Chorus hosts French and German singers
Friday 22 April 2022
Members of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus are thrilled to be opening their homes to singers from two choirs, the Philharmonischer Chor Bochum from Germany and Ensemble Vocal Perigueux from France. ‘Our friends from France and Germany have come over to sing Handel’s Messiah with us on St George’s Day’ said Chorus Chair Paul Henstridge. ‘ We are having s super time showing them round Sheffield and Yorkshire – and rehearsing for the concert of course.’
The German party enjoyed a tour of Sheffield’s city centre, including a talk about the metal work exhibition in Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery, and a tour of Sheffield Town Hall, meeting the Lord Mayor and her mace-bearer. ‘Bochum also has a proud history of steel-making’ explained Chorus member Louise Dawson, who led the tour of the city centre, ‘Our visitors were most impressed by the quality of the work displayed at the Millennium Gallery.’ A message of friendship was sent by Bochum’s mayor, along with an invitation for the Sheffield choir to make another trip to Germany next year.
The French party travelled up to York, visiting the Minster before presenting a concert in Malton, the birthplace of their conductor Patrick Hilliard. On Sunday 24 April they will enjoy an afternoon in Buxton followed by another concert in St John the Baptist Church, Buxton
The big event is on Saturday 23 April, when the three choirs come together to sing Messiah with the world-famous Black Dyke Band, fresh from their recent win at the Yorkshire Championships. Tickets cost £18, under-16s FREE, available online on the City Hall website or at the door on the night
23 Sept 2019 Chorus kick off BBC Music Day on Fargate
12 June 2019 REVIEW Holy Face Sheffield Telegraph
Friday 31 July 2020
To celebrate Yorkshire Day 2020, East Leeds FM radio / Chapel FM Arts Centre will broadcast a special programme live from Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 1 August from 12 noon.
The programme will include a special concert by Chorus Music Director and Leeds City Organist Darius Battiwalla, on the Town Hall’s magnificent organ.
This will be the first live performance at the Town Hall since the Coronavirus Lock-down – though obviously with no live audience.
Darius’s Yorkshire Day programme features music which has been written by composers with a direct link to Yorkshire and will include an interview with composer Philip Wilby, whose oratorio The Holy Face was performed by the Chorus a few years ago.
Darius will introduce the pieces as he would normally do in his much-loved Monday lunchtime organ concerts at Leeds Town Hall.
Click here to read more and to listen to the broadcast.
8 June 2019
Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus are thrilled that the composer Philip Wilby will be in attendance at the forthcoming concert premiere of the brass band version of his oratorio The Holy Face at the City Hall at 3pm on Sunday 9 June 2019. The Chorus will be joined by the Black Dyke Band, Halifax Choral Society, the Yorkshire Youth Choir and four great soloists for this very special concert.
‘The Holy Face was written for massed voices, organ and either brass band or orchestra.’ said Chorus Chairman Paul Henstridge. ‘We are really looking forward to singing this musical retelling of the life of St John with our friends the Halifax Choral Society, who commissioned it to celebrate their 200th Anniversary in 2017.’
‘We are really committed to making classical music accessible to young people’ said Chorus administrator Anne Adams ‘So we have sent out a really generous ticket offer to all the brass training bands, our Sheffield-based youth orchestras, all the secondary schools and the Sheffield Music Hub and Music Academy. Seven members of the Black Dyke Band have agreed to meet Sheffield’s young brass players after the concert – how fantastic is that!’
The brass version of The Holy Face was recorded in June 2017, and the orchestral premiere held in Halifax later that year. The CD is available from Halifax Choral Society’s website.
Also on the programme is Paradise, a fabulous new work by Welsh-born composer Paul Mealor, who sprang to fame in 2011 when his Ubi Caritas was featured at the wedding of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. Paradise is a beautiful piece for brass band and voices which the chorus recorded in January with the world-famous Black Dyke Band in Sheffield’s own City Hall. The recording has been published as part of the Black Dyke Gold series – and composer Paul Mealor is thrilled with it. ‘I am very impressed.’ said Paul on hearing the CD. ‘It’s a fantastic recording of the work.’
The piece features two elements sung by the Chorus alongside the Black Dyke Band, sandwiching a central section of fiendish difficulty showcasing the band’s incredible virtuosity. The Chorus first sang Paradise in January at the Brass Band Festival held each year at the Royal Northern School of Music in Manchester, a performance that was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
The concert begins with another work by Philip Wilby, his organ concerto Cinema, written for organ and brass band, and featuring Chorus Music Director and Leeds City Organist Darius Battiwalla on the magnificent City Hall organ.
Tickets are available from the City Hall box office.