The Charles Wood Festival of Music and Summer School for singers, organists and choir directors will take place in all the main churches in Armagh, Northern Ireland, from 23rd - 30th August 2015. Our rich and varied programme will feature lunchtime and evening concerts, services, and teaching and workshop sessions. David Hill, Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers, will direct the Charles Wood Singers, the forty-strong festival choir, assisted by Philip Scriven and Judith Gannon. Internationally famous specialist voice coach, Paul Farrington, will conduct workshops and give individual tuition.
We are also delighted to welcome composer and conductor John Rutter to our Festival this year. Rutter will lead our 'Come and Sing' event on Thursday 27th August at 7.45pm, as well as giving a talk on his life and work on Friday 28th August at 1pm. This is a rare and not to be missed opportunity to sing a selection of Rutter's pieces under the composer himself.
Our association with the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition continues. This year young organists have an opportunity to compete for awards totalling over £2000 on Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th with the bonus of prestigious recital appearances for the winner of the Senior category. Erwan le Prado, teacher at the Caen Conservatoire and organist "co-titulaire" at the famous Cavaillé-Coll in Abbatiale Saint-Etienne of Caen, will chair the jury, along with David Hill, Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers, and David Graham, Professor in charge of organ, Royal College of Music, London.
"The Charles Wood Summer School is a week in my diary to which I look forward. It combines marvellous music in worship, concerts and masterclasses alongside the architectural magnificence of Armagh's two Cathedrals. At the centre of it all lies a man and his music, Charles Wood, whose music continues to inspire Church musicians the world over. Most of all, the week provides an opportunity for singers, congregations and audiences to share the glories of church music. At a time when the world faces so many difficult challenges, music and worship nourishes the soul in a way nothing else can compare". David Hill - Artistic Director