Call out for participants for Ireland's first ever 'Sound Choir'


Invitation to Wander (2019) is a contemporary music project created by composer Karen Power, in partnership with Cork Midsummer Festival and in association with Cork International Choral Festival, Cork Centre for Architectural Education and Nano Nagle Place.

This mixed media music project will explore four of the world’s most fascinating and mostly
unreachable places: The Arctic, Amazon, Arnhem Land - Australia and Deserts and will premier from 19th - 22nd June 2019 as part of Cork Midsummer Festival.

We are inviting 15 individuals, Emerging and/or Amateur singers/vocalists (any voice range) to form Ireland’s first ever ‘Sound Choir’ and to be part of:

  • 4 evening premier performances as part of Cork Midsummer Festival 2019, and
  • participation in a unique Professional Development Programme

What is a ‘Sound Choir’?
A ‘Sound Choir’ is a concept conceived by composer, Karen Power. It is a roaming body of voices (choir) who listen and respond to Power’s sound compositions for the four aforementioned worlds, using a series of guided improvisations, text and composed musical phrases. The ‘Sound Choir’ will perform vocally and respond to these worlds.

Professional Development Programme
The professional development programme has 4 distinct workshops in extended vocal
techniques, improvisation, movement and creative practice with Irish and International leading practitioners:

  • Vocal extensions with Michelle O’Rourke (Dublin)
  • Voice improvisation with Ute Wassermann (Berlin)
  • Listening as the start of creativity with Karen Power (Cork)
  • Movement workshop with Mary Nunan (Limerick)

The workshops will be held on Friday or Saturday evenings in Cork City with two workshops in March, one in April and one in May. Exact dates to be confirmed.

Invitation to Wander (2019) an experimental mixed media music project will select 15 committed individuals to

• Take part in a professional development programme
• Participate in 2 rehearsals in the performance space with professional musicians on 17th & 18th June
• Be part of the ‘Sound Choir’ in 4 premier evening performances with professional cast on 19th, 20th, 21st & 22nd June

- There is future potential for the ‘Sound Choir’ to perform in other festivals beyond
Cork Midsummer Festival 2019.

- And selected individuals will receive a small contribution towards performance expenses. This will cover refreshments but not long distance travel or accommodation costs.

Expression of Interest
Submit no more than 500 words in word (.doc) or pdf with your singing/vocal experiences to date and reason for wanting to be part of the ‘Sound Choir’ by 11th February 2019.
You must be over 18 years old. If you have url links to singing/vocal experience and/or previous performances, please include. However, they are not a requirement for your submission.

Email [email protected]
For further information, go to

Invitation to Wander (2019) is supported by the Arts Council and Cork Midsummer Festival.

The 2019 Big Sing at the Cathedral – Handel's Messiah, Part II

Photo credit: William Murphy, 2015

Continuing the very successful collaboration between the Cork International Choral Festival and St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, the Big Sing at the Cathedral is returning this year for a very special day of rehearsal and performance of some of our history’s most magnificent choral works. The day will be led by Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral Director of Music and choral specialist, Peter Stobart.

After such a magnificent coming-together of voices last year for Fauré’s Requiem, we have chosen Handel's Messiah, Part II for the 2019 edition, in the 260th anniversary of Handel's death.

Saturday 16th February 2019 is the date to book on your diaries to come and sing one of the most popular and glorious choral works of all time. Certainly George Frideric Handel had no idea when he was composing his oratorio Messiah how far-reaching and universal its appeal would be!

Singers from all backgrounds are welcome, but reading music would be a great asset. You will learn Part II of the Messiah which will be then performed that same evening. You can download the score here.

If you would not like to sing, you can come to listen to the performance at 6.30 pm - Free admission, however donations are welcome.

Saturday 16th February, 2019

Day Schedule

1.30 pm - Registration
2 pm - Rehearsal
3.30 pm - Break
4 pm - Rehearsal
5.30 pm - Break
6.30 pm - Performance

Please note

  • An administration fee of €18 per person is applicable. To secure your place, please fill in the form below and pay by 11th February (applications after this date will be processed by contacting the office at 021 4215125 or [email protected]). If you have queries about the process or payments, please e-mail [email protected]
  • If you own a copy of the score, please bring it with you on the day. If you would like to buy scores, we recommend The New Novello edition, edited by Watkins Shaw. You can also download the score here and print your own copy. In the event you do not own a copy or are unable to download/print it, you can purchase a copy for 3 euro in the form below.
  • Please ensure you are there to register in plenty of time.
  • As The Big Sing at the Cathedral will result in a performance on the day, we advise on smart-casual, elegant, black attire.
  • Seating is unreserved.
  • We would advise people to bring some refreshments with them on the day. There are a number of cafes available in the area also.

We look forward to having you with us!

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2019 Non-Competitive International Choirs announced


Announcement time!

We are so excited to announce the international choirs that will participate in the non-competitive strand of the 2019 Cork International Choral Festival!
We look forward to welcoming them to Cork for an unforgettable 65th festival 🎶

Cheep Trill, Australia
Sing For Your Life! Choir, Australia
The European School of Brussels (UCCLE) Secondary Choir, Belgium
øre-sound, Denmark
Choeur Azimuts, France

In the coming weeks we will introduce each of the choirs in the Biographies area. Stay tuned!

A reminder that closing date for National Competition entries (Ireland’s Choir of the Year, National Schools Competitions, National Open Competitions) is Friday 18th January 2019, and closing date for National Non-Competitive entries is Friday 15th February 2019. Don’t delay – get in touch at [email protected]

Happy Holidays! ✨

This year has been spectacular for the Cork International Choral Festival but we couldn’t have done ANY of it without the loyal and enthusiastic support of all of you.

Ending 2018 on a high, last weekend we have announced our Gala Concert programme for 2019 as part of the World Choral Day celebrations.

We're now preparing the office for a short break from 21st December - 2nd January. We look forward to 2019 and we hope to have all of you with us for the 65th Festival!

All the best for the Holiday season from all at Festival HQ

Internship Opportunity


Festival Office Internship

The Cork International Choral Festival is looking for an enthusiastic, self-motivated candidate who is keen to establish a career in the festivals and music events industry.

What you will learn and be a part of

This is a great opportunity to be fully involved from the outset with the production of a well-established and exciting festival. You will learn the basic fundamentals of festival events during the 3 months leading up to the Cork International Choral Festival. You will also be exposed to the management of all logistical needs including but not limited to entertainment, catering, signage, audio/visual, gifts, etc. of festival events. The internship will involve pre-production planning (marketing/publicity), content creation for our website and social media accounts, copywriting. During the Festival days, you will be required to work on-site at our events (concerts, workshops, rehearsals) at different locations across Cork city and County.

Your strengths and interests include

  • Interest and knowledge about the festival scene and/or choral music
  • A quick-thinking, self-starter with the ability to multitask and willingness to take on projects
  • Interest and some knowledge of digital marketing and social media
  • Aware of the ‘all-hands on deck’ attitude required when working at events
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign is an advantage

About the Internship

3 month internship period: 11th February 2019 – 10th May 2019 30 hours per week + increased hours during festival days (1st – 5th May 2019, schedule to be agreed). This is an unpaid internship. We are flexible regarding working hours and start/end dates for the right candidate. We will be working from our own offices in Civic Trust House on 50 Pope Quays, Cork.

To Apply

Please email a cover letter and CV to Festival Manager Elaine FitzGerald at [email protected] by 31st January 2019.

About us

Founded in 1954 to be a dynamic force in developing choral music in Ireland, the Cork International Choral Festival is held annually over the five days preceding the first Monday in May in venues across the city, centering around the City Hall, one of the most attractive and acoustically superb venues in Ireland. It is one of Europe’s premier international choral festivals and is noted for its high competitive standards, excellent organisation, and the friendliness of its welcome. Each year some of the finest amateur international choirs are selected to compete for the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy. The selected choirs also have an opportunity to perform non-competitively in a range of Festival activities presented over the weekend, including Fringe concerts, church and informal performances. Their presence gives audiences and Irish choirs the unique opportunity of attending a diverse range of concerts and competitive sessions while in Cork. As well as foreign choirs, the Festival annually features up to 100 Adult, Youth and School choirs who participate in National Competitions. Overall the Festival attracts some 5,000 participants. The festival continues to ensure that choral music, representative of many historical and cultural traditions, is brought to the people of Cork and the many visitors who travel to the city for the event.


If you require further information, please email: [email protected]

Sankta Lucia 2018 Concert "Darkness to Light"

The Adolf Fredriks Chamber Choir from Stockholm (winners of the 2018 Fleischmann International Trophy) and DIT Chamber Choir (runner-up in the 2018 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition) will be performing together in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin on Sunday December 9th, 7.15 pm.

With this stunning concert, “From Darkness to Light”, the choirs will be celebrating light in the winter darkness and heralding the arrival of Christmas.

The first part of the concert will be a performance of traditional Christmas carols, both Swedish and International. The second half will be a celebration of the Swedish ceremony of Sankta Lucia. The Cathedral will be cast into complete darkness, as the singers evoke a Nordic winter. A choral procession led by a maiden wearing a wreath of candles will then emerge from the back of the Cathedral to welcome the audience in to the magic of Nordic Yuletide Celebration.

The ceremony of Sankta Lucia is one of the oldest celebrations of midwinter to be found across the world, and is truly an iconic part of Christmas in Sweden. The Sankta Lucia Celebrations in Ireland have been taking place in Christchurch Cathedral with the Adolf Fredriks Chamber Choir for 10 years.

The Choir’s relationship with Ireland has never been stronger, having won the top prize at Cork Choral Festival this year. They are delighted to be joined by the DIT Chamber Choir, and their combined abilities will truly begin the Christmas season on the right note!

The event is a sell out every year – tickets are available at Eventbrite (€20 regular/€15 group/ €40 premium).

2019 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition applications now closed

The deadline for applications for the 2019 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition has now closed after an unprecedented response. We have been overwhelmed by entries! Thanks again to all choirs who applied.

Participant choirs for 2019 have been announced here. A reminder that applications for 2020 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition are open!

The non-competitive strand of 2019 festival is also accepting applications until November 30th. Don’t delay - get in touch at [email protected]!

Choirs announced - 2019 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition

Cork International Choral Festival is proud to announce the selected choirs competing in the 2019 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition.

Each year some of the finest amateur choirs are selected to compete for this prestigious international competition. We would like to congratulate the 11 choirs that will travel to Cork in May 2019. We look forward to having them with us for the 65th festival!

Kamarikuoro Addictio, Finland
KYL Helsinki Academic Male Choir, Finland
Kamarikuoro Näsi, Finland
Hamburg Academy of Music And Theatre, Germany
Mornington Singers, Ireland
The Women's Choral Society of the University of Oslo, Norway
Dominanta Choir, Poland
Chamber Choir KGBL, Slovenia
Bella Voce - Lunds studentsångerskor, Sweden
Korallerna, Sweden
Petrosyan Chamber Choir, Ukraine

Thanks to all choirs who applied!

A reminder that applications for the non-competitive strand of the festival close on November 30th. Don’t delay - get in touch at [email protected]

Remembering Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

On behalf of everyone at the Cork International Choral Festival we want to express our deep sadness on learning of the passing of Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Irish musician and composer acclaimed worldwide.

We were honoured to host the world premiere of his work 'Manatha' at the 2000 Cork International Choral Festival. His talent will be greatly missed. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition & Non Competitive Applications now open!

These have been exceptionally busy days at our festival office!
We are delighted to have received so many outstanding entries for the 2019 Fleischmann International Trophy Competition. Many thanks to all choirs who applied!
The Artistic Board will be assessing the applications over the next few days and successful applicants will be announced soon.

In the meantime, we are happy to announce that the Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition & Non Competitive Applications are now open.
Below you can find more details, but if you have any query on your application don't hesitate to get in touch! We will be happy to answer all your questions.



Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition

We are now accepting entries for the 2019 Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition!
Composers born, or resident, in Ireland have until Friday 8th December 2018 to send in their application and be in with a chance of having their work premiered during the Festival in St Fin Barre's Cathedral by the acclaimed Chamber Choir Ireland!

Application deadline: Friday 7th December 2018

For more details: Seán Ó Riada Composition Competition



Non-Competitive Participation

Each year a number of international choirs are selected to participate in the non-competitive strand of the Festival. Participating non-competitively gives choirs the opportunity to present informal performances in various locations across the city, while having the possibility to meet with other choirs, see some of Ireland’s beautiful countryside, attend some of the festival events, sing, mingle, and soak up the festival atmosphere here in Cork.

Applications deadline: 30th November 2018

For more details: Non-Competitive Participation
Don't delay - download our International Syllabus to get your applications in!