Choral delights in store as international festival arrives

The Morehead State University Choir from the US are coming to Mayo for the festival.

The Morehead State University Choir from the US are coming to Mayo for the festival.

More than 1,000 singers will be on song in Mayo next week for the International Choral Festival.

Thirty-five male and female international, national, and local choirs will be singing across all genres, from jazz, pop and folk to barbershop, sacred and gospel, at venues across the county over four days, from Thursday May 15 to Sunday May 18.

Six community concerts in all will take place, with local and visiting choirs performing at each.

The festival’s opening concert takes place on Thursday in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Westport.

On Friday, choirs and guest artists will perform at concerts in Ballina, Ballintubber, Claremorris, and Swinford.

The competitions start on Saturday and are open to the public.

In between the competitions, the choirs will be taking to the streets of the county town for some outdoor performances as part of the SongWay Choral Trail, including a performance at the Mayo Peace Park in Castlebar, weather permitting.

Saturday will see many of the prize-winning choirs perform at a gala choral concert in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, during which the premier competition of the festival will also be held.

The gala event will conclude the highlight of the festival - an en masse performance of all the participating choristers onstage. In years past, this has seen 700 singers performing together.

On Sunday everyone is invited to sing at the Dawn Chorus at Lough Lannagh carpark, Castlebar, at 8am.

The festival is supported by Mayo County Council, Discoverireland.ie, Failte Ireland, and LEADER through the South West Mayo Development Company.

For more information, visit www.mayochoral.com or follow the festival on Facebook at MayoChoral.

The festival office opens on May 13 at the front entrance of the Royal Theatre, Castlebar.

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