12 February, 2018
The inaugural International Choral Festival Wales, a weekend festival for the World’s finest choirs, will take place in Cardiff during the Easter weekend.
Featuring the KZN Midlands Youth Choir from South Africa, Ukrainian National Children Chorus, “Pearls of Odessa”, Ukrainian Children Chorus, “Seeds”; Chanteuse Chamber Choir from England and Côr Glanaethwy; Côr Iau Glanaethwy; Côr Heol y March; Côr y Cwm from Wales, the inaugural year promises to be a good one.
On announcing the full programme of activities, the Festival’s Artistic Director, Eilir Owen Griffiths said “In five weeks’ time we will be welcoming some of the World’s finest choirs to Cardiff. Wales is known as the Land of Song and it has been my life-long vision to bring together the best of the international choral community to Wales and establish Cardiff as a centre of choral excellence. I have gained a great deal of experience over the last six years as Music Director of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. It is now time to create a new festival on my door step. International Choral Festival Wales is dedicated to promoting artistic excellence, global understanding, friendship and goodwill through choral music. That sense of community is a big part of what makes music special which is why I am really looking forward to bringing the Bay alive with the sound of choral voices from a variety of genres and backgrounds.”
Festival Timetable Friday 30 March Big Welsh Welcome, featuring Côr y Gleision at Cardiff Castle. 16:00. Opening Concert at the Tabernacle Chapel, The Hayes. 19:30.
Saturday 31 March Category Finals at Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre. 12:30-17:30. Choir of Choirs Competition at Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre. 19:00-22:00. Sunday 01 April Choral workshop with Paul Mealor at the Wales Millennium Centre. 10:00-11:00. Choirs perform in multiple locations across Cardiff Bay on rotation from 12:00. Closing Ceremony and Launch of 2019 Festival at Coal Exchange Hotel, Mount Stuart Square from 15:00.
Commenting on the Festival, Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and University of Wales said – “We are very proud to be a supporting partner in the International Choral Festival Wales in their inaugural year, which reaffirms our role in promoting the arts in Wales and the World, and we look forward to showcasing the very best of the global choral community here in Wales.”
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
On Friday 30 March, the KZN Midland Youth Choir from South Africa; Ukrainian National Chorus, “Pearls of Odessa”; Ukrainian National Chorus, “Seeds” and the Chanteuse Chamber Choir from England will showcase their musical talents at the Tabernacle Chapel, the Hayes. Located in the heart of the capital, the Tabernacle Chapel was the location of the first ever broadcast of the BBC’s long-running religious TV programme, Songs of Praise. The concert starts at 19:30 and tickets are available on the door and online here
The competitive strand of the competition will take place at the Wales Millennium Centre’s Hoddinott Hall on Saturday 31 March. The day will be split into three sessions. Session one will start at 12:30 and will include the Mixed Choirs Category and the Open Category. The second session will start at 14:30 and will include the Single Voice (SSAA/ TTBB) Category and the Young Voices (under 25’s) Category. The climax of the competition will be the Choir of Choirs Competition where the five highest scoring choirs from across all categories will compete for the prestigious Sir Karl Jenkins Trophy. The Choir of Choirs Competition will start at 19:00.
Deciding the fate of the choirs will be a panel of world class adjudicators. Chaired by the Festival’s Artistic Director, the 2018 panel includes Lithuanian choral conductor, composer and music pedagogue, Vaclovas Augustinas, Norwegian pianist, singer and conductor, Maria Gamborg Helbekkmo, Brit Award and Double-Classic Brit Award-winning Welsh composer, Paul Mealor and Irish choral conductor and international adjudicator, Bernie Sherlock.
Day tickets are £15 and are available to buy online at www.internationalchoralfestival.wales. Tickets will also be available on the door on the day.