Limerick gears up to welcome singers for choral festival

Fifth annual Limerick Sings International Choral Festival returns this June

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Limerick gears up to welcome singers for choral festival

Deputy Mayor Noel Gleeson (centre) with Gillian Costelloe, left and UCH director Sinead Hope, right with members of Anúna vocal group launching Limerick Sings Picture: Sean Curtin/True Media

A BIG Sing on the Cliffs of Moher featuring upwards of 150 choristers is firm example of a Limerick festival spreading its roots around the region.

The fifth annual Limerick Sings International Choral Festival returns this June for four days, featuring over two hundred American choristers joining local and national choirs for a wonderful weekend of singing.

The non-competitive festival is the brainchild of Campus Life Services in UL and the University Concert Hall and aims to present a variety of choral performances and events throughout the city and county – and on the mighty Cliffs of Moher.

Sinead Hope, director of the UCH, says the interest in choral singing “has grown” and the organisers are already planning the 2018 festival before this year’s event starts on June 22.

“There are so many new choirs popping up and there are a lot of choral festivals and there is obviously a huge contingent of choral competitions in Ireland,” she explained.

“Part of our idea in starting this was, yes, there are great choral competitions out there, but it is nice to give choirs an opportunity that participate in competitions every year, to come along and still enjoy the social thing and singing performance but yet not feel the pressure necessarily to perfect everything to competition standard.

“It is great to see the interest growing every year - the international interest and indeed local - and it is often prohibitive for choirs to perform on a concert stage like ourselves, so it is great to give everybody the opportunity to link in together and it is a great social thing too

“We have found over the years that choir members have stayed in touch with each other that they might have met here and we would hope down the line that it might encourage exchanges and build up that network. 

“We find that choirs are coming back every second year, so it is great to see that they have enjoyed their stay. There is so much else around the festival too, that many will come and enjoy in terms of tourism.”

Performances will take place in the UCH, St John’s Cathedral, and the Holy Trinity Abbey Church in Adare, while the Cliffs of Moher will provide the stunning backdrop for a ‘Big Sing’. The festival takes place from June 22-25. See www.uch.ie for full details.