18 - 22 October 2023

Reawakening Voices Community Programme

The Community Forum

Saturday 23 October, Zoom, 10am

New to the Festival in 2021, The Community Forum was an online panel discussion dedicated to community singing. In this event, we brought together local community choir leaders with healthcare professionals to discuss the theme of Recovery - how choirs could play a key role in helping our communities to recover from the many lasting consequences (on our society, and on our health and wellbeing) of the pandemic.

Our panel included choir directors who have a focus on using music and singing to help people cope, whether it’s with learning disabilities, cancer, mental health problems, or children living with the Donegal Mica crisis: Siobhan Heaney (Momentum, Pink Ladies, NW Cancer Centre Choir, Song for the Soul and Sing Tonicity), Margarette McNamee (Tuned In, Local Vocal and St. Eugene’s Cathedral Folk Group) and Bernie Doherty (The Music Box, Buncrana).

Our healthcare panellists were Dr. Emma O Brien (Head of Music Therapy at Royal Melbourne Hospital and leader of the Scrubs Choir), Bronagh Cooper (SPRING Social Prescribing Coordinator, Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum) and Joe McEvoy (Derry GP).

Let's Just Sing!

Saturday 23 October, Foyle Arena, 4.30pm

This event was open to singers of all levels who missed singing with others in their choirs during the pandemic, or had always wanted to join a choir, but never had the opportunity, or the confidence. 

Led by some of the Festival’s best known community choir leaders, including Siobhan Heaney (Momentum, Pink Ladies, NW Cancer Centre Choir, Song for the Soul and Sing Tonicity). Singers didn't need to prepare anything, they just came along and joined in with the workshop, singing well-known songs together, including Stand by MeSomething Inside So Strong and Sing A Song.


Hymns of Remembrance and Hope

Saturday 23 October, St. Eugene's Cathedral, 9pm

In this special hymn service at St. Eugene's Cathedral we reflected on what our communities had come through since March 2020 by joining together to sing as a congregation. 

Representatives from the city's churches will led us in prayer as we commemorated those who had died during the pandemic, honoured the dedication of front line workers and the resilience of our own communities, and looked forward with hope to our recovery and reawakening. 

Choral Trails

22 - 24 October, Various Venues

Fri 22 Oct
10:00: Tuned In, Ardnashee/Playtrail
14:00: Pink Ladies, Foyleside Shopping Centre

Sat 23 Oct
11:00: Codetta & Kim Vaughan, St. Columb’s Cathedral
11:30: Mood Swings, The Sandwich Co.
13:00: Mood Swings, City Walls – Echo Echo
14:00: Momentum Community Choir, Sainsbury’s
15:20: Momentum Community Choir, Northwest Transport Hub

Sun 24 Oct
11:50: Inishowen Gospel Choir, City Walls - St Augustine's
13:20: Inishowen Gospel Choir, Northwest Transport Hub

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