Participation in the competition implies acceptance of all the rules and regulations included on this page.
The Cork International Choral Festival highlights the best of choral music in Ireland. While the Festival takes place in dozens of venues across the city, the majority of the competitions take place in Cork’s City Hall, one of the most attractive and acoustically superb venues in Ireland.
The Cork choral experience is unique in Ireland. While participation in competitions raises performance standards, we believe that choirs also benefit hugely by performing, listening to and experiencing different expressions of the choral art. Even at international level, the range of opportunities in Cork is considered special. More and more Irish choirs now extend their stay by also participating in church and informal performances; attending a range of Festival activities throughout the week, including our feature Gala Concerts, Fringe Concerts, Conductors Masterclass, Seminar on New Choral Music; listen to some of the finest international choirs selected to compete for the prestigious Fleischmann International Trophy Competition; and attend the weekend Festival Club to meet other participants informally in a convivial social setting.
The third Friday in January of the same year.
A programme of a cappella music consisting of three contrasting works whose total duration does not exceed twelve minutes. The music must be purely vocal without the addition of percussion instruments. Choirs whose programme exceeds the prescribed limit will incur a time penalty.
The contrasting programme must represent a historically balanced and coherent range of styles and must include:
Subsequent to final acceptance, a choir may not change its repertoire or the order in which it will be sung. The five-member international jury allocates marks for the technical and artistic quality of the chosen programme and the overall quality of its performance. It will also take into account how well the choir communicates with the audience in a performance situation.
Applications can be submitted online by completing the entry form available here.
Each choir is required to include with their online application:
The scores must be uploaded using the online application form. In the event of the competition music not being submitted by the official closing date, an additional €15 will be levied (see Rules & Regulations).
Acceptance of late applications is at the discretion of the Cork International Choral Festival and is not guaranteed. Late entry fees and late music penalty fees, as detailed in this syllabus, will be applied (See RULES & REGULATIONS).
Ireland’s Choir Of The Year: €150
Entry fees can be paid by cheque or bank transfer.
Account Holder: Cork International Choral Festival
Bank: Allied Irish Banks plc, Patrick Street, Cork, Ireland
IBAN: IE85 AIBK 9341 5105 1954 48
Account Number: 05195448
National Sort Code: 93 41 51
NOTE: Please ensure that the name of choir is noted on bank transfer as narrative
1. All members of a competing choir, except the conductor, must perform in the Festival as amateurs.
2. No singer may compete as a member of more than one choir in the same competition.
3. Choirs may enter more than one National Competition.
4. No choir may compete at both international and national open level.
5. Age limits apply in all National Competitions.
6. National Competitions are open to choirs from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
7. Schools of Music and Stage School choirs are not eligible for the National Competitions for Schools but are encouraged to enter the Youth Choir Competition.
8. a) Any Irish choir may apply to take part in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition.
8. b) The Artistic Advisory Board reserves the right to invite any Irish choir to participate in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition.
9. All competition works must have been composed for a cappella (purely vocal) performance except where expressly stated otherwise.
10. Where a strophic work is chosen (i.e. having the same music for each verse) only two verses may be sung.
11. a) Where three works are required, the total duration must not exceed twelve minutes.
11. b) Where two works/chants are required, the total duration must not exceed 8 minutes.
12. The Adjudicators will penalise choirs whose programmes exceed the prescribed limits.
13. No choir can sing the same pieces in another Festival Competition. This applies to both national and international level.
14. Two consecutive Festivals must elapse before a choir can re-include any piece of music in its national competition repertoire.
15. Subsequent to entry, a choir may not change its repertoire or the order in which it will be sung (i.e. the order listed on the entry form).
16. a) Only a digital certified copy or scanned copy of an original version of each work in A4 PDF format may be uploaded with the application.
16. b) Choirs presenting a Plainchant repertoire in the National Competition for Church Music are required to specify the chants, indicate their sources and the digital or scanned copy from the relevant volumes.
17. A separate entry form is required for each competition and must be accompanied by the correct fee.
18. In the event that the Artistic Advisory Board accepts a late entry, an additional 50% of the competition fee will be required.
19. In the event of original music not being submitted by the official closing date, an additional €15 will be levied.
20. It is a condition of participation that a choir agrees that:
a) Any performance it gives during the Festival may be photographed, broadcast live and/or recorded for subsequent reproduction and/or broadcast on radio/television/internet without payment to the choir. All broadcasting and photographic rights to any performance at the Festival shall belong to the Festival which will be free to dispose of them or utilise them in promotional material as it sees fit. It is the duty of all choirs with members under 18 years of age to ensure that informed consent is sought from young people and their parents/ carers is this regard.
b) Any performance it gives during the Festival may, without payment, be recorded and the Festival shall be entitled to possession of any such recording and shall further be entitled to reproduce any such recording and to sell, let for hire, o er or exposure for sale or hire, distribute or otherwise dispose of any recording or reproduction of recording of any such performance in any manner it sees fit.
21. The Artistic Advisory Board reserves the right to limit the number of entries for each competition.
22. The Artistic Advisory Board reserves the right to cancel a competition if it feels that there have been insufficient entries.
23. The Artistic Advisory Board reserves the right to advise a choir to enter an alternative level of competition.
24. The Artistic Advisory Board reserves the right to refuse entry to any competition.
25. Requests for permission to enter competitions other than at the times indicated on the timetable cannot be entertained. The Artistic Advisory Board, nevertheless, reserves the right to alter the timetable in light of the number of entries received.
26. A first prize is awarded only for a mark average of 85%+.
27. A second prize is awarded only for a mark average of 80%+.
28. Adjudicators’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding any aspect of their work.
29. It is contrary to law to perform music that has been reproduced illegally. Should a choir do so, the Festival accepts no responsibility for any action taken by copyright owners.
30. The Festival does not contribute to a choir’s travel costs to/from Cork.
31. A choir withdrawing from a competition is not entitled to a refund of the entry fee.
32. The Festival accepts no legal responsibility whatsoever in respect of anything pertaining to a choir’s participation in the Festival.
33. The Festival reserves the right to change its dates in the event that a concert, or other public event or any circumstance outside the control of the Festival renders it impracticable to hold the festival on the scheduled dates.
34. Participation in the Festival implies acceptance of all the rules and regulations.
The following timetable is provisional. It may be subject to change depending on number of entries in each competition and Festival’s schedule requirements.
Wednesday of Festival Week
Morning, City Hall: National Competitions for Primary Schools
Thursday of Festival Week
Morning/Afternoon, City Hall: National Competitions for Secondary Schools
Saturday of Festival Week
Morning, City Hall: Upper Voices, Lower Voices, Chamber Choirs & Ensembles, and Workplace Choirs
Afternoon & Evening, City Hall: Fleischmann International Trophy Competition
Sunday of Festival Week
Morning, City Hall: Mixed Choirs, Youth Choirs & Ireland’s Choir of the Year
Afternoon, City Hall: National Competition for Light, Jazz & Popular Music
Afternoon, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral: National Competition for Church Music
Donated by the Guinness Choir in memory of its founder Victor Leeson on the occasion of the choir’s 50th Anniversary in 2001.
Awarded to Ireland’s Choir of the Year.
Donated by Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland. Special Award for the performance of an original choral work by a composer represented by the CMC. Works must be written after 1975 and from the library of the Contemporary Music Centre (See WORKS BY IRISH COMPOSERS).
The Pilib Ó Laoghaire Memorial Trophy donated by Cór Cois Laoi. Special Award for the performance of a work in Irish.
Donated by the family of John Mannion. Special Award to a Chamber Choir for the performance of a work in the National Competitions.
In Memory of Dr. Hans Waldemar Rosen. Special Award for the performance of a work by Heinrich Schütz in the National or International Competitions.
Choirs in all competitions are actively encouraged to include works by composers born or resident in the island of Ireland.
Choirs are directed to the following resources:
Special Note: Each choir is advised to order music 2-3 months in advance of the National Competition
Penalties for the receipt of late music will be strictly adhered to. The Festival is pleased to recommend the following for the purchase of music.