Singing to the shores at choral festival launch

Part of the fifty five-strong choir, Michael Feeney and Lar Davis relax on the Corrib cruiser, after helping to sing-in the 2017 Mayo International Choral Festival on Lough Corrib. More details on www.mayochoral.com. Photo: ALISON LAREDO

Part of the fifty five-strong choir, Michael Feeney and Lar Davis relax on the Corrib cruiser, after helping to sing-in the 2017 Mayo International Choral Festival on Lough Corrib. More details on www.mayochoral.com. Photo: ALISON LAREDO

The beautiful Lough Corrib and Inchagoill Island was the setting for the launch of the 2017 Mayo International Choral Festival. Last Saturday saw some 50 members of different Mayo choirs take to the waters of Lough Corrib to sing-in the sixth festival. The atmosphere on the day was one of relaxation, fun, and a sense of adventure.

For many, it was the first time onboard the Corrib Cruises craft – an 80 seater purpose built cruising boat operating daily from Cong village. The day included a guided tour of the lake and of Inchogill Island – a most beautiful and serene place and home to many ancient monuments. A work scheme has been ongoing on the island in recent years and many overgrown paths and ruins have been rediscovered.

The day was filled with song and there were representatives from Ballyhaunis Church Choir, Castlebar Gospel Choir, Castlebar Musical Society, Cong Church Choir, Cor Mhaigh Eo, Gracenotes, Kiltimagh Choral Society, Mayo Male Voice Choir, Rocks n’ Roses Choir, Sligo Male Voice Choir, and the Westport Singers.

Edward Horkan, festival chairman, praised and thanked all involved for making the day such a success. The festival director Declan Durcan also praised the various businesses which had subsidised the costs of services on the day to make the trip so affordable - in particular Corrib Cruises, Hilda and Luke Kavanagh Coach Hire, and Ryan’s Hotel in Cong.

The festival takes place at the end of May each year, and has become in only a very short time one of the most popular choral festivals in Ireland, and has attracted choirs from Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Norway, Portugal, USA, and Wales. The festival has now become a contact point for choirs which are touring outside of the festival dates and the festival has hosted many concerts for international choirs with local choirs. Cor Meibion Penybontfawr, a male voice choir from Wales, will visit in October, and a concert is currently being organised in Mayo, for Saturday October 22, more details soon to be announced.

The festival next year will run from May 24 to 28, and the closing date for entries for choirs is December 31, all events are open to a public audience, for further details contact Declan Durcan on (094 ) 9 23040 or visit www.mayochoral.com

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