A MAJOR choral festival is in the works for Limerick which organisers believe could “showcase our talents to the global choral community” and potentially attract up to 4,000 performers to the region within five years of operation.
The Limerick Chorus would be a gathering of local, national and international choirs, invited to Limerick to perform in a non-competitive event, possibly in a number of locations around the city.
The festival is the brainchild of Ger Reidy, chairperson of Limerick Choral Union and a security officer with ISS Facilities Services.
“Limerick has a great history of choral music. The standard was and continues to be very high, and the city has produced magnificent choirs over the years with a family tradition of participation,” he explained this week.
“Our city has also produced many fine soloists and I think the time has finally arrived to showcase our talents to the global choral community with this festival,” he added.
“We want to get everyone involved in this and and turn it into a reality,” he added.
Mr Reidy has met with a wide range of stakeholders in the region to discuss the idea such as David Collopy in the University Concert Hall, Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan, TD, local hoteliers and the chamber of commerce, Laura Ryan and Sheila Deegan, a large number of local and international choral groups, and renowned Limerick soloist Suzanne Murphy, plus a Grammy award winning composer, among others.
“All have given me a very favourable reaction and their full backing because they see the benefit to the city. The city needs this,” he explained.
“Within five years I would hope to have 4,000 performers attending our festival,” added Mr Reidy.
Obviously all plans are funding dependant, and Mr Reidy will be seeking financing from a number of sources, both public and private, as well as the involvement of volunteers, while his own employers have expressed an interest in sponsorship. It will be distinct from the recent Limerick Choral Festival, which is confined to church and sacred music.
He also hopes to stage a fundraising concert to launch the festival - which would take place in the city in June 2013 - later this year, with proceeds going towards both the staging of the festival and the Daughters of Charity in Lisnagry, whom he hopes will also participate and perform in the festival.
“The infrastructure is already in place to make the festival a success and I believe that friendly profile of the city and wider region will be further enhanced by it,” added Ger.