It was a dawn chorus with a difference as a city welcomed summer — and the start of an international five-day festival of choral music.
Members of the Voci Nuove Chamber Choir, who are participating in the Cork International Choral Festival, climbed to the top of the city’s landmark Shandon steeple just before dawn broke.
And as the first rays of light spread across the city at 6.02am, the choir sang out — with help from Cathal Ó Baoill and his son Cathal Óg — who travelled from Co Down for the experience.
The annual event was followed by a celebration of the Eucharist in the church.
The choir’s performance was one of the first events of this year’s Cork International Choral Festival, which has attracted choirs from across the world for what is one of the main Gathering events.
They will take part in an extensive programme of gala concerts, schools concerts, national and international competitions, and several fringe events over the coming days.
Widely recognised as one of Europe’s premier international choral festivals, Cork is noted for its high standards, eclectic and wide-ranging programme, and the friendliness of its welcome.
Festival events and performances centre around the 1,000-capacity City Hall venue — one of the most attractive and acoustically superb venues in Ireland, organisers said.
The Real Group, one of Sweden’s top a cappella groups, perform in Cork Opera House tonight.
And the National Chamber Choir of Ireland are due to perform in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral on Friday while the Songmen, a top British a cappella group, will perform in the North Cathedral at 10.30pm that night.
The festival continues right through the Bank Holiday weekend.
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