Arrangements for Messiah concert on Saturday 23 April 2022


There will be a compulsory piano rehearsal for Messiah, at King Edward VII Upper School, on Thursday 21 April at 7pm.

Drivers please enter via the gates from Glossop Road only; you need to centre your vehicle as you approach the gates to ensure that they open. Cars may leave via either gate. Those on foot or bicycle should use the pedestrian gates, to the right of the vehicle gates (Glossop Road) or to the left (Newbould Lane). These are permanently unlocked and will open given a good strong push.

Please find seats alongside Sheffield singers of the correct voice part. Note that ladies sit upstairs (altos to left of sopranos) while gentlemen sit downstairs (basses to left of tenors). We sit as far apart as the available seats allow. If you aren’t sure where to go just ask a member of the Chorus.

Please make sure that you mark or paperclip your score to show which movements we are not singing, so that everyone has these clear by Thursday. We are not doing movements 19, 20, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 49, 50, 51 or 52. Note that the interval follows movement 33 Lift up your heads O Ye Gates (at around 8.40pm).

Messiah concert arrangements

Please don’t attend if you have symptoms of Covid or a cold or flu, or if you test positive or haven’t been double vaccinated.

You will be able to get into the City Hall from around 13.00, to give everyone time to get on stage for 14.00 so the seating can be organised before the rehearsal starts. Please enter via the right-hand door of the main entrance on Barker’s Pool and NOT via the Stage Door. Sign in on the tick-sheets provided and collect a wrist band at the desk in the main entrance foyer. Please keep your wrist band on all day as it shows security staff that you do not need to be searched.

To get from the entrance straight to the stage for the rehearsal:

  • As quickly as you can (to avoid congestion) move out of the foyer into the ground floor corridors that surround the Oval Hall.
  • Turn left if you are a soprano or a tenor and right if you are an alto or a bass, and proceed up the stairs to the circle floor. There’s a lift from the foyer if you need it.
  • Staying on the same side, walk to the end of the corridor and through the double doors into the back stage area.
  • From there, proceed further along the corridor and down the backstage stairs that lead to the stage right entrance (sopranos and tenors) or stage left entrance (altos and basses).

You may prefer to go to the Chorus dressing rooms first to drop off your coats and bags, though this will involve a long walk and a lot of stairs, so it’s not something to attempt in only a few minutes. There is a lift from the foyer; please ask at the main door if you prefer to use this.

We have been allocated the South Hall, which is next door to the ballroom in the basement (the North Hall will be used to prepare the buffet for the post-concert party). The South Hall will be divided for privacy.

To get from the entrance to the South Hall dressing room:

  • As quickly as you can (to avoid congestion) move out of the foyer into the ground floor corridors that surround the Oval Hall.
  • Turn right and walk to the end of the corridor and through the double doors into the back stage area.
  • Proceed down the stairs facing you, all the way to the bottom, then through the double doors to the basement area. The ballroom is flanked on each side by the North and South Halls; there should be signs to tell you how to reach the South Hall.

If you leave the building at any time, you must sign out (and of course back in again) at the same desk, which will be left in place until 6.30pm – though everyone should aim to be back by 6.15 at the latest.

We will be using the organ stalls as well as the choir risers, so we can spread out as much as we can.  Please sit among members of the Sheffield choir. Seats are unallocated within each voice part, and your seat for the rehearsal is your place for the concert. Please arrange yourselves so that tall people sit towards the back, or the outsides of the row, because of sight lines. Be prepared to move if required.

Wherever you’re coming from or going to, try to take the most direct route onto the stage, even if this takes you onto the wrong side of the stage. It’s better to cross in front of the organ, if that’s quicker and more direct than the backstage route along stairs and corridors. Do ask if you are lost – the City Hall is something of a labyrinth!

The band and soloists will continue rehearsing after we leave (around 16.00 or slightly later), so please leave the stage quickly and quietly.

The South Hall is more spacious than rooms we have sometimes been allocated but will be more crowded than when we get both halls, so you may prefer to arrive already in concert dress, at least partly, to avoid having to change in a crowded space. You can leave your bags in the dressing rooms but don’t leave valuables as the rooms won’t be locked.

The City Hall staff have said we can use the South Hall and the balcony side areas (both balcony seats and adjacent corridors) to spend waiting time and to eat and drink if not going out for tea. Please leave these spaces as we find them.

Members with mobility issues will be able to use Dressing Room 1 – though the route to get there is longer than usual since we won’t be using the stage door.

We will enter the stage without lining up. Just take your places informally and gradually, to minimise crowding on the stairs. If you’re happy with the long wait you can start to take your on-stage seat any time after 6.15pm, but please be in your seat by 6.50 at the latest.

There will be a short interval after ‘Lift up your heads O ye gates’, which will fall around 8.20pm, but there’s only time for a quick comfort break as it takes time to get off stage, and we need to be back in our seats again before the second half starts. You can stay in your on-stage seat if you prefer – just make sure others in your row can enter and leave easily.

Music should be in black folders. Please be careful not to turn pages over at the end of a movement; stay engaged and looking at the conductor until the next one starts. Turn the page early if we have a rapid entry, and quietly at all times.

Stand when the conductor walks onto the stage. Don’t clap soloists or conductors until they come back on for their second bow. Margaret McDonald, our alto soloist this evening, is the Sheffield choir’s Vocal Coach. She has nothing to sing in the second half and has only recently recovered from Covid, so she is very sensibly taking the opportunity to go home at the interval. She would otherwise have come to the party to meet as many of you as possible, and wishes us you all the very best.

Covid precautions and general health and safety for the concert:

  • Do not attend the concert if you have symptoms of Covid, flu or a cold, or are not double vaccinated
  • Please wear face coverings at all times in the building, until just before we sing (unless you’re exempt of course)
  • Stay distanced as much as you can, especially in smaller spaces
  • Try not to chat when you’re in a small space
  • Bring your own drinks and don’t share them
  • Please let us know if you get Covid after the concert, and say who sat near you
  • Don’t use breakable vessels in the dressing room; store and carry hot drinks safely
  • No drinks on stage during the performance
  • Keep belongings out of thoroughfares, especially in restricted areas
  • Take care when using stairs and steps
  • Make sure you know the emergency evacuation procedure (below)

In the event of an emergency, follow any directions we are given and leave in an orderly fashion. Do not try to retrieve belongings.

Messiah party arrangements

The concert will probably finish at around 9.35pm, and the party will be in the ballroom immediately afterwards. Audience members who have tickets can make their way via the City Bar; there will be signage and stewards to guide people. The Lord Mayor of Sheffield will attend, along with other local councillors, the Directors of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Friends of the Chorus and members of the Black Dyke Band. There will be short speeches and presentations around 10.00pm, and the buffet will be served to ticket-holders at 10.15pm from the North Hall. There will be a bar until midnight. There will be a piano available if anyone wants to play and/or sing, and we are looking forward to having a wonderful time!

Arrangements for German visit

  • Wed 20 April: German visitors arrive in Sheffield.
  • Thu 21 April 2022: Hardwick Hall & Gardens, Meet at entrance hut at 11am, entrance £16. Return to Sheffield in time for a meal followed by Messiah rehearsal 7pm KES.
  • Fri 22 April: Guided city centre walking tour from 10.30. Coffee at Millenium Galleries café at 11.30. Lord’s Mayor’s reception and tour at Town Hall 1.00pm – 1.45pm. Lunch in city centre, free time to visit museums, galleries, shops, parks, Botanical Gardens, etc.
  • Sat 23rd April: Free time in the morning, afternoon rehearsal at City Hall from 2pm. Eat in city centre cafés/restaurants. Concert 7pm-9.35pm, followed by party in the ballroom.
  • Sun 24th April: Departures for journeys home.

Arrangements for French visit – SPC members invited to concerts

  • Thu 21 April 2022: French visitors arrive in Sheffield. Messiah rehearsal 7pm KES.
  • Fri 22 April: Travel to York, meet 11am at York Minster for sightseeing in York. Rehearsal at 4pm in St Michael’s Church, Malton, followed by concert at 6.30pm
  • Sat 23rd April: Free morning, rehearsal at City Hall from 2pm. Eat in city centre cafés/restaurants. Concert 7pm-9.35pm, followed by party in the ballroom.
  • Sun 24th April: Optional 11am Choral Eucharist St John the Baptist Church Buxton. Sightseeing in Buxton, cream tea at 3pm in the tea room opposite the Opera House. Rehearsal at St John the Baptist Church 17.30 followed by concert at 7pm.
  • Mon 25 April: Free morning, depart afternoon or evening

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There will be children at the Messiah rehearsal on 23 April

The children and grandchildren, nephews, nieces etc of Chorus members have been invited to attend the afternoon rehearsal for Messiah on Saturday 23 April, any time from 2.30pm. They will be seated in the stalls and don’t need to stay for the whole rehearsal.  All children or young people under 18 will be accompanied by an adult who will stay with them and be responsible for their safety and well-being throughout the rehearsal.