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The clock is ticking down to the second edition of the City of Derry International Choral Festival this October and organisers are now welcoming applications to participate in a practical conducting workshop as part of the festival’s choral symposium activities.

A new addition to this year’s festival, the Sing Joyfully! International Choral Symposium will take place on Wednesday, 22 October, in association with the School of Creative Arts, University of Ulster.

ThE one-day symposium will bring together a distinguished international panel of choral directors and leaders to discuss the importance of choral singing, and to explore different approaches to encouraging access, developing skills and providing an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

The symposium will take place in St. Columb’s Hall and will feature: presentations by Christopher Bell (National Youth Choir of Scotland), Shane Farrell (Ulster Youth Choir, N. Ireland), Harry Christophers (The Sixteen) and more; the launch of the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland’s newest Choral Catalogue for Mixed Voices; and performances by local primary and post-primary schools and Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir, Norway.

The day will conclude with a practical workshop led by the Chair of the Adjudication Panel, Ragnar Rasmussen, Professor of Conducting in Tromsø University, Norway. This session will focus on the importance of gesture in conducting, with practical demonstrations by Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir. Applications are now open for participation, and the workshop is open to conductors of any level and any musical style. No advanced preparation is required and participation is free of charge.

Dónal Doherty, Artistic Director of the festival, he was “absolutely delighted” to be able to include the “very significant educational development” of an International Choral Symposium as part of this year’s festival.

He added: “We have managed to engage a most impressive international panel of contributors, as well as one of the most outstanding chamber choirs in Europe.

‘This is a must-see event for anyone interested in choral music.”

For more information on the schedule of events and to download the application form, visit

The deadline for applications is Friday, 26 September 2014.

Those wishing to attend as an observer only are welcome and are also asked to complete the short application form for registration.

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