23 - 27 October 2024


A series of lively conversations on all things choral.

Festival 2021

Wednesday 20 October, 15:00
Contemporary Music Centre – In this special episode of the Contemporary Music Centre’s #amplify podcast series, we hear from two composers with two brand new pieces for this year’s festival. Elaine Agnew on her new work Remarkable, created in response to stories shared during different stages of the pandemic, and Eoghan Desmond on his piece for choir and solo cello, celebrating the life and legacy of Colmcille.

Friday 22 October, 15:00
Nigel Short – Nigel Short, director of award-winning choir Tenebrae on how passion and precision are key to the creation of their unique sound and why there was no doubt that Francis Poulenc’s masterpiece Figure humaine would form the centrepiece of their 20th anniversary programme at this year’s festival.

Saturday 23 October, 15:00
Chanticleer – From Fauré to Des’ree, it’s all in a day’s work for Chanticleer’s Tim Keeler (Music Director) and Gerrod Pagenkopf (countertenor and Assistant Music Director). In this podcast, they discuss the inner workings of a world-class vocal ensemble and reveal what viewers can look forward to in their beautiful concert film, After a Dream.

Sunday 24 October, 15:00
Men, Singing and Mental Well-Being – Men sing. In football stadiums, certainly. In the shower, too. But why do so many choirs struggle to find male singers? And how can we encourage more men to enjoy the benefits to health and well-being that group singing brings? Lorcan Doherty asks three men for their thoughts: Martin White, a member of local mixed voice choir Doire Calgach Singers; Chris Samuel, who conducts the Magnificent AK47, the self-described ‘singing blokes of Ashton Keynes’; and Michael Lynch, from the Men’s Action Network, which supports and promotes the health and wellbeing of men in the northwest of Ireland.


Festival 2020

These podcasts are still available to listen to and enjoy!

Ragnar Rasmussen
Conductor and composer Ragnar Rasmussen chats to festival Artistic Director Dónal Doherty about growing up in an Arctic community, discovering the paradise of practice rooms, and retaining a child-like curiosity for all things musical throughout his life. Ragnar was Chair of the Adjudication Panel from 2013 to 2015 and has twice brought the chamber choir Utopia & Reality to perform in Derry. He is Professor of conducting at the NTNU in Trondheim.

Josep Vila i Casañas
Conductor Josep Vila i Casañas chats to Lorcan Doherty about his life and work as an educator, choir director and composer. They look back on Josep’s many visits to Derry and his recent experience conducting the World Youth Choir. Josep was Chair of the festival’s Adjudication Panel from 2017 to 2019. He is currently conductor of the Cor Lieder Càmera and teaches choir conducting at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Contemporary Music Centre: amplify #27 – Seán Doherty and Orla Flanagan
Derry-born composer Seán Doherty talks to Evonne Ferguson about his background in choral singing and composing for choir, and conductor Orla Flanagan talks to Jonathan Grimes about her work with the Mornington Singers and Irish composers. This is episode 27 of CMC’s podcast ‘amplify’. Check out the full list of all the music featured in this episode: https://www.cmc.ie/amplify/episode-27

Siobhan Heaney
A conversation with Siobhan Heaney, who came late to choral singing but has since been making up for lost time. Siobhan is the conductor of four choirs in her hometown of Derry and the founder of SingTonicity, a method of looking after your health and wellbeing through the use of your breath, voice and sound. In 2019 Siobhan was awarded the Derry City and Strabane District Council Award for outstanding contribution to the choir festival.

Sing Ireland
Sing Ireland explores the many health and well-being benefits of group singing, as well as the current research on group singing during the pandemic. Dermot O’Callaghan of Sing Ireland is joined by Ailbhe Kenny of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Martin Ashley of the Association of British Choral Directors, and Sophie Lee, a music and health researcher and practitioner.