Pay what you feel for music shows as part of Sheffield university season

Rafiki Jazz on stage
Rafiki Jazz on stage

The new season at University of Sheffield Concerts includes world premieres, a new way to pay for tickets and a fond farewell to a key member of staff.

The 2018-19 season from University of Sheffield Concerts offers experimental film with solo piano accompaniment, top-class folk performers, song cycles and student ensembles, combined with a sprinkling of world premieres.

Programmes will encompass the likes of Ravel, Ireland, Debussy, Kerry Andrew, Schubert, Terry Riley and Bach.

To make attendance at concerts as inclusive as possible and to encourage people to try something new, a number of concerts are Pay What You Think.

Tickets for Pay What You Think concerts still need to be booked in advance but audiences pay afterwards.

The next Pay What You Think event is Thursday, October 24, at Firth Hall. In Place features songs by Colin Riley from specially-created texts by writers whose work explores a sense of place.

The following night’s intriguing concert In C, revolving literally around the Arts Tower Paternoster lift, is sold out.

November events include Sheffield all-star global music collective Rafiki Jazz.

The November 5 concert at the Crucible Studio includes guest appearances from folk star Nancy Kerr and Sheffield Folk Harmony Collective, Gaelic traditional singer Kaitlin Ross and Colombian shamanic throat and overtone singer Juan Gabriel Gutierrez.

They will perform alongside looping digital animations from Islamic geometric artist Zarah Hussain.

On November 22 at Firth Hall, JigDoll Ensemble interweave cutting-edge looping technology with vocals, accordions and clog dancing.

Another Pay What You Think concert at the same venue a week later is From your ever-loving son, Jack. It traces the story of teenage World War One soldier Jack Ellicott from training to the Battle of the Somme through his letters.

Tenor Joshua Ellicott, who is Jack’s great-nephew, and pianist Paul Janes perform songs by Bridge, Ireland and Debussy, interspersed with dramatic readings.

On December 6, acclaimed Irish singer Cara Dillon and her band are at Firth Hall for  Upon A Winter’s Night. They will perform traditional and modern songs with a festive edge.

For tickets and the full concert line-up, go to www.sheffield.ac.uk/concerts

The season is also marked by the departure of concerts director Stewart Campbell, who is off to do a PhD.

He will be producing another music season next year, the Classical Sheffield Classical Weekend. The festival, now in its third year, will run from March 8 to 10.

More than 50 city music groups will be joined by performers from across the world to host performances and workshops.

The weekend has been programmed around three themes: Women in Music, to celebrate International Women’s Day Future Makers, showcasing the wealth of young musicians in the city and Beyond Borders, which looks at the fusion of classical music with other artforms and different cultures.

Weekend passes go on sale in November and tickets for individual events will go on sale in January. For more information, visit classicalsheffield.org.uk