The sound of choral music will fill the Villa Marina’s Royal Hall for the largest-ever entry into the Isle of Man Festival of Choirs.
A total of 19 choirs, 14 visiting and five from the island, will take part in the event, which runs from Friday, October 13, to Sunday, October 15.
Festival director Geoff Corkish said: ‘From its inception in 2010, the festival has quickly established itself and is now recognised as a serious yet friendly musical competition of stature and attracts choirs from around the UK and Ireland and wherever choral singing is enjoyed and celebrated.’
About 500 choristers and supporters will be travel to the island for the event.
They include the BBC Songs of Praise gospel choir of the year and one of the finalists in the recent Llangollen choir of the world.
The festival will be launched on the Friday evening with the hugely popular ‘Welcome Night’ where choristers meet, eat, drink, and sing and get to know each other before the serious competition begins with a significant amount of prize money on offer.
The Saturday sees the choirs competing in four classes on the stage at the Royal Hall.
The Ladies Voice Class will start at 9am followed by the Male Voice Class at 11.30am, Mixed Voice Class at 1.20pm and the Open Class at 3.20pm.
Each choir will sing four contrasting pieces of no more than 15 minutes, one of which must be unaccompanied.
Cash prizes will be presented to the winner and runner-up in each category.
And the winner of each category will go through to the final on the Sunday, starting at 11.30am.
The choirs will be required to sing a 25-minute repertoire of their choice but allowing only one piece already sung in their class entry on the previous day.
The winner will receive £2,000.
Prior to the Sunday final, there is an ensemble competition for four to 12 voices from 10am.
For this, ensembles sing two contrasting pieces of no more than 10 minutes.
The adjudicator for the weekend is Trystan Lewis, an eminent adjudicator from North Wales.
The festival, now in its seventh year, is the first one to have taken place since 2019. That saw Haydock Male Voice Choir, from Merseyside, win the title. They are busy with centenary celebrations but hope to return for the 2025 festival.
The festival was cancelled in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.
Geoff said: ‘Previous festivals have attracted large audiences who have equally enjoyed the truly wonderful and friendly atmosphere our festival promotes.
‘Although competition remains at the heart of the festival and designed to support and nurture the continuance of choirs and choral groups, we also strive to include family and friends during the weekend to ensure that they too can enjoy the many unique aspects of our island while others sing.’
Residents are encouraged to attend. Geoff said: ‘This is a perfect opportunity to listen to a feast of choral singing and members of the public are encouraged to come along and listen to the competing choirs.’
Organisers thanked the Department for Enterprise for its continued support.
Tickets are available online at www.villagaiety.com or by calling the ticket office on 600555.
A single ticket costs £12.50 and will give access to both competition days.