep passion for choral music and sheer enjoyment of singing has won the hearts and acclaim of audiences and critics worldwide, and Derry was no different. Their energy – infectious; their ability to entertain and inspire – boundless!

Duruflé Requiem

Friday 21 October, St. Eugene's Cathedral, 10pm


The award-winning, internationally-renowned Derry chamber choir Codetta gave a stunning late-night performance of Duruflé’s magnificent Requiem.

Codetta were joined by members of the Opera Studio Beckmann (Mexico), conducted by Artistic Director of the Festival, Dónal Doherty, and accompanied on organ by Tim Allen.

Retiring collection donated to the Creeslough Fund.

International Competition

Saturday 22 October, Guildhall, 8pm


The highlight event of the festival saw five of the finest International Choirs compete to be crowned winner of the prestigious 2022 Oak Tree of Derry International Competition.

Adjudicated by a panel of renowned choral directors from across Europe, each choir presented a diverse programme of music featuring a piece from the choir’s native country, as well as a work by a composer from Ireland.

The winning choir was Eller Girls’ Choir, Estonia (conductor Külli Lokko)

Closing Gala Concert

Sunday 23 October, Millennium Forum, 8pm


This celebratory concert brought the tenth City of Derry International Choir Festival to a close with performances from each of the international competitors, the announcement of special awards, and the top prize of the festival; winners of the 2022 Oak Tree of Derry International Competition.

  • Lottery Funded arts council of Northern Ireland
  • Derry City and Strabane District Council
  • Arts and Business NI
  • Enkalon Foundation
  • Allstate
  • Alchemy
  • Tourism NI
  • Citi
  • Caldwell & Robinson
  • City Hotel Derry
  • McGuinness Properties
  • FinTru
  • Bishops Gate Hotel Derry
  • Contemporary Music Centre
  • Sing Ireland
  • Ulster University
  • CFN