About Codetta

The purpose of Codetta choirs is to provide the opportunity for singers in Derry City and the surrounding area to perform a variety of repertoire to the highest possible standard in a range of local, national and international settings.

Members of the choirs benefit from:

  • regular rehearsals featuring the development of musicianship, an understanding of choral technique and an exploration of a wide variety of repertoire
  • participation in concerts, festivals, recordings and broadcasts
  • the opportunity to work with visiting choral facilitators, conductors and composers 
  • the performance of new works  
  • participation in concert tours, both nationally and internationally
  • the promotion of tolerance and inclusion through participation in the choirs’ activities

Health Benefits

The benefits of singing together are well known. People love to sing, and there is strong scientific evidence that proves that singing is good for mind and body.

Some of the recognised benefits are: 

  • reduced stress levels
  • improved immune system
  • helping to develop a strong sense of community and social inclusion
  • improved mental health, mood, sense of well-being

In addition, singing in a group setting has been shown to:

  • enhance memory in people with dementia 
  • help increase an individual’s pain threshold, both physical and emotional (e.g. the ability to cope with grief)
  • improve the ability to speak for people with autism, Parkinson’s disease, aphasia, various speech impediments 

Musical Director

Dónal is the Artistic Director of Codetta Choirs. His love of choral music was nurtured as a member of the Schola Cantorum in St Finian’s College Mullingar and later at University College Dublin

He was appointed Head of Music Services for the Western Region of the Education Authority of Northern Ireland in 1996 and assumed responsibility for both the Western and Southern Regions in 2011. Dónal was Director of the Music Promise initiative, a key element of the inaugural UK City of Culture programme in Derry in 2013. In the same year, he founded the City of Derry International Choir Festival.

Dónal has worked with world renowned conductors Sakari Oramo, Vasily Petrenko and David Robertson as part of the BBC Proms series in London. In June 2019, he conducted the Coro del Estado de Jalisco, the Coro de la Fundación Beckmann and the Orquesta de Cámara de Zapopan in a performance of Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor. Current initiatives include both the ground-breaking North Belfast Youth Choir programme and the Codetta Junior and Youth Choirs in Derry, which were launched in September 2017. 

Codetta Trustees

The Director of Codetta Choirs is Dónal Doherty; the Assistant Director is Margaret Ross.

The rehearsal accompanist is Ben McGonagle

The Board of Codetta Choirs comprises:

Chair – Dónal Doherty

Secretary – Mairéad NicBhloscaidh

Treasurer – Colm Rainey

Board members:

  • Fiona Crosbie
  • Gráinne McAnaney
  • Rebecca Rogan
  • Gráinne Stevenson
  • Julia McIvor
  • Brendan Doherty