The bright, warm and long evenings during the month of May are very much on the minds of choirs from Athlone and the Midlands region this month as they prepare their entry applications for the Mayo International Choral Festival.
The festival takes the form of visiting and local choirs participating in concerts all over Mayo, as well as ‘pop-up’ choir performances on the streets and in public buildings, covering many genres of singing, including acappella, barbershop, Gaelic and Celtic language, gospel, musicals, pop and sacred music.
Many of the choirs also take part in competitions, judged by a panel of renowned international adjudicators and all events, including the competitions, are open to a public audience. Choirs who have participated previously list as their highlights the fantastic historic venues with great acoustics that are peppered all over Mayo, the friendliness of the local people, the stunning scenery, the efficient organisation, the relaxed atmosphere and the highly entertaining Gala Choral concert on the Saturday evening. Choirs also benefit by getting to hear and enjoy other choirs singing over the few days. Participants also enjoy the many fine restaurants, pubs and great value quality accommodation in Mayo.
Ahead of the eight running of the popular choral festival, Festival Producer, Declan Durcan, commented, “last year was incredible with over 1,600 singers taking part - we are now coming into our eighth year and the huge groundswell of support from participating choirs and our hundreds of volunteers and sponsors has resulted in a festival that continues to blossom and now has International recognition. It is also one of the premier choral festivals in Ireland. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead. In addition to May, the festival organisation has become the point of contact for international music groups touring Europe so much so that a choir from the USA and also two American orchestras will visit Mayo outside of the festival dates later this year.”
The entry deadline for choirs from the island of Ireland is today, Thursday, January 31, so entry urgency is of the essence!