Northern Ireland

Children’s choir celebrates ‘power of culture’ at festival in Derry

Londonderry was UK City of Culture in 2013 (PA)
Londonderry was UK City of Culture in 2013 (PA)

A children’s choir in Co Derry has celebrated the “power of culture” on the 10-year anniversary of Derry being the first UK City of Culture.

The choir performed Dreams by The Cranberries, a song featured in one of Derry’s most famous cultural outputs, Derry Girls.

The chorus of local post-primary students performed at the Derry International Choir Festival to mark the anniversary.

Derry was also recently announced as an official United Nations International City of Peace.

The choir festival packed the Guildhall Square with an international audience to exclaim together: “I am a Derry Girl!”, a famous line from the Derry Girls sitcom.

The United Nations International City of Peace programme acknowledges cities worldwide that have demonstrated outstanding efforts in fostering peace, tolerance and co-operation among their diverse communities.

Organisers say Derry’s transformation into a symbol of peace is a testament to the city’s resilience and dedication to moving on from the past.

The International City of Peace designation serves as a global recognition of ongoing efforts in bridging divides, fostering dialogue and nurturing a culture of understanding among its citizens.

Having launched its inaugural edition as part of the programme of events in the 2013 City of Culture year, the choir festival celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2023 with an extensive line-up of events running until October 22.

Since its inception the festival has welcomed more than 10,000 singers to Derry from around the world.

These choirs have performed all styles of music, all with the common thread of enjoying singing together and sharing that joy with others.

Donal Doherty, artistic director of Derry International Choir Festival, said the success was due to local people welcoming those attending the event.

“The extraordinary success of the festival since its launch in 2013 is due largely to the magnificent support and special welcome provided by the people of Derry and the North West to our many national and international visitors,” he said.

“For one week each year, the City of Song comes alive with the sound of thousands of singers sharing their joy of music with the local community.”

This autumn, the city will host Derry Halloween, said to be Europe’s biggest Halloween festival, from October 28-31.