Saturday 4 June 2016, Sheffield City Hall

A special celebration concert to mark the Chorus’s 80th Birthday and the 60th Birthday of our former Chairman, Julie Smethurst, and to celebrate the music of Vaughan Williams:

  • O Clap Your Hands
  • Fantasia on Greensleeves
  • Dona Nobis Pacem
  • The Lark Ascending
  • Serenade to Music
  • Let All the World in Every Corner Sing

Royal Liverpool PhilharmonicDarius Battiwalla (conductor)

Jenny Rust – Soprano, Joshua Ellicott – Tenor, Oliver Dunn – Baritone

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and Sheffield Bach Choir

Friday 6th May 2016, Sheffield City Hall, 7pm

  • Vaughan Williams – Sympony No. 5
  • Haydn – Nelson Mass Royal

Northern Sinfonia, James Burton (conductor)

Anna Patalong – Soprano, Frances Bourne – Mezzo-soprano, Timothy Robinson – Tenor, David Soar – Bass

James Burton, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus and a fine line-up of soloists performed the ‘Nelson Mass’. This great late work of Haydn’s is widely regarded as one of the composer’s supreme achievements. Originally conceived as a response to Napoleon’s aggressive and acquisitive foreign policy, it gained its nickname after Admiral Nelson defeated the French navy at the famous Battle of the Nile.

Saturday 20th February 2016, Sheffield City Hall

Late-night ‘After Hours’ concert

Following the concert in the Irwin Mitchell Hall which featured Sibelius – Symphony 5, this special ‘After Hours’ concert, free to main concert ticket-holders, featured:

  • Sibelius – Rakastava
  • Arvo Pärt – Magnificat
  • Ēriks Ešenvalds – Vakars (Evening)
  • Ēriks Ešenvalds – Lielupe (The River Lielupe)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Darius Battiwalla (conductor)

Sat 12th December 2015, Sheffield City Hall, 3pm & 7pm

Christmas concerts

Petroc Trelawny (presenter)

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, Darius Battiwalla (conductor)

Black Dyke BandDr Nicholas Childs (conductor)

The annual Christmas Concert featured the Black Dyke Band, one of the world’s most celebrated brass bands, joining forces with Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus for the fifth year in a row. This pairing delighted the audience with their seasonal offering of carols and yuletide favourites for all the family.

Christmas 2020

Annual Christmas Carol Concert – 7pm on Saturday 12th December 2020

Sadly, our much-loved carol concert with the world-famous Black Dyke Band at Sheffield City Hall had to be abandoned because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Christmas Carols in the City Hall

However, Chorus and band have been working on a virtual Christmas carol concert, recorded from our own homes. The concert will feature a new version of the 16th century carol Resonet in Laudibus, arranged for brass band and chorus by our Music Director Darius Battiwalla, and the beautiful traditional Welsh lullaby Suo Gan, sung in Welsh with violin, harp and organ.

We are thrilled that our new Patron, BBC Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawny, has kindly agreed to present the concert, something he has done at the City Hall a number of times over the last few years.

With the Chorus accompanist Rachel Fright on the piano, and Music Director Darius Battiwalla on the Leeds Town Hall organ, this will be a virtual concert not to be missed!


Resonet in Laudibus arr. D. Battiwalla. Chorus, Black Dyke Band, Darius Battiwalla (organ)

Suo Gan (Welsh traditional) Chorus, Susan Voss (violin), Eira Lynn (harp), Darius Battiwalla (organ)

Deck the Hall arr. Langford. Chorus (a capella)

Gaelic Blessing John Rutter. Chorus, Rachel Fright (piano)

The Holly and the Ivy John Gardner. Chorus, Rachel Fright (piano)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing Mendelssohn. Chorus, Black Dyke Band, Darius Battiwalla (organ)

‘Awake Arise’ – our Christmas CD – an ideal Christmas gift

Our Christmas CD

Buy our Christmas CD ‘Awake, Arise! A Yorkshire Christmas Carol Collection for Brass and Voices‘, recorded with the world-famous Black Dyke Band. This collection has a real Yorkshire flavour and includes some of the Sheffield carols, traditionally sung in Sheffield pubs over the Christmas period.

It also includes arrangements by the Chorus’s gifted Music Director, Darius Battiwalla, of such Christmas classics as Joy to The World and O Holy Night, a firm favourite at our annual Christmas concerts at Sheffield City Hall. Other favourites include I Saw Three Ships and Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and the band playing the March from Tchaicovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and the wonderful Sleigh Ride from Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé.

To order your copy for £12 including postage and packing, please contact

You might also like to check out our most recent CD Anthems, Hymns and Gloria for Brass Band, which reached Number One in Classic FM’s specialist classical albums recently, as well as being Album of the Week. The CD, directed by Professor Nicholas Childs and Chorus Music Director Darius Battiwalla, was recorded in St Oswald’s Church on Bannerdale Road in Sheffield. It features eleven tracks composed by Rutter and arranged for brass band by Belgian conductor Luc Vertommen, including the Pie Jesu from his 1985 Requiem, and This is the Day composed for the wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. For further details and how to purchase, see Anthems, Hymns and Gloria for Brass Band

Carol Singing

Each year members of the Chorus volunteer to sing Christmas carols at a range of venues around Sheffield. Sadly none of the singalongs proved possible this year. However, the Chorus has contributed music from the ‘Awake Arise’ Christmas CD with the world-famous Black Dyke Band, to a virtual carol concert in aid of youth homelessness charity Roundabout.

Also, St Luke’s Festival of Light Service of Remembrance will be virtual rather than a live service this year. We were very keen to contribute to this very special event, as we do every year, and you can hear us sing ‘We Saw Three Ships‘ from our Awake Arise CD on the St Luke’s website

See What’s On this week in Sheffield on the Classical Sheffield website

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Look out for special offers! Some concerts are FREE for under 12s, or for under 16s. See individual concert details.
For Sheffield International Concert Season concerts at the City Hall, you can get 10 tickets for just £10 each, no matter where you sit – a great opportunity to get together with friends and family in the best circle seats for a third of the standard price!

Sheffield International Concert Season

Irwin Mitchell Hall

Most of our concerts form part of the prestigious Sheffield International Concert Season and take place at Sheffield City Hall in the magnificent Irwin Mitchell Hall, a visually stunning auditorium tiered on three levels.

Sheffield International Concert Season ticketing is explained on the City Hall website. Tickets are available from the Sheffield City Hall Box Office, and may be purchased

  • online via Sheffield City Hall Ticketmaster; however follow the links on our Current Season Concert page. Please note that booking fees apply.
  • by telephoning the City Hall Box Office on 0114 2 789 789 Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 6.00pm and Saturday from 10.00am to 4.00pm.
  • in person from the City Hall Box Office, open Monday to Saturday from 9.00am to 5.30pm, or up to one hour prior to the start on the day of the concert

Self promoted concerts

We also present self promoted concerts, which may take place at a range of venues, including the beautiful Art Deco ballroom at Sheffield City Hall, in the gorgeous acoustic of Sheffield Cathedral, at St Mark’s Church Broomhill, at the Victoria Hall or in the lovely Upper Chapel. We are committed to encouraging  young people to enjoy creating, making and listening to all kinds of music including classical, so we make sure that tickets are free for under-16s.

Tickets for these concerts may be purchased

  • online
  • at the door
  • from chorus members

However please follow the links for individual concerts on our Current Season Concert page.

See What’s On this week in Sheffield on the Classical Sheffield website

Current Season

2023-24 season

SPC is looking forward to a full season of fantastic concerts in 2023-24. Do come and see us – we are Royal Philharmonic Society Award nominees,  one of four shortlisted for the Inspiration Award in 2024.

Saturday 28 October 2023 St Mark’s Church, Broomhill at 7.30pm

Durufle Requiem

Our season in Sheffield will start with a fantastic ‘up close and personal’ concert in the beautiful St Mark’s church in Broomhill. We will sing Durufle’s gorgeous Requiem, composed between 1941 and 1947 and incorporating themes from the Gregorian “Mass for the Dead” as well as an evocative solo from mezzo-soprano Margaret McDonald, whose rich deep voice we’re sure you will love!

In the first half you’ll hear Tavener’s hauntingly beautiful Syvati and Saint-Saens’ Priere, both featuring Simon Turner, celebrated cellist with the Hallé, and Saint-Saens’ Quam Dilecta.

The evening will also feature not one but two world premieres! Sheffield musician Robin Morton and Chorus accompanist Rachel Fright were both winners in the Stella Jockel Young Composer Competition in March 2023, and you will hear both versions of their Sheffield Nocturne, composed for unaccompanied choir, in the first half.

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Darius Battiwalla – conductor

Margaret McDonald – mezzo soprano

Simon Turner – cello

Neil Taylor – organ

Tickets priced £18, students £5 (on the door only) under 18s free (on the door only). Available from choir members, online via this link and on the door on the night.


Saturday 16 December 2023 Sheffield City Hall at 2.30pm

Christmas Concert with Black Dyke Band

Christmas Carols in the City Hall

Our annual carol concert is an annual event looked forward to by audience and performers alike. With the world famous Black Dyke Band, and popular BBC Radio 3 and Proms presenter Petroc Trelawny, this will be a Christmas treat not to be missed!

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Darius Battiwalla – conductor

Black Dyke Band

Nicholas Childs – conductor

Petroc Trelawny – presenter

Tickets from £8 are available from the City Hall box office, online using this link, and on the door on the night.


Saturday 16 March 2024, Victoria Hall, Sheffield at 7.30pm

An Evening with British Composers

The Chorus is pleased to present a programme of contrasting works by male and female English and Welsh composers in the newly-refurbished Victoria Hall.

Benjamin Britten’s highly acclaimed and unique cantata Rejoice in the Lamb was composed in 1943 to text taken from Christopher Smart’s bizarre 18th century poem Jubilate Agno, first published in 1939.  Smart was famous for approaching people in the street and asking them to pray with him, which in those days was reason enough to confine him to a madhouse. His poem grabbed Britten’s imagination and he was able to reveal Smart as more visionary than lunatic, and his poem as a wonderfully imaginative Benedicite or thanksgiving.  It may not be orthodox or biblical to see the creative wonder of God in tigers, bears, bassoons, clarinets, and letters of the alphabet but, Britten smilingly asks, why not?

Imogen Holst was Benjamin Britten’s musical assistant and artistic director of the annual Aldeburgh Festival for many years, eventually giving this up to resume composing and preserving her father’s musical legacy.  Imogen showed precocious talent in composing and performance from a young age, and wrote her Three Psalms in 1933. The pieces are expressive and generous, using dissonance and drama alongside restrained accompaniment so the spotlight is firmly on the singers and the words of the psalms.

Imogen’s father Gustav Holst’s Two Psalms was written 21 years earlier, again for chorus, organ and strings. Holst found the spiritual aspect of the church very appealing, but disliked what he saw as its regimented orthodoxy and, probably as a result, composed little sacred music. The Two Psalms, written before The Planets and as different from that work as can be imagined, use plainchant and chorale harmonization to great effect, conveying reverence and anguish in equal measure. Holst served as the music master at St Paul’s Girls’ School in Hammersmith from 1905 to 1934 and the National Festival Orchetsra will play his short but perfectly-formed St Paul’s Suite, one of many pieces he wrote for the school’s students.

Welsh composer Grace Williams was a contemporary of both Britten and Imogen Holst and one of the first professional Welsh composers of the twentieth-century to attain significant national recognition. Many of her works are directly inspired by Wales and its culture. She worked as a successful composer and music teacher in London for many years, but returned to live and work in Wales in 1947, writing choral and vocal music in her later years. Her exquisite Ave Maris Stella for mixed chorus was commissioned by the North Wales Music Festival in 1973, and the rhythms and melodic lines of the music reflect the ebb and flow of the sea, with which the composer had a life-long fascination. Read more about Grace Williams, regarded by some as one of the greatest female composers of the 20th century, on her official website: Grace Williams website

  • Britten: Rejoice in the Lamb
  • Imogen Holst: Three Psalms
  • Interval
  • Grace Williams: Ave Maris Stella
  • Gustav Holst: St Paul’s Suite (orchestra only)
  • Gustav Holst: Two Psalms

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

National Festival Orchestra

Darius Battiwalla – conductor

James Mitchell – organ

Tickets £18, £5 for students on the door, under 18s and carers free on the door. Available online via this link (small booking fee), from choir members and on the door by cash or card,  Tickets for those in wheelchairs and with limited mobility are available , please email .

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Saturday 4 May 2024

Come and Sing Haydn’s Creation in the Upper Chapel Sheffield

Darius Battiwalla – Conductor

Neil Taylor – organ

Emily Costigan – soprano

Sean Brines – tenor

Charles Murray – bass

10am to 4pm, performance at 5pm

In May we are holding a Come and Sing event,  a new venture for the Chorus and a super chance for folk to sing a popular choral work with South Yorkshire’s foremost mixed voice large choir. Haydn’s wonderful oratorio Creation created a sensation when the work was first played in public, particularly the ‘let there be light’ moment; according to a friend of the composer: “…one would have said that rays darted from the composer’s burning eyes. The enchantment of the electrified Viennese was so general that the orchestra could not proceed for some minutes.” There won’t be an orchestra on this occasion but accomplished organist Neil Taylor is bound to really work the Upper Chapel’s organ, and alongside over 100 singers, achieve a similar effect. It’s a super work, very tuneful and not too difficult to sing, with spine-chillingly soft and quiet parts as well as rousing sections that can really make your heart sing and your soul soar.

You will spend the day rehearsing Parts 1 and 2 of Haydn’s marvellous Creation in the lovely Upper Chapel on Norfolk Street, alongside the City Hall’s Resident Chorus, conducted by the choir’s Music Director Darius Battiwalla. Darius has conducted choral performances with leading orchestras including the Halle, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Manchester Camerata, and he has prepared the Chorus for appearances at the Proms and for recordings with the BBC Philharmonic for Chandos. He has worked regularly as guest chorusmaster or conductor with many other choirs including the Northern Sinfonia Chorus, Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, Huddersfield Choral Society, CBSO chorus and Netherlands Radio Choir.  Darius is Leeds City Organist and has appeared as organ soloist with the Halle, London Philharmonic Orchestras and the BBC Philharmonic, and he gives regular chamber concerts with members of the Manchester orchestras on piano and harpsichord. Despite this impressive record he is a very friendly conductor, encouragingly supportive and challenging in equal measure.

The day will start at 10.30 with registration from 10am, and run to 12.30 with a break for tea or coffee and cake (included in the admission price).  Bring your own lunch or use one of the many great eating places in the city centre. We’ll re-commence at 2pm and rehearse until 4pm, when there’ll be a longer break until the performance for family and friends at 5pm; this should finish around 6pm. Scores provided, but if you prefer to bring your own that’s fine though it won’t lead to a discount as we’ll still have to cover the cost of hired copies. Any version will be acceptable as there isn’t a lot of variation between them. Wear anything you feel comfortable in, but don’t take bulky bags as there isn’t a cloakroom.

The short performance from 5pm is free to family and friends, and will be attended by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield’s twin town Bochum and other VIPs, who happen to be visiting Sheffield that weekend and want to come and hear the result of our joint labours.

Information about joining the Chorus will be available on the day; see https://sheffieldphil.org/membership-join/new-members/

Tickets for visiting singers cost £20 including score and refreshments.  Numbers will be limited due to the large number of Chorus members, and may not be available on the day, so you are advised to book in advance. Tickets for the performance are FREE, but audience numbers will be limited and tickets are required.  Tickets available online (with a booking fee) or from Chorus members (no booking fee).

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Saturday 22 June 2024 Sheffield City Hall at 7pm

Mozart Requiem

The final concert of the season features a much-anticipated appearance of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra with their award-winning Music Director, Kristiina Poska.

Renowned for her choral conducting, Kristina will direct a star-studded cast of soloists along with the combined forces of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem. Including the mournful “Lacrimosa”, it is considered by many to be the composer’s greatest masterpiece.

Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni, famously written in just three hours the night before the outrageous comedy opera’s premiere, opens the concert, followed by Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony. Fondly referred to by the composer himself as “my little Symphony in F”, it is notable for its dramatic shifts in dynamics, feverish cross-rhythms and heavenly, almost hymn-like, episodes. This is a season finale not to be missed.

Kristiina Poska conductor

Yena Choi soprano

Kadi Jürgens mezzo

Denzil Delaere tenor

Christian Immler bass-baritone

Tickets from £8 available from the City Hall box office, online via this link, or on the door on the night.

Special offer – gather 10 friends and family together and book at the same time for just £10 per ticket – no matter where you sit!


Events outside of Sheffield

  • 22 to 25 September 2023  Mahler 2 in Monte Carlo, with CBSO
  • Friday 21 June 2024 Mozart Requiem with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra in the Cadogan Hall London
  • Sunday 23 June 2024 Mozart Requiem with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra in the Usher Hall Edinburgh
  • 10 to 17 July 2024 Faure Requiem, mini tour in France

See What’s On this week in Sheffield on the Classical Sheffield website

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Concerts since 2010

Since 2010 the Chorus has performed works spanning seven centuries and eleven nations, in English, German, French, Hungarian, Latin, Russian and Latvian. We have sung works by stalwarts such as Monteverdi, Tallis, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Verdi, Vaughan Williams, Tippett, Schoenberg, Britten and Bliss, but also by contemporary composers such as Wilby, Mealor, Jenkins, Part, Gorecki and Esenvalds.

Click on the links to view details of our performances for each season:

Steve’s Fantasy Concert

Steve’s fantasy concert was a performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in Sheffield’s City Hall in December 2011. The Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus (supplemented by singers from the CBSO Chorus), the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (conductor Michael Seal), Lindley Junior School Choir and three top-class soloists helped to create an extremely moving and memorable event.

Steve says “I chose the War Requiem in memory of my wife, who had died two years earlier, and my mother who died earlier that year, and because it was Britten’s centenary year and I’d worked with him in the 1960s and had admired his War Requiem since I first heard it in 1962. It is an expensive work to perform, but my mother had left me some money – and she’d have been glad that I put it to good use. The whole experience of helping to organise the concert and the emotions of the performance itself have left wonderful abiding memories.

Read why for Jo Briddock, 2nd Alto with the Chorus, her fantasy concert would have to include Brahms’ Requiem.

What’s your fantasy concert? If you have an occasion that you’d love to celebrate by supporting us to bring your fantasy concert to life, contact us now at 


Julie’s Fantasy Concert

In 2016 Julie Smethurst lived her dream of creating a large-scale choral concert at the City Hall on 4 June, to celebrate her 60th birthday and the 80th anniversary of the Chorus. “I’d always dreamed of being able to sponsor a classical concert to the extent of being able to say what I wanted on the programme. Vaughan Williams became my favourite English composer in my teens, so the whole concert is made up of his music, including the mesmerising The Lark Ascending. The choices have been chewed over quite a bit but all the pieces I wanted have made it to the final line-up – with no compromises.

Julie Smethurst

But even armed with extensive personal experience and supportive colleagues who have been organizing and promoting concerts for over 15 years, the financial and practical implications make for a long to-do list. Concerts of this nature can take between 2 – 5 years to plan, to allow for venue and performer diary dates to align and partnerships to be devised. These are the real keys to success due to the team of professionals and volunteers needed; members of the Chorus, orchestra, bands, soloists, conductors, music directors, and all the ‘behind the scenes’ personnel who are needed to deal with booking the venue, ticketing, contracting, stage management and publicity.

Is it daunting? “I’d be telling fibs if I said no, but it’s also such a thrill and a privilege to celebrate my birthday so collaboratively, and with a splendid, experienced, and friendly team of people.” Classical concerts on this scale are just about impossible to make commercially viable, hence the importance of finding sponsors. Julie explained “I certainly couldn’t afford this on my own. A full orchestra costs around £20,000, then there’s venue hire and soloists’ fees to name just a few items. So we are all clubbing together to get the event off the ground. This is the fulfilment of a long-cherished dream. I can’t quite believe that the wonderful Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra, four soloists, and two large choirs will all be joining forces to create an unforgettable Birthday celebration. I can’t wait!

Julie was prompted into making her dream a reality when fellow singer, Steve Terry, Bass with the Chorus, donned his ‘executive producer’ hat in December 2013. Read about his fantasy concert here.

So what would your concert be? Read why for Jo Briddock, 2nd Alto with the Chorus it would have to include Brahms’ Requiem.

What’s your fantasy concert? If you have an occasion that you’d love to celebrate by supporting us to bring your fantasy concert to life, contact us now at