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21st - 25th October 2015

3rd Edition


Take Part

Sing Joyfully! International Choral Symposium

The 2014 festival has introduced an additional day to the already jam-packed programme of events taking place between 23rd – 26th October. On Wednesday 22nd October the festival will hold its first International Choral Symposium, inviting choral directors, trainers and facilitators to a series of presentations, panel discussions and educational workshops presented by Harry Christophers (The Sixteen), Ragnar Rasmussen (Professor of Conducting in Tromsø University, Norway) and other internationally-renowned choral educators.

The aim of this one-day symposium is to bring together a distinguished international panel of choral directors and leaders to discuss the importance of choral singing and to explore the different approaches used in relation to encouraging access, ensuring skills development and providing an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all.

Schedule of Events
Wednesday 22nd October, St. Columb’s Hall

09.15: Registration
09.45: Welcome with performance by Holy Family Primary School Choir, conducted by Claire Doherty

10.00: Session 1 – ‘Music is the universal language’ – Longfellow
A glimpse into the choral singing and conducting education programmes of England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Norway. Presentations by Harry Christophers (Genesis Sixteen), Shane Farrell (Ulster Youth Choir), Christopher Bell (National Youth Choir of Scotland) and more. Followed by Q&A session.

11.30: Tea/Coffee

12.00: Session 2 – ‘If I cannot fly, let me sing’ – Stephen Sondheim
Official launch of the Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland’s Choral Catalogue for Mixed Voices. This curated catalogue represents a selection of choral works by Irish composers and will be launched with performances by guest chamber choir Utopia & Reality, conducted by Ragnar Rasmussen.

This session opens with a performance by Loreto Grammar School Choir, Omagh conducted by Gerard Bradley

13.00: LUNCH

14.00: Session 3 – ‘We are the music makers’ – Arthur O Shaughnessy
A practical workshop inviting aspiring choral conductors to work with guest demonstration choir Utopia & Reality to develop their conducting skills under the guidance of Ragnar Rasmussen, Professor of Conducting in Tromsø University, Norway.

16.30: Closing Comments


The festival welcomes applications to take part in session 3 of the choral symposium. Participation is open to choral conductors of any level and no preparation is required in advance of the session.

Those wishing to attend the event as observers, without participating, are also asked to complete the short application form for registration.

Participation and attendance is free of charge.

There are two ways to apply for the Sing Joyfully! International Choral Symposium

1. Complete an online application by clicking here.

2. Download and fill out the Symposium Form 2014 and return to:

City of Derry International Choral Festival
Magazine Studios, Nerve Centre
7-8 Magazine Street
Derry, BT48 6HJ

or email your completed form to

Applications are to be submitted no later than Friday 26th September 2014.