Musicians from all over the North of England and further afield head for Sheffield on Saturday 23 November, the weekend of the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten in Aldeburgh in 1913, for a gala concert of British Music at St Mark’s in Broomhill – a church celebrating itself this Autumn the fiftieth anniversary of its re-consecration in 1963 following war damage, and now widely acknowledged as one of the finest of England’s more modern churches.
The concert by Sheffield Bach Choir with the National Festival Orchestra features the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings and the “St Nicolas Cantata” by Britten. Special guests include the acclaimed choristers from St John’s Ranmoor, directed by Ian Roberts and young soloists from Wakefield Cathedral and Leeds Minster. It is the second occasion in recent years that the Bach Choir has been joined by the Ranmoor choristers – on the first occasion they played the parts of ragamuffins in Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”; this time their music is rather more conventional in character. Well-known horn soloist Jenny Cox joins Bach Choir regular guest Tenor Stephen Liley from Bedfordshire in the line up and the evening unfolds from Gustav Holst’s Two Psalms of 1912 featuring Stephen and Sheffield soprano Jenny Leadbeater in principal roles. Getting on for 120 performers in all, we reckon!