Experience the very best of choral and organ music as Charles Wood Festival gets underway

Michael Scott


Michael Scott



THE annual Charles Wood Festival of Music and Summer School, supported by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, will take place from August 18-25. 

Offering over 30 top-quality events, this year’s Festival, which will welcome the Ulster Orchestra to perform with the Charles Wood Singers, promises to be an unmissable week of music-making.

Some of the world’s finest choral music will be performed by the Charles Wood Singers. They will be conducted by the Festival’s Artistic Director David Hill, former Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers.

In addition to leading worship at various services, their performance with the Ulster Orchestra will be recorded for BBC Radio 3, with readings by celebrity Gloria Hunniford. Gloria will also be the guest speaker at a special meal just before that event.

The Charles Wood Girls’ Choir will return for their third year, supported by Ulster Carpets and Arts & Business NI, under the guidance of their Founding Director Ian Keatley. Performances will include a Lunchtime Concert in St Mark’s Parish Church, Portadown on Thursday, August 22.

Other highlights include an opening concert with the BBC Northern Ireland Senior School Choir of the Year, Thornhill College Londonderry, and Martin Baker, organist royalty and Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral London.

Also not to be missed, a Festival of Choirs Concert culminating in a massed performance of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, and a vocal masterclass entitled ‘Tips and Troubleshooting’ by the Royal Opera House’s vocal coach Paul Farrington.

Full details of the programme, which also includes the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition and Lunchtime Concerts showcasing young musicians, including Malachy Frame – winner of the Charles Wood Song Prize at the Festival’s inaugural Song Competition – are available at www.charleswoodsummerschool.org

Bookings can be made online at www.visitarmagh.com or by contacting Armagh Visitor Information Centre (Phone 02837521800; Email vic@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk). 

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