Cork is alive with the sound of music with Choral Festival in full swing

Thousands of choral enthusiasts flocked to the city on Thursday for the annual festival, which is running until May 1.
Cork is alive with the sound of music with Choral Festival in full swing

Schools performing group Sentinel seen on stage on the opening day of the Cork International Choral Festival in City Hall Cork. Picture: Howard Crowdy

THE 67th Cork International Choral Festival is in full swing, with an array of events planned for Cork City and county this weekend.

Thousands of choral enthusiasts flocked to the city on Thursday for the annual festival, which is running until May 1. A packed programme of events is on offer for the rest of the festival, including gala concerts and a new fringe festival in Cobh.

A conducting course will take place at Cork City Hall from 9.30am to 12.30pm today [Friday], while Chamber Choir Ireland, under the baton of conductor Paul Hillier, will perform at St Finbarre’s Cathedral at 7.30pm.

A particular highlight of the festival each year is The Big Sing event, which is taking place at 4.15pm on Saturday at Cork City Hall.

“During this fun participative public event, singers of all ages and levels of experience are invited along to be part of the largest choir of the festival, ensuring that everybody is given the opportunity to exercise their vocal chords,” organisers said.

“You do not need to be able to sing. No preparation is necessary and music and lyrics will be handed out on the day.”

At 8pm on Saturday, The Fleischmann International Gala Concert will take place at Cork City Hall, offering audiences the opportunity to hear some of the world’s top amateur choirs competing for one of the most prestigious choral prizes in Europe.

City Hall will also host the festival’s Closing Gala Concert, where international choirs will each present a choral music representative for a celebratory final concert at 8pm on Sunday.

Other competitions, fringe concerts, workshops, and free public performances will also take place throughout the city and county, including a concert at the Sirius Art Centre at 1.10pm today and a pop-up choral trail in Cobh from 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.

“There should certainly be a song for everyone over the May bank holiday weekend,” said festival director Peter Stobart.

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