18 - 22 October 2023

Programme of Events

Our 10th Anniversary Festival will run from Wednesday 18 to Sunday 22 October 2023, featuring a brilliant line-up of concerts, competitions, workshops, choral trails, pub trails and more!

Tickets are now on sale for Gala Concerts and the Oak Tree of Derry International Competition. See below for full details, and keep an eye on our social media and newsletter for all the latest updates on the 2023 Festival’s fantastic programme.

The Verdi Requiem

Wednesday 18th October, The Millennium Forum, 7.30pm

The City of Derry International Choir Festival is back for its 10th anniversary, and will open 5 days of celebrations with a concert performance of the dramatic Messa da Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi. 

The 100-voice Festival Chorus (made up of singers from across the northwest) will be joined by Northern Ireland’s premier symphony orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, under the baton of esteemed Uruguayan conductor Carlos Kalmar for this opening gala performance of the annual choral festival.

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Derry Girls Big Sing

Thursday 19 October, Guildhall Square, 6pm

We’re inviting the people of the city and surrounding district to come along to the Guildhall Hall Square on Thursday 19 October, to take part in a massed choir performance of ‘Dreams’ by the Cranberries, one of the many iconic tunes associated with the series.

In Episode 6 of Series 2, excitement in Derry is at fever pitch for President Bill Clinton’s visit to the city – this is the atmosphere that we hope to capture when hundreds of singers, led by Derry girls and Derry boys from eight local post-primary schools, all combine in a beautiful arrangement of this theme song, arranged for strings and voices by Derry composer and arranger, Michael Doherty.

Join us in a packed Guildhall Square as we proclaim together ‘I am a Derry girl!’ – the perfect way to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the City of Derry International Choir Festival.

The Sixteen

Friday 20th October, The Guildhall, 7.30pm

One of the world’s most renowned choral ensembles returns to the Guildhall in 2023 as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of City of Derry International Choir Festival. 

The Sixteen will present their programme, A Watchful Gaze, marking the 400th anniversary of the death of composer William Byrd. Byrd was widely admired in his own time both at home and abroad, and the influence he had on future generations was immense. This programme explores the music of Byrd’s influences, colleagues and pervading faith, as well as taking his legacy firmly into the modern day with two new works by Dobrinka Tabakova.

“As time goes by, I find Harry Christophers’ music-making more and more captivating”

BBC Radio 3

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International Competition

Saturday 21st October, The Guildhall, 7.30pm

The highlight of the City of Derry International Choir Festival will see seven of the finest international choirs compete to be crowned winner of the prestigious Oak Tree of Derry International Competition.

Adjudicated by a panel of renowned choral directors from around the world, each choir will present a diverse programme of music featuring works from before the year 1750, a piece from the choir’s native country, as well as a work by a composer from Ireland. The winning choir will be announced at the Closing Gala Concert and Awards Ceremony on Sunday 22 October.

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Closing Gala

Sunday 22nd October, The Millennium Forum, 7.30pm

The 10th anniversary celebrations of City of Derry International Choir Festival are brought to a close with a gala concert featuring performances from each of this year’s international competitors, as well as a world premiere performance of a brand new piece performed by Derry chamber choir, Codetta.

The Festival’s final award ceremony will follow the performances, including the announcement of special awards and the winner of the Festival’s top international prize, the Oak Tree of Derry trophy.

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