A wonderful celebration of all things choral has just finished in our lovely City of Bangor. The Festival was a vision of the Founder, Roberta Dunlop in 1993, and was realised 30 years ago as a one day Festival with a handful of choirs, but with Roberta’s determination and effort assisted by the Festival Committee, this event has now turned into a four day experience with choirs travelling from across the UK, ROI and in some years Europe and beyond to compete in a most friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
This year showcased the return of the Schools Choirs after a hiatus of 3 years and it was such a joy to hear those young voices singing together once again. We were also fortunate to have the BBC film and broadcast the Special Schools competitions as well as the Makaton Choir which was a Shared Education Project between Clifton School and Kilcooley Primary School. This was such a wonderful experience for the children and there was lots of excitement on the day! Congratulations goes to all the teachers involved!
Our province wide choirs were on top form as usual but we also had a fabulous choirs from Cheshire, Abergavenny in Wales, Athlone and Monaghan in ROI. The Affinity Show Choir from Cheshire certainly raised the roof with their fabulous performances but it was a wonderful choral group, Miskelly Chorale from Comber, who took top prize at the Open Choral Competition and Holy Cross Senior School Choir from Strabane who took the Secondary/High School award.
Donaghadee Male Voice Choir returning to the Festival stage competed in the Male Voice Choir class and successfully won their competition. The Choir President, Lady Sylvia Hermon was there to witness their winning performance and was able to present them with their Award. Open Arts Community Choir from Belfast performed some beautiful pieces and as always carried the audience with them on their choral journeys - a small choral group with magnificent voices.
Entries from Regent House Senior Chamber Choir and Glenlola Collegiate Chamber choir showed us that choral singing in Ards and North Down is alive and well and will provide many choristers for adult choirs in the future. New competitors to the Festival, Lagan Seahorses Male Voice Choir from Belfast, Amici, and Peninsula Praise from Ards Peninsula gave wonderful renditions of their chosen pieces and brought great merriment to the audiences in the Light Entertainment Section.
All in all, a wonderful festival to be part of and to be proud of. The Festival Committee are indebted to Sponsors, Ards and North Down Borough Council Arts Section, Melville Morgan Ltd., The Signature Works, Guillemot Café, Bangor and Oasis Travel Bangor for their financial support. Without the financial support of these businesses and indeed those who took advertisements in the Programme together with our wonderful Bangor Ladies Choir Volunteers, the Festival could not have been delivered. This is Team Work at its best!
ST COMGALL’S PARISH CENTRE, BRUNSWICK ROAD, BANGOR
Please consider bringing your choir and experiencing the joyful camaraderie and superb choral singing in Festival 23!
3 little steps to participating in a great Festival and sharing in our special
We can’t guarantee you’ll leave with a Trophy but we can guarantee you a warm Irish welcome!
You’ll arrive as our guests but leave as our friends!
Calling all local choirs! Come along and enter a team in the
BICF Fundraising Quiz
Friday September 2023 at 7.30pm
Pickie Bowling Club, Broadway Bangor
All proceeds to Festival Funds –
Tickets £8 per person to include light supper
To book your Team please contact:
* Registered Charity No. NIC 104822