Cavalcade of carols

Carols by Candlelight services at Christ Church, Fulwood.
Carols by Candlelight services at Christ Church, Fulwood.

In the run-up to Christmas the concerts calendar is busier than at any other time of year.

The Black Dyke Band and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus once again join together in festive harmony at the City Hall on Saturday with afternoon and evening performances of their popular Christmas concert to which the people of Sheffield are accustomed to singing merrily along.

The world-famous Black Dyke Band, who achieved fame under their original name of the Black Dyke Mills Band, will be under the baton of principal conductor Dr Nicholas Childs alongside Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus’ music director, Darius Battiwalla.

There will also be narration by actor and director Samuel West, who is patron to the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus.

The former artistic director of Sheffield Theatres is a keen choral singer and may well join in with the programme, which includes the carols O Come, All ye Faithful, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

1Hallam Choral Society has been awarded a grant from the Carnegie UK Trust to help them stage a special carol concert with Sheffield Concert Band and the children of Dobcroft Infant, St Catherine’s Catholic Primary, Marlcliffe Primary and Ballifield Primary schools.

The grant has been used to purchase 100 copies of Carols for Everyone, a new collection of carols specially arranged to be performed by children and adults together. The massed choirs will be performing pieces from the collection at High Storrs School on Saturday at 4pm. In a time when many choirs are getting progressively older and struggling to recruit young singers,

Hallam Choral Society is bucking the trend. This is thanks in part to a forward- thinking Young Singers’ Policy, which aims to attract new members by allowing any new singer under the age of 30 up to three years of membership at a vastly reduced rate.

But the society is keen to reach out to an even younger generation and Saturday’s concert is designed to do that. It is hoped the experience will stay with them for the rest of their lives and ignite a love of singing that will help ensure choral music in this country has a great future.

Traditional services of carols by candlelight have long been part of the Christmas festivities at Christ Church in Fulwood. Numbers have been growing steadily in recent years, and this year the church is set to welcome up to 3,000 people at six services this weekend They take place on Friday at 8pm, Saturday, 4pm and 6pm, Sunday, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm.

Around 150 members of the congregation, which includes both professional and amateur musicians, gather together to form a large choir and full orchestra to lead the singing of carols across the six services.

Keen to welcome many hundreds of people who wouldn’t normally go to church the church family has been inviting friends, colleagues and neighbours, their whole work team or business clients to join inthis event.