10 February 2021
By Mary Bermingham
The Cork International Choral Festival announces Ibec’s sponsorship of and participation in the inaugural Workplace Choir of the Year competition to help improve staff wellbeing through music
Cork International Choral Festival is delighted to announce that Ibec, Ireland’s largest business representative group, has come on board as the title sponsor of the festival’s new Workplace Choir of the Year competition.
The Ibec Workplace Choir of the Year competition will be the culminating event of Cork International Choral Festival’s ‘Choirworks’ programme, which has been devised specifically for the 2021 event. The programme offers workplace colleagues around the country the chance to learn to sing and form a virtual company choir, or improve their singing and existing workplace choir, through online interactive music lessons, choir workshops and team building activities.
The aim of the initiative is to help companies connect with their staff and teams during Covid through the uplifting medium of music.
Ibec has voiced its support for the festival initiative, not just by sponsoring the new workplace choir competition, but by committing to forming a virtual workplace choir of its own and competing in the 2021 Workplace Choir of the Year competition.
Commenting on the announcement, Peter Stobart, Cork International Choral Festival director said, “We are thrilled that Ibec has lent its support to this new strand of the Cork International Choral Festival programme, not only by sponsoring the new competition but by committing to participating in the ‘Choirworks’ training programme and online competition as well. This is the start of an exciting three-year partnership with Ibec.
“It shows that businesses recognise both the importance of staff wellbeing and the therapeutic power of music. Group singing, in particular, can help individuals express themselves, connect with one another and generally just feel good which is something I think everyone can benefit from, now more than ever in this ongoing climate of Covid.”
Liam O’Donoghue, Ibec COO and Deputy CEO said, ”Ibec is delighted to be the title sponsor of the first CICF of the Year Competition. As passionate and vocal advocates of employee wellbeing, the workplace choir of the year competition is a fitting match. We know so many workplaces, including our own as we have also entered, will benefit from the opportunity of getting their colleagues and friends virtually re-connected, through singing. The great healing and energising power of singing together is well known and we look forward to the beautiful music to come or as we say in Ibec, the voice of business!”
Since the onset of the Covid19 pandemic, remote working has become the norm in most organisations however working from home can often cause feelings of social isolation and loneliness in the workforce. Finding new ways to engage with staff and colleagues has therefore never been more important.
Research has shown that singing has both mental and physical health and wellbeing benefits. The social aspect of choral music participation also has the potential to play a more active role in improving social interaction among staff and helping achieve a good work-life.
CICF Ibec Workplace Choir of the Year competition intends to promote the beneficial impact
that music has on collaboration, creative thinking and better mental and physical wellbeing in the workplace.
Companies across Ireland (and internationally) are encouraged to enter the Ibec Workplace Choir of the Year competition by submitting a video a virtual performance compiled of individual choir members’ videos. Closing date for entries is 2nd April. The winning workplace choir will be announced at the online Awards Ceremony of the 2021 Cork International Choral Festival on Sunday 2nd May.
Established in 1954, the Cork International Choral Festival is regarded as the premier event of its kind both nationally and internationally. Now staging its 66th edition, this is the first time the festival, which will this year be held entirely online, has introduced a workplace/company strand. The novel move has been made in an effort to help employers boost staff morale and improve employee wellbeing through the power of music.