Classical: A place for peace

Tthe Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Whirlow, which is to be used as a new music venue
Tthe Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Whirlow, which is to be used as a new music venue

A new venue for classical music is being launched in Sheffield with a series of celebratory concerts.

It’s the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Whirlow, just off Ecclesall Road South, on the site of the former Whirlow Grange Conference Centre, now run by a partnership of All Saints Ecclesall and Whirlow Grange Ltd. 

Set in attractive, tranquil gardens, the chapel has an essentially contemplative atmosphere.

The venue will be launched with a series of five concerts between May 19 and October 29 by well-known local musicians.

They include string and wind ensembles, violin and piano and wind performers and a group comprising trumpet, soprano and piano.

Whirlow has been home to the highly successful ‘We who sing pray twice’ events for many years.

However, other musical activity has largely consisted of recordings and occasional hymns and songs in the regular weekly and monthly services.

Whirlow Chaplain Joy Adams said: “With space for up to 50 people, we’ve realised the chapel is an ideal location for intimate, chamber-style performances.

“The series is intended to offer music that’s in tune with the reflective, meditative and affirmative style of this special place.”

Chair of the Whirlow Grange Trust, John Stride, and Vicar of Ecclesall, Rev Gary Wilton, added: “The partnership between our two organisations that oversees the development of the Spirituality Centre sees this concert series as a perfect example of how we should be working together.

“We also want to make this beautiful place more available for residents in the local Whirlow community, for whom the chapel was originally built in the 1960s.”

The concert series starts on Friday, May 19 at 7.30pm with Hallam Sinfonia String Quartet performing Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, Fauré’s Pavane and ‘The Joke’ Quartet by Haydn.

That is followed by Saturday, June 3 by violinist Lucy Phillips and David Hammond on piano.

They will play Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, the Bach Prelude and Fugue in C major as a piano solo, Debussy’s Violin Sonata and 
 Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel Im Spiegel.

On Friday, June 30, soprano Chloe Saywell joins trumpeter Matthew Redfearn and pianist Stephanie Pitts to present Baroque to Broadway, featuring solo and ensemble pieces from across three centuries.

The Muskoka Wind Quintet appear on Saturday, September 23 to perform a programme including Poulenc’s Novelette in C, Hadyn’s Divertimento, pieces from Westery Winds by Paul Patterson, George Gerswhin’s I Got Rhythm and Dance by Norman Hallam.

The final concert on Saturday, October 28 features Simeon Wood on flute and other wind instruments –including an NHS walking stick.

He will play light classics, ballads and movie themes, all interpersed with plenty of humour.

All concerts start at 7.30pm and there is an offer of a season ticket for the whole series.

To learn more about the work of the Spirituality Centre and to book for the concert series, visit the centre’s website at whirlowspiritualitycentre.org.