An array of singing talent has been assembled for a Gala Concert at Redruth Methodist Church to launch the start of the fifth Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival, which is held every two years.

Special guest soloist at the February 12 concert will be soprano Cheryl Brendish, accompanied by Alastair Taylor.

The all-Cornish programme will also feature Four Lanes Male Voice Choir, City of Truro Male Voice Choir, Cornwall Boys’ Choir and Eight In A Bar.

Four Lanes were winners of the 41 voices and over section in the 2009 festival competition, while Eight In A Bar won the 40 voices and under section.

The Cornwall Boys’ Choir is now in its fourth year, having been established with the aim of becoming Cornwall’s leading youth choir and one of the leading boys’ choirs in the country. City of Truro Male Voice Choir took on its present title in 2003, but has its roots in two choirs formed in the 1940s – Chacewater and District Male Voice Choir and Carnon Vale Male Choir.

Festival chairman David Peters said: “It promises to be a truly memorable evening with many of Cornwall’s finest singers lined up to perform in a wonderful building. To have Cheryl as special guest is the icing on the cake – she has a fabulous voice.”

The concert starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £7 from the Hall For Cornwall box office or its website, as well as from Miller Countrywide at 57 Fore Street, Redruth, who can be called on 01209 215594. Tickets will also be available on the door.

This year’s main festival programme will run from April 27 to May 2 and bring together over 60 male choirs from all over the world. Although details are still to be confirmed, it is expected that more overseas choirs than ever before will be participating.

A major sponsorship and advertising campaign is now under way in support of the festival, with A&P Falmouth already signed up as the principal sponsor.

The biggest festival of its kind in Europe will take place at around 30 venues across Cornwall, hosting concerts, schools workshops, competitions, master classes and choir workshops.

Approximately 3,500 singers will perform before a predicted combined audience of well over 40,000.

Regional gala concerts will be held in almost every major town across Cornwall, with less formal singing taking place at various other venues.