Isle of Man News - POSTED Fri last week

Manx Festival is attracting top choirs from around Britain

by LC

The Isle of Man Festival of Choirs is now on the ‘Must Do” bucket list of festivals in the British Isles and Europe and continues to grow in popularity, attracting the country’s top choirs.

The festival celebrates its 5th event from October 20th-22nd this year with a three-day weekend where the quality of the choirs taking part now rivals any event of its type in Britain.

“We started from small beginnings, but the festival has grown year on year and is now attracting the finest choirs in the country,” said Geoff Corkish MLC,  chairman of the Manx festival.

“Already we have had entries for this year’s festival from Flint Male Voice Choir - one of the very best choirs in the world - which is a real bonus for us, as well as a number of choirs coming to the Island for the first time, along with mixed and female choirs returning again to take part. We also have one of the Mixed Voice choirs that entered the very first Isle of Man Festival of Choirs in 2010.

“People across the British Isles and Ireland now know all about the Isle of Man festival, and many previous competitors have also returned. The Isle of Man is a unique venue, and combines the opportunity to explore our beautiful island as well as share some wonderful moments of music and singing at the festival itself.”

Choirs taking part come from all sorts of backgrounds, usually with a chorus of 16 members, however the number of singers in the Ensemble class can be as few as eight.

The festival offers prize money of £1,500 for the best overall choir of the weekend, with £500 prizes for the three class winners, and £200 for runners up. The festival takes place in the atmospheric setting of the Victorian Villa Marina, on the promenade overlooking the Isle of Man capital Douglas.

The Isle of Man festival is also attracting the highest quality judges, and this year the role is taken by Stanley Roocroft MBE, who has been the Musical Director of the Wensleydale Chorus for all of its 28 years.

He also conducts the Aysgarth Singers and is very active in all aspects of Wensleydale musical life, including its festival. Stanley Roocroft is also an Adjudicator for The British and International Federation of Festivals.

•  To register, or find out more details about the festival go to www.festivalofchoirs.im or e-mail lauraquinn3@gov.im. Travel packages are available through Mann Link Travel (email: darrel@ortg.co.uk).

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