Welcome Message

For over twenty years Armagh has celebrated the life of one its most famous sons, as the whole community joins in a week-long series of workshops, concerts and services focussed on music in worship across all its main churches. This is what makes the Charles Wood Festival of Music and Summer School an unique event on this island and attracts visitors from far and wide.

The aim is to provide a rich, rewarding experience for music lovers throughout the week and we are confident that, whether singer, choir trainer or organist, you will find lots of exciting things in store.

Once more we are delighted to welcome Dr David Hill as Artistic Director of our resident choir, the Charles Wood Singers. He is assisted by Philip Scriven, Organist and Associate Conductor, and Judith Gannon, Assistant Conductor.  International vocal coach Paul Farrington also returns.

Concert highlights are the return of the Wednesday 'Concert by Candlelight' on the theme of "Faith" and, as always, Friday night is Gala night! Our Lunchtime series opens with a vocal recital by the versatile Rob Waters, who "can sing both high and low" without obvious ill effect. By popular demand our Young Performers' Platform offers an opportunity to enjoy the exciting talents of some half a dozen up and coming musicians. As these concerts are quite informal, why not spare a few moments to pop in and out?

Attractive discounts make both series good value for money and, importantly, online booking is now available for most events, with the exception of individual vocal tuition. Singers should note that as places for workshops and lessons with Paul Farrington are very limited, early booking is essential.

Choir members and trainers are recommended to watch the Charles Wood Singers rehearse under David Hill, with opportunities for questions and advice. Please 'Come and Sing' Vivaldi's Gloria or join in the HSGBI Hymn Festival.

No one should miss the Opening Concert featuring Gaudeamus, a recently formed chamber choir of young local singers, and the distinguished French organist Frédéric Blanc, renowned for his skill in improvisation. Monsieur Blanc is also Chair of the Jury for the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition, now an indispensable part of the week and which it is our pleasure to host.

For organ aficionados Tuesday evening's 'Bach at Twilight' is a must and the exciting 'Music for Two Organs' continues at a slightly earlier time.

I am delighted to present such a packed programme and look forward to seeing you in August.

Roger Nesbitt