Music Festival 2023

Posted May 31, 2023 by WI Staff in Event Reports

The Federation’s annual Music Festival was held in Templepatrick Presbyterian Church Hall on a wet Saturday, 22nd April, however, the soggy weather outside certainly didn’t put a dampener on the lively proceedings indoors!


A total of six WI Institutes and Areas took part in the Festival, performing to a sell-out audience who were thoroughly entertained by an eclectic mix of choirs, soloists, trained voices, untrained, contralto, alto, ‘Songs from a Show’, and themes including Singing for Pleasure, Choral, Folk and Sacred!  Lots of preparation goes on behind the scenes in the run-up to this Festival, with members rehearsing for months in advance, ensuring all voices were finely tuned to have Templepatrick ‘Alive with the Sound of Music’.


Arts Sub-Committee Chairman Lesley Dowds opened the Festival with the welcoming remarks, wishing all those taking part every success.  Refreshments of tea, coffee and delicious scones were provided by the members of Templepatrick WI.  And so, the singing began, with each act introduced to the stage by Abercorn Area Executive Member Joan Beattie.


This year, the Adjudicator was Dr. Jayne Moore BEd (hons); MA; EdD; PGCM; LTCL, who praised the very high standard of singing and gave considered, professional and encouraging critiques of each performance.  Among her comments were the following inspiring words; “You don’t get old because you make music, you get old because you stop making music. Keep making music and stay young forever!”

After all the entertainment, Federation Chairman Margaret Broome presented the awards to the talented prize winners.  The Deborah Horan Trophy for Best Overall in the Festival was awarded to the fabulous Quoile Area Choir.  The vote of thanks was given by Arts Sub-Committee Chairman Lesley Dowds, who then also gave the closing remarks.

The Music Festival finished in traditional WI style and with ‘one more tune!’ – the singing of A Countrywoman’s Song.


The winners of the various categories were as follows:


Deborah Horan Trophy – ~Best Overall in the Music Festival 2023~ Quoile Area Choir


Class 1 Singing for PleasureOwn Choice

1st: Armoy WI Choir‘An American State of Mind’

2nd: Kells & Connor WI Choir‘Musical Medley’



Class 3 – Choral Folk Own Choice

1st: Richhill WI Choir‘The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby’

2nd: Quoile Area Choir‘Two for the Price of One’


Class 4 – Choral Sacred – ‘This Day’ (Unison)

1st: Quoile Area Choir

2nd: Ballyblack WI Choir


Class 5 – Choral (12+ voices) – ‘Hallelujah’

1st: Richhill WI Choir


Class 6 – Choral (2-12 voices)

1st (joint): Quoile Area Choir & Ballyblack WI Choir


Class 8 – Ensemble (2-4 voices) Own Choice

1st: Ballyblack WI Choir‘Goodnight My Angel’


Class 10 – Alto (Untrained) ‘My Favourite Things’ (from The Sound of Music)

1st: Kerrie Mumford, Ballyblack WI


Class 11 – Soprano Solo (Trained voice) ‘Simple Gifts’

1st: Margaret Taylor, Downpatrick WI/Quoile Area


Class 13 – Solo Folk Song Own Choice

1st: Margaret Taylor, Downpatrick WI/Quoile Area ‘My Ain Wee House’



Music Festival 2023 – Talented trophy winners, including solo singers and representatives from the award winning choirs that placed 1st in their respective classes.

Seated, front row (L-R): Arts Sub-Committee Chairman Lesley Dowds, Federation Chairman Margaret Broome and Adjudicator Dr. Jayne Moore.





All-American All-Stars – Armoy WI Choir ‘Singing for Pleasure’, led by Conductor Margaret Gillan.



Back in black for the Music Festival 2023 – Ballyblack WI Choir.




Lighting up the room in lemon – Kells & Connor WI Choir.




All at the ready – Richhill WI Choir, with Conductor Nuala Turtle.





Looking stylish their WI scarves – Slemish Area Choir, with Conductor Ruth Orr


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