70th Season Concerts

Due to the coronavirus and in line with Government guidelines, our final concert of the season unfortunately had to be abandoned. 

Sheffield Bach Society’s 70th concert season included two Festival concerts; Brahms in October and Bach in November, featuring the wonderful Brahms German Requiem and Bach’s oratorios Sleepers Wake and the Christmas Oratorio. Regular favourites included “Messiah” at Christmas and Bach’s magnificent Mass in B minor at Easter.

Download the 2019-20 season brochure here

Saturday 5 October 2019, 7.30pm, Sheffield CathedralA programme devoted to Brahms, featuring his magnificent German Requiem, the Academic Festival Overture and two beautiful motets. Brahms composed his Ein deutsches Requiem following the death of his mother in 1865, a loss that deeply affected him. Although the Requiem Mass usually begins with prayers for the dead, Ein deutsches Requiem focuses on the living, beginning with the text “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” and it seems clear that for Brahms this was a humanist work. Featuring two wonderful soloists, rising Sheffield star Ella Taylor and internationally acclaimed bass Alex Ashworth, this was a concert not to be missed!

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem
Brahms: Academic Festival Overture

Ella Taylor – Soprano
Alex Ashworth – Baritone

The National Festival Orchestra conducted by Simon Lindley

This concert was generously supported by Jane Ginsborg.

Link to YouTube recording of Ein deutsches Requiem

Saturday 16th November 2019, 7.30pm, Sheffield Cathedral

Johann Sebastian Bach.jpgBach’s beautiful Christmas Oratorio was written for the Christmas season of 1734 and incorporates music from earlier compositions. Each of the six parts was intended for performance on one of the major feast days of the Christmas period, and the first three parts will be presented on this occasion – the Birth of Jesus, the annunciation and the adoration of the shepherds. Composed a few years earlier Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Awake, calls the voice to us), also known as Sleepers Wake, is regarded as one of Bach’s most mature and popular sacred cantatas. Featuring regulars Stephen Liley, Philippa Hyde, Lucy Appleyard and Quentin Brown, this proved to be a marvellous way to start Christmas early!

Bach – Christmas Oratorio parts 1,2 & 3

Bach – Cantata 140

Stephen Liley – narrator
Philippa Hyde – soprano
Lucy Appleyard – alto
Quentin Brown – bass

The National Festival Orchestra conducted by Simon Lindley

This concert was generously supported by Betty Grimsley.

Link to YouTube recording of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio parts 1 to 3

Link to YouTube recording of Bach’s Cantata 140

Handel – MESSIAH
Monday 2 December 2019, 7pm, Sheffield Cathedral


Sheffield Bach Choir’s annual performance of Messiah alongside the National Festival Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Simon Lindley, offered Sheffield music lovers a splendid opportunity to include a live performance of Handel’s wonderful oratorio in their Christmas preparations. With wonderful soloists Peyee Chan, Margaret McDonald, Tim Kennedy and James Geidt, this wwas a truly memorable performance.

Handel – MESSIAH

Peyee Chen – soprano
Margaret McDonald – alto
Tim Kennedy – tenor
James Geidt – bass

National Festival Orchestra conducted by Simon Lindley

Link to YouTube recording of Messiah

Monday 9 December 2019, 7.30pm, St James’ Church Norton

51--bLGry1LThis year the choir’s very popular Come and Sing Messiah moved to St James’ Church, Norton, Church Road S8 8JQ. This lively sing-along excluded the passion-tide movements and wwa conducted by the choir’s President Professor George Nicholson, with Dr Simon Lindley on the organ. With mulled wine and mince pies in the interval, this was a wonderfully festive evening.

George Nicholson – Conductor
Simon Lindley – Organ

Helen Reah – Soprano
tba – Alto
Robin Morton – Tenor
Daniel Sumner – Bass

Saturday 7 March 2020, 7.30pm, Sheffield Cathedral

The John Dethick Memorial Concert

bach-statue-980x520-1The choir sings each of Bach’s most celebrated choral works in rotation every three years, and this year presented his choral masterpiece, the magnificent Mass in B minor. One of Bach’s  last compositions, completed in 1749 the year before his death and not performed in its entirety in his lifetime, it is now widely regarded as one of the greatest compositions in musical history.

With an array of wonderful soloists, this performance wa a must for local music lovers over the Easter period.


Jane Burnell – soprano
Claire White–Mckay – soprano
Lucy Appleyard – alto
David Brown – tenor
Quentin Brown – bass

National Festival Orchestra conducted by Simon Lindley

Link to YouTube recording of Bach’s Mass in B minor

This concert had to be abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday 20 June 2020, 7.30pm, St Mark’s Church, Broomhill

The choir planned to present a programme of ceremonial sacred music for brass and voices featuring the highly acclaimed Fine Arts Brass. This exceptionally accomplished band broadcasts regularly for Radio 3, has had its own series of shows on BBC Radios 2 and 4, and appears regularly on BBC 1’s Songs of Praise. Fine Arts Brass has given masterclasses, school concerts, and demonstrations across the world, and has made over 30 recordings. With a programme that includes works by Handel, Purcell and Ireland, this very special concert in support of the Broomhill Festival was designed to bring our 70th concert season to an end with a flourish. Unfortunately it was not to be.

Fine Arts Brass. – director Simon Lenton

David Houlder – organ

Simon Lindley – conductor

see reviews of past concerts

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