International Competition at the City of Derry International Choir Festival

International Competition at the City of Derry International Choir Festival

Saturday, October 22, 2022: International Competition
Sunday, October 23, 2022: Gala Concert
Londonderry, Northern Ireland

The University Singers has been selected as a finalist for the International Competition at the City of Derry International Choir Festival in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in October 2022, where they will compete against choirs from nine other nations for the coveted ‘Oak Tree of Derry' trophy. The University Singers are the first American choir ever to be selected for this competition.

"Obviously, this is a tremendous honor for the students and for the University," stated Shane Lynch, conductor of The University Singers. "It is sort of crazy that this tiny little school in the middle of rural Virginia with a choir made up of mainly 18-22 year olds, 70% of whom are non-music majors, was selected to be featured on a true international stage like this."

Typically, American choirs featured in events like this are from huge graduate Schools of Music or are semi-professional ensembles in large Metropolitan areas. It is a testament to the hard work and true care of generations of students who have come through The University Singers that allows for something like this to happen."

In addition to various events exploring the cultures and music of the other competing international choirs, The University Singers will present their competition set on Saturday, October 22 in the Guildhall, the main concert space in Derry. The competition set focuses on technically challenging music of different styles and eras, with each choir required to highlight particular skill sets within their music choices. Then on Sunday, October 23, they will present at the festival-closing Gala Concert, with music chosen to highlight each choir's home country. The University Singers will feature the music of Dr. Lynch and Rosephayne Powell, the Director of Vocal Studies at Auburn University, for the Gala Concert. Dr. Powell will come to Lexington prior to the ensemble's departure to work with the group to make sure this portion of the Gala Concert truly shines, as it represents both W&L and American choral music to an international audience.

"This is going to be a lifetime experience for our students," continued Lynch. "I can't wait to travel to Derry in a whirlwind in the fall and enjoy this moment with them."