Alight in city for Olympic countdown

AN appeal has gone out for performers to take part in Sheffield’s contribution to the Cultural Olympiad next year.

On March 3, 2012, the city will stage an all-day event called Alight, as part of Music Nation, a Countdown event for the London 2012 Festival, being led by the BBC and LOCOG.

There will be music, dance and visual arts throughout Sheffield in venues such as the Winter Garden, the Town Hall, Weston Park Museum and The Hubs, culminating in an evening celebration of Sheffield’s culture and creativity fusing music, dance and drama in the City Hall.

Rachel Mallaband who is co-ordinating Alight on behalf of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, said: “We have over 650 potential performers lined up which is great but at present Alight is not representing the cultural or musical diversity of our great city.

“We want Alight to reflect the history, circumstance and make-up of our local communities, reflecting the nature of both Sheffield and the Yorkshire region.”

To that end she is hoping to find some more unusual acts and lists Chinese dragons, Bollywood dance troupes, clog dancers, sword dancers, fire-eaters, Lindy hoppers, gospel choirs, beat boxers and visual-technical-digital whizz kids as the kind of thing she is looking for.

The Music Nation weekend will be profiled on the London 2012 and BBC websites and through LOCOG’s social networking platforms.

Directing the City Hall evening event is Mark Langley, well-known to Sheffield audiences as a director for South Yorkshire Opera and The Company, who works as a voice coach for the BBC, Channel 4 and Opera North.

Alight will be premiering a series of specially-commissioned musical works on the evening of March 3. Local composer Timothy Allen says: “We have some excellent symphony choral forces already signed up, but I’d love to see involvement from non-Western musical, instrumental and dance traditions.

“I will be composing my work to fit those aspiring to join this glorious event and to celebrate the diverse talents we have in the region.”

But groups need to sign up ASAP as Timothy is set to start composing over the next couple of weeks.

Contact Alight by email at