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Ulster Has Key Role In City of Culture Programme

The University of Ulster is set to play a key role in Derry ~ Londonderry’s UK City of Culture celebrations.

The first edition of the programme for 2013 was announced at a special launch event in Ebrington Square.

The University’s Magee campus will play host to an International Conference on Music, Technology and Disability, the Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) Annual Conference, an International Summer School, the City of Derry Choral Festival and the Ulster GAA Historical Symposium.

It will also host the first Ulster Festival of Creative Arts –a showcase of work from Dance, Drama, Music, Design and Creative Technologies’ students which will run alongside a programme of talks, recitals, screenings and performances by guest artists.

Staff and students from across the university’s campuses will be involved in many of the innovative events that form what is the largest cultural programme ever assembled on the island of Ireland.

UNSEEN will be a major exhibition of photographic and video works by double Turner Prize nominee Willie Doherty, Professor of Video Art at the Belfast campus. Professor Doherty has recorded the way in which Derry city has been shaped and altered in response to unfolding political events.

The exhibition will showcase some of Professor Doherty’s most important installations including Re-Run, 2002, for which he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2003 and Non-Specific Threat, 2004, which was shown to critical acclaim at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

‘The River Still Sings’, a new work by Professor Frank Lyons, supported by sound and video art by Professor Paul Moore, both from the School of Creative Arts, will be premiered in June. The piece sets a new text by poet Seamus Deane and reflects the continuing importance of the river to Derry.

‘Columba Canticles’, a new oratorio commissioned to mark the association between St Columb’s Cathedral, Derry’s most historic building, and the saint, will be composed by Dr Laurence Roman and performed by the University of Ulster choir, under the direction of Dr Shaun Ryan.

‘Fulgurite Chamber’, an audio-visual performance installation incorporating multi-channel sound, neon light sculpture and live quarter-tone bass flute, has been composed by Ulster music lecturer, Adam Melvin in collaboration with his brother, Mercury Music Prize winning artist Mark Melvin.

‘Stories of the Sea as a Supernatural Phenomenon’ will form the basis of an exhibition and public seminar by researchers from the School of Irish Language and Literature. The research team have collated the stories of the supernatural events and stories connected to the sea in English, Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

Welcoming the City of Culture programme, Professor Deirdre Heenan, Provost of the Magee and Coleraine campus and PVC Communication, said: “This is an enormously exciting time for the city, and the University of Ulster is delighted to participate in this momentous celebration. I congratulate the organisers on bringing together such a diverse and dynamic programme of events and look forward to the exciting opportunities that 2013 will bring.”