Mayo sings this weekend

Over 1,000 singers will take part in the second Mayo International Choral Festival which started last night Thursday, May 23 and runs to Sunday May 26. Expect to hear singing from many genres, including jazz, pop, folk, barbershop, sacred, and some yet to be defined. Mayo will be the mecca for all music lovers. The second festival will take the form of over 40 male and female international, national and local Mayo choirs participating on a competitive and non-competitive basis.

The event will include a number of evening and daily countywide performances, as well as competitions and workshops.

Choirs from Mayo, the Mayo Lions clubs and local community groups will assist with the co-ordination of the concerts, and visiting choirs. International choirs include: from the US: The University of New Hampshire Touring Ensembles, from England: The Reading Male Voice Choir; from Wales: Cantorion Colin Jones; from Germany: Hendsemer Krischer; and from Scotland: The Oban Gaelic Choir.

There is a great representation from around Ireland including last year’s festival winners Enchiriadis, back to defend their honour. Seven community concerts will take place all over the county, with local and visiting choirs performing at each. The festival opened last night Thursday, May 23 in the Castlecourt Hotel and continues across Mayo in venues in Ballina, Ballinrobe, Ballintubber, Killala, Newport, Castlebar and Swinford over the weekend. On Saturday, the adjudication of the choirs will take place in Castlebar and, weather permitting, the choirs will put on short performances outdoors and also at the Mayo Peace Park in the town. On Saturday night at 8.30pm, the Gala Concert will take place in the Royal Theatre, while on Sunday, everyone is invited to the Dawn Chorus, which will take place in the Lough Lannagh car park in Castlebar at 8am and the new bridge in Ballina at 5.15am. Tickets for the gala concert are now on sale from the Royal Theatre, Castlebar. www.royal.ie

The festival officeis located at the front entrance to the Royal Theatre, Castlebar. For more info see www.mayochoral.com

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