Outstanding international entries have been confirmed for the tenth anniversary edition of City of Derry International Choir Festival. Between 18-22 October 2023, choirs from around the world will travel to the city to compete for the Festival’s International prize, and to bring their song to local communities throughout Derry, Strabane and Donegal.
On Saturday 21 October choirs from Norway, Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Ireland will perform for an international panel of adjudicators in Derry’s Guildhall, as they compete for the Oak Tree of Derry trophy, the Festival’s top International prize. The competing choirs can also be heard at the Festival’s Closing Gala in the Millenium Forum on Sunday 22nd. Tickets will be on sale for both events in the summer.
Derry Choir Festival has grown in stature since the International prize was first awarded in 2013, and is now a major attraction on the global circuit for the world’s top competitive choirs. The Festival offers a unique experience for singers, due to the prestige of the competition and the vibrant life and beauty of the city. Previous winners of the Oak Tree of Derry trophy have travelled from Estonia, Slovenia, Wales and Indonesia.
The visiting choirs will also be singing in a programme of free community events throughout Festival week, as they take their songs out into the city. The Festival’s busy schedule of community concerts and pop-up choral trail performances attract local audiences in their thousands each year, bringing visiting groups and local choirs together to perform throughout Derry City and the neighbouring towns of Strabane, Buncrana, Muff and Eglinton. In 2023 visiting non-competitive choirs from the Netherlands and students from the University of Monterrey and the Beckman Foundation in Mexico, will join the International competitors to take part in this community programme.
Artistic Director, Dónal Doherty, said “There is already a sense of something special about this year’s 10th Anniversary celebrations of this great festival. It’s wonderful to look back on the fantastic programme of events in the City of Culture year of 2013, but it’s even more exciting to look forward to what we’ve planned for October 2023, to recognise how the city has developed over the past ten years and to celebrate that progress with thousands of singers from near and far. Keep an eye out for all the programme announcements over the coming months – you won’t want to miss a bar!”