Over sixty choirs from across Ireland, the UK and Europe have signed up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of City of Derry International Choir Festival. Five days of choral singing events are scheduled in the Millennium Forum, the Guildhall and other venues in Derry, Strabane and Inishowen from 18-22 October 2023.
National competitions will take place over the weekend of the Festival at the Millennium Forum, featuring choirs from around Ireland competing in a range of different categories from Light, Pop and Jazz to Sacred and Gospel. Winning choirs will return to the stage on Sunday for the final competitive event and top National prize, the National Choir of the Festival Competition, which will run for its second year after the success of the inaugural edition in 2022.
School engagement will take another step forward in 2023, with a strong entry in the secondary schools’ competitions. On Friday, participating school choirs from the Derry and Strabane area will compete alongside visiting schools in the Festival’s two post-primary categories. Younger children will get their chance to take part on Thursday morning, as primary schools from Derry, Strabane and Donegal come to the Millennium Forum for the Primary Big Sing workshop.
In 2023 Festival’s non-competitive programme promises to be bigger than ever. Throughout the week, locals from Derry, Strabane and Donegal can enjoy a series of free community concerts and pop-up events, as the Festival’s visiting choirs join singers from the thriving local choral community to perform in venues throughout the city and local area.
Dónal Doherty, Artistic Director of the Choir Festival, said, “There’s real excitement in the festival office with the arrival of so many entries for our 10th Anniversary Festival. What a way to celebrate the journey that both the city and festival have made since 2013, as hundreds of singers warm up for their participation in an exciting celebration of song in locations throughout the beautiful City of Derry and the North-West region.”