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The Beatitudes: home at last

The Beatitudes - home at last

50 years after it was written, Arthur Bliss' 'The Beatitudes' finally came home. The concert at Coventry Cathedral in September 2012 included the first performance in the Cathedral for which it was commissioned. Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus was proud to take part in this historic event, part of Coventry Cathedral's Golden Jubilee celebrations. The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, soloists Andrew Kennedy and Orla Boylan were conducted by Paul Daniel, Conductor, BBC Philharmonic.

**** The Guardian, Andrew Clements

The Beatitudes in Coventry Cathedral – 50 Years Late!
'Ranged behind the orchestra was the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus. ... Clearly their chorus master, Darius Battiwalla, had done a superb job in preparing them. Their singing was consistently splendid and I was especially impressed by the extent to which they projected the words clearly. That can’t have been easy in such an acoustic and over a large orchestra but the choir did extremely well in this regard. They were also responsive to dynamics and the tone that they produced was excellent. ... This is a fine choir and they were on their mettle for this ‘away fixture’ in Coventry. " John Quinn, Seen and Heard International

"Sir Arthur's daughter and granddaughter were in the audience .... they were so moved by The Beatitudes that there were tears." Michael Foster, Golden Jubilee Events Co-ordinator, Coventry Cathedral

"Fellow Trust members, who were there on Saturday, described the evening as 'a very special occasion indeed'."', Andrew Burn, Bliss Trustee

Read more about the concert here.

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Coventry Cathedral

Gentlemen of Shefffield Philharmonic Chorus

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Paul Daniel conducting the BBC Philharmonic

2011 - 2012 season

The 2011 - 12 season has seen the chorus sing Walton's Belshazzars Feast, perform 7 Christmas events, launch our national Singclude project which will improve access to choral singing for mobility impaired people, and lead the Alight Cultural Olympiad festival in Sheffield in March 2012.

Alight was heralded as "...one of the most wide-ranging and interesting [projects] of the whole Music Nation weekend" by David Gallagher, Senior Producer at BBC Radio 3. It featured over 1500 performers, 10 venues and 35 performances. Two musical compositions were commissiond for the event, including SPC member Yaron Hollander's Everyone Sang, which was performed by the Chorus.

The choir was joined in April by Halifax Choral Society and the world famous Black Dyke Band in Sheffield premieres of Phillip Wilby's "A Bronte Mass" and Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man. For The Armed Man, we were delighted to be joined by the Muezzin from Sheffield's Madina Masjid.

This autumn will see the Chorus take part in the Golden Jubilee celebrations for Coventry Cathedral. On 22 September we will perform Sir Arthur Bilss's Beatitues, which was composted specially for the consecration of the Cathedral in 1962 but never actually performed there. The chorus is delighted to be joinging the BBC Philharmonic in premiering the work in the Cathedral in a concert due to be broadcast by the BBC.

A 2010 concert brought back very proud memories for some of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus's longest standing members. A handful of our singers, who recorded Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius in 1964 for EMI records, are took part in a performance of the same piece in November 2010 with the Hallé Orchestra, under James Burton.

The 2009-10 season saw the release of our latest CD with Chandos, Elgar's Crown of India wth Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Philharmonic. A performance with Black Dyke Band in Birmingham was recorded for DVD, as well as being broadcast by BBC radio. The chorus also performed with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in the world-touring Star Wars in Concert events, narrated by Anthony Daniels (C3PO) and featuring John Williams' classic scores and footage from all six films. The chorus participated in concerts in Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.