Guest artists, virtual choirs and familiar faces at the 2020 City of Derry International Choir Festival

The City of Derry International Choir Festival recently announced exciting plans for an online edition this October, 21-25, featuring an exclusive concert by guest artists Tenebrae, a massed sing of Danny Boy conducted by world-renowned composer/conductor Bob Chilcott, and a virtual Choral Trail featuring performances from choirs across the globe.

In addition to the already top-quality programme, the festival will include a second exclusive filmed concert by leading Irish a cappella ensemble Ardú. Founded by Derry man Ciarán Kelly and based in Dublin, the award-winning group specialize in arranging well-known popular music for six voices, creating funky beats, rhythms, melody and harmony with only their voices. The performance will take place in the spectacular surroundings of The Glassworks, Derry, and will be free to view on the festival’s social media channels and website.

Furthermore, festival organisers have announced a school choir project as part of their programme of events this autumn, featuring 10 post-primary schools from Derry, Strabane, Omagh and Donegal. Representatives from each school will take part in a virtual choral performance of the much-loved Over the Rainbow, which will be premiered on the opening night of the festival, Wednesday 21 October.

Familiar faces feature in a short mini-series of programmes, commissioned for daily broadcasts during festival week, that dive into the archive of the last seven years of guest artists, international choirs, youth and community singing, from the inaugural festival in 2013’s City of Culture year to 2019’s seventh edition of the festival.

Festival Director Dónal Doherty says, “In a time of social distancing and isolation for so many, we have never felt such a strong desire from our many contributors and participants to feel connected through music. Friends from our previous seven festivals will be joined by many new friends from all over the world to help us create a truly memorable celebration of song for Festival 2020. We look forward to welcoming you to the party!” Further programme information and details of how to participate in the 2020 festival at