Mayo is set to soar to the sounds of more than 1,000 choristers who are converging in the county from May 21 to 24 for the Mayo International Choral Festival.
Now in its fourth year, the festival will bring a sizeable influx of visitors, and represents 1,475 bed nights for the local hospitality sector, according to the organisers.
This year’s festival includes five community concerts in Ballintubber, Ballina, Newport and Swinford on Friday May 22 and in Westport on Sunday May 24.
Organisers have also planned a string of outdoor street performances at various locations throughout the weekend.
Altogether, 37 international, national and regional choirs will sing over the weekend.
The choirs will compete for prizes in their category on Saturday May 23 at the adjudication rounds in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, while a gala choral concert at the same venue that evening will be the highlight of the weekend.
At the conclusion of the concert, well in excess of 700 festival singers are expected to raise their voices in song together to bring the show to a rapturous close.
The Mayo International Choral Festival, which is supported by Mayo County Council and Failte Ireland, is the only countywide choral festival of its kind in Ireland.
The festival was founded in 2011 by choral enthusiast Eamonn Horkan.
International choirs at this year’s event include the Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir, the English Chamber Singers, Voz Nua from Portugal, and the Oban Gaelic Choir from Scotland.
On Sunday May 24, the choirs will gather on the shore of Lough Lannagh, Castlebar, to sing in the day with a dawn chorus.
For full details about venues, times, concerts, workshops and tickets, see the advertisement in this paper or visit www.mayochoral.com Alternatively find the festival on Facebook at MayoChoral.