Welcome to St Andrew's Music Festival
I am incredibly excited and humbled to be taking on this year’s music festival at the charming and intimate St Andrew’s Church, Psalter Lane.I hope the festival brings a fitting blend of tradition along with new aspects and ideas that epitomise what we champion at Sheffield Arts Studio. Inevitably there have been a few changes to the festival but I hope nothing that will undo the past successes delivered by Ray, of whom I am eternally grateful not only for trusting me with the festival but also for his help and guidance moving forwards.
This year we have tried to make sure that there is a way for anyone to access and enjoy the festival to the fullest. We have our first family concerts showcasing Saint-Saens charming Carnival of the Animals. We are especially proud that the second concert will be a “relaxed” performance which aims to encourage attendance from those with autism or any other mental or physical disability who might normally shy away from formal settings. We also have two performances that are “pay what you can”. This means that if you can’t even afford to pay a penny you should not be put off from attending these performances. For all information on ticket prices and how to book please see the Events page.
Finally I would just like to say that I hope to see as many of you at this years festival as possible and I hope that it brings fun, inspiration and above all joy to those able to come along!
Artistic Director; Sheffield Arts Studio
St Andrew's Music Festival Programme of Events
Thursday 16th November
Sheffield Music Hub
(City of Sheffield Festival Band and Senior Winds)
This year we are delighted to see the return of some of the cities brightest young musicians from the Sheffield Music Hub. This performance will feature the hub’s Senior Clarinets, Double Reeds, Flutes and the award winning City of Sheffield Festival Band. The groups consist of the most advanced players who get together once a week to practice exciting and emotive music together. The members of the Festival band regularly get the chance to perform in prestigious venues around the country and abroad.
“At Sheffield Music Hub we believe that every child, regardless of race; gender; where they live; their levels of musical talent; parental income; whether they have special educational needs or disabilities; and whether they are looked-after children; deserve the very best music education."
Friday 17th November
The local Celtic folk band trio
Inspired by the melodies and rhythms of the natural world, Auka perform genre-defying original music on Irish flute & whistles, acoustic guitar and double bass. The band has an organic and distinctive approach to music-making, where folk melodies gradually swell from intimate and sublime to turbulent and powerful. This concert will feature many songs from their recently released second album, Wild Waters, a musical portrait of a river which ebbs and flows from moments of delicate calm to those of frenetic energy.
This is a "pay what you can" concert.
Saturday 18th November
Afternoon Masterclass with Tom Hutchinson – Principal Cornet of the Cory Band
We feel incredibly lucky to be welcoming Tom Hutchinson back to his home city as part of the festival. Tom began learning the cornet at the age of nine and joined his local brass band, Stannington. He was clearly destined for big things having the chance to perform with the world famous Black Dyke Brass Band whilst still only a teenager and his ensuing career in brass bands has brought many awards.
Tom will be leading a public masterclass in the afternoon which will see 4 brass players or groups with the chance to perform and gain some expert tuition from Tom.
Tickets to be in the audience for the workshop are available just like the concerts, but if you are interested in being a participant in the workshop please get in touch.
Saturday 18th November
Evening Concert with Tom Hutchinson and Endcliffe Brass
As well as playing principal cornet with the Cory band, Tom Hutchinson is a Professor of Cornet at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and over the past few years has performed as a soloist in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the USA.
In the evening we get the chance to hear from Tom himself with his performance featuring showpieces such as Monti’s Czardas and Carmen Fantasie. The performance will also feature local ensemble Endcliffe Brass which brings together several Sheffield brass players many of whom perform with the Endcliffe Orchestra.
Sunday 19th November
Madeleine Mitchell, violin: with Nigel Clayton, piano
The Times described Madeleine Mitchell as ‘one of the UK’s liveliest musical forces (and) foremost violinists’. She has performed as solo violinist and chamber musician in 50 countries in a wide repertoire, frequently broadcast for radio and TV, in major festivals including the BBC Proms. She is Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music. Her latest album Violin Conversations, released by Naxos, has received critical acclaim and includes premiere recordings of works mostly by living UK composers. In this Sheffield concert, she is featuring music by two local composers, George Nicholson and Ray Kohn, as well as performing the much-loved Violin Sonata by Franck and the classic Brahms Violin Sonata No.3 in D Minor.
Thursday 23rd November
Jason Robert Brown Celebration Concert
At last year’s festival we showcased the work of the American musical theatre composer Stephen Sondheim. This year we feature yet another musical theatre titan from across the Pacific who took much inspiration from Sondheim. Jason Robert Brown has gained many plaudits for his works which include Songs For A New World, Bridges of Madison County and the Tony winning musical Parade. This performance will be given by many of the exciting singers from Sheffield Arts Studio who performed Parade at Sheffield’s Theatre Deli two years ago. The singers will be accompanied live by piano and strings in what is sure to be an intimate and moving concert.
Friday 24th November
A Relaxed Evening with String Quartet Music
Inspired by our recent Café Chords evenings this concert will see a more relaxed,informal approach. An intimate evening for those who want to sit back with a drink and enjoy a wide variety of music with everything from Beethoven to Gershwin and ABBA. There’ll even be a chance to get involved and vote for your own favourites to be performed on the night by a young and exciting string quartet of local musicians.
This is a “pay what you can” concert.
Saturday 25th November
Family Concert: Carnival of the Animals
2 x afternoon performances
We are really excited to be sharing our first family concert at this years festival and what better piece to include than Saint-Saens captivating Carnival of the Animals. Come and hear the majestic lion, magical aquarium and graceful swan all performed by a chamber group of superb professional musicians with narration. This is not a performance to miss out on and one that is sure to delight the whole family, especially the younger ones.
The second performance will be a “relaxed” performance aimed at individuals with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities. The performance will take a relaxed approach to noise and movement throughout.
For any queries regarding this and suitability please get in touch.
*Please note we recommend booking in advance for these performances and please ask for a maximum of two children per paying adult.