A look at the highlights of the City of Derry International Choir Festival

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With a truly unparalleled program of events, Derry City International Choir Festival returns for its biggest year yet, bringing the city to life for a celebration of music in all its forms.

Celebrating its successful ninth year, the festival will feature a mix of digital and in-person events as the festival once again features a variety of performances at venues across the city.

The sensational lineup includes performances by Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer, critically acclaimed vocal ensemble Tenebrae, as well as the return of award-winning Derry chamber choir Codetta.

Find more information on events and ticket reservations here.

Here are some of the highlights that people can expect:



City of Derry International Choir Festival: The Voyage Opening Gala Concert, Wednesday October 20, 2021, 7:30 p.m. at the Millennium Forum
  • Opening concert: The trip , Wednesday 20 October 2021, 7:30 p.m. at the Millennium Forum

Audience members will enjoy a performance of the deeply emotional Bob Chilcott film The trip as well as the first-ever live performance of a new work by County Antrim composer Elaine Agnew titled Remarkable, performed by the Arts Care Choir (Armagh), Codetta and the Ulster Orchestra.

  • The road home, Thursday October 21, 9 p.m. at the long tower of St. Columba Church

Sure to be one of the highlights of the City of Derry International Choir Festival, Thursday night will see the return of Derry Codetta’s award-winning chamber choir with Derry cellist Kim Vaughan as they perform the magnificent piece by Stephen Paulus. The road home .



Tenebrae, Friday, October 22, 7:30 p.m. at St. Columb’s Cathedral as part of the Derry City International Choir Festival
  • Darkness, Friday October 22, 7:30 p.m. at Saint-Colomb Cathedral

Described as “phenomenal” by the Times, award-winning Tenebrae choir returns for a live performance in St Columb’s Cathedral. Under the direction of Nigel Short, the choir is recognized as one of the best vocal ensembles in the world acclaimed for its passion and precision.



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  • Oak Tree of Derry concert, Friday October 22

Following a successful uniquely online festival last year that generated an unprecedented 250,000 views worldwide, this year will feature a synchronized mix of in-person and virtual events across the city as part of a immersive program of live and digital concerts.

Viewers will have the chance to relive the performances of previous Oak Tree of Derry Trophy winners with choirs from Estonia, Indonesia, Ireland and many more.



The City of Derry International Choir Festival’s Let’s Just Sing community event, Saturday 23 October at 4:30 p.m. at the Foyle Arena

Siobhan Heaney will be joined by a selection of the best-known community choir directors to lead this year’s community event. The event is an opportunity for singers of all skill levels and backgrounds to come together and sing well-known songs, including Support me and Something inside so strong.



Chanticleer, Saturday 23 October, 8 p.m. as part of the City of Derry International Choir Festival

The Grammy Award-winning American a cappella ensemble Chanticleer, described as the “reigning male choir in the world” by the New Yorker and known worldwide as the “orchestra of voices”, debuts at the City of Derry International Choir Festival with a tailor-made virtual concert.

  • Hymns of Remembrance and Hope, Saturday 23 October, 9 p.m. at Saint-Eugène Cathedral

This special hymn service at Saint Eugene Cathedral aims to reflect on what our communities have gone through since March 2020 as they come together to sing as a congregation.

Representatives from the city’s churches will guide us in prayer and song as we commemorate those who died during the pandemic, honor the dedication of frontline workers and the resilience of our own communities, and look forward to our recovery and our awakening. All are welcome, capacity limited.

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