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Rostrevor is set to draw some of the world’s leading choirs, composers and soloists as it stages its first ever Choral Festival next month.

From 1-5th June the village will host this unique, non-competitive Festival which has secured as its special guest world renowned composer Morten Johannes Lauridsen – who makes his first ever visit to Ireland for the event.

Composer Morten Johannes Lauridsen
Composer Morten Johannes Lauridsen

Choirs from across the globe including University of Notre Dame Choir and The Palestrina Choir of Dublin’s Pro Cathedral among many others, will join composers and soloists from Russia, Argentina, USA, France, Malaysia and local singers and choirs for a 5 day long programme of concerts, recitals, workshops and masterclasses from the 1st-5th June in various venues across the village.

The Festival, under the patronage of former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, is the brainchild of Siubhan O’Dubhain – a novelist, playwright and composer - supported by a small committee of musical enthusiasts.

“While fundraising for my grandson’s charity, I was approached with the offer of the University of Notre Dame Choir coming to sing in Rostrevor. Mary McAleese lived in Rostrevor for many years and is a regular guest at Notre Dame University in Indiana and was aware of the fundraising drive. I began to think, if we secured a visit from a choir of that stature, who else could I approach to make a weekend event and it spiralled from there to become a Festival of Choral Music. 

“The main aim is to celebrate great choral music and inspire local choirs. It’s also to give access to composers to have their work performed and we’ve reached out to local schools for workshop participation. We are using a number of venues from local churches, the GAA Club and outdoor parks (weather permitting) to bars and restaurants so it’s accessible to everyone,” Siubhan adds.

The Festival is non-competitive and all events are completely free – with voluntary donations going to a number of local charities. The Programme has been supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Ireland, Newry Mourne and Down District Council and the Ireland Funds and sponsored by Moet Hennessey, Lee Opticians, Mourne Mountains Brewery, Deli Lites and Carlingford Property Services alongside personal support from Martin Naughton, Gerard O'Hare and Larry Powell.

For a full list of events and programme details visit Twitter @rostchoralfest or follow them on Facebook

 

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