From Darkness to Light, Mark McCombs and his University Chamber Choir with what has become an annual event at a venue they must know quite well by now, an Advent and Christmas concert featuring music by Herbert Howells, John Tavener, Gabriel Jackson and Morten Lauridsen among others. St Marie’s Cathedral, Norfolk Row, Wednesday (December 17), 7.30pm – £12, £8 concessions, £6 students, free under 16s, available online at www.stmariecathedral.org, over the counter at the City Hall box office, or on the door.
Sheffield University Lunchtime Concert, given by student chamber ensembles, Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday (December 18), 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
‘SpiteWinter’, hugely popular alternative Christmas concert from Graham Pratt’s Sheffield Folk Chorale with the usual mix of SATB winter songs and carols from around the world with emphasis on less well-known material and the traditional re-worked. On twice, at Ecclesall Parish Church, S11 7PQ, Wednesday (December 17), 7.30pm – £6; Sheffield Cathedral, Thursday (December 18), 7.30pm – £8 Very few tickets left, especially for the Cathedral outing, 07805 642536 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Candlelight Carols, the annual Nine Lessons and Carols from the Sheffield Chorale with congregational carols. Choir items are by Philip Ledger – Adam lay ybounden and Still, still, still; Andrew Carter – Angelus ad virginem and I wonder as I wander; John Rutter – There is a flower; William Mathias – Ad majorem Deo Gloriam; Grayston Ives – Sweet was the song; Alan Bullard – Follow the star; John Ireland – The holy boy; and Stephen Cleobury – Joys 7. Neil Taylor is the conductor and Ian Roberts the organist at St John’s Church, Ranmoor, Thursday (December 18), 7.30pm – free, retiring collection for the Sheffield Carers Centre.
Sheffield Oratorio Chorus, annual carol concert from the chorus and its music director Alan Eost, a mix of carols old and new, readings and audience participation. A new venue this year, the Horizon Methodist Church on Ecclesall Road, S11 6PR, Thursday (December 18), 7.30pm – £10, £8, £5 students, under 16s. Available on the door from 7.00pm or from the Blue Moon Cafe (next to the Cathedral).
Carols with Albion, new versions of old favourites, including Away in a Manger, Coventry Carol, O Holy Night, Gaudete, Sussex Carol; the best of the double consort choir’s new settings (by composer/ arranger Fraser Wilson), including Advent Antiphons, Salutation, Peace is born on Earth; a host of pieces (it says here) written especially for these concerts and some festive surprises. The Sheffield concert at Holy Trinity Church, Millhouses, Friday, 7.30pm, is sold out; but you can catch it with guest singers from Buxton Musical Society at St John’s Church, Buxton, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £6 concessions.
The Christmas Story, another enterprisingly planned festive season concert from Viva Voce chamber choir and players, with Peter Heginbotham: organ; includes pieces by Judith Weir – Drop down, ye heavens; William Llewellyn – Ding Dong, Merrily on High; John Joubert – There is no Rose; Philip Ledger – Sussex Carol; Michael Head – Little Road to Bethlehem; Gabriel Jackson – Noel Nouvelet; plus among a number of others, Sullivan, Praetorius, Howells, Hillier, Cornelius, Leighton, Willcocks, Vaughan Williams and Bach – detailed in ‘The Christmas Story’ under FEATURES. Upper Chapel, Norfolk Street, Friday, 7.30pm – £12, £10 concessions, £6 students, under 16s free – in aid of Chernobyl Children’s Life Line.
Sing Along Nativity, with the invitation to go dressed as one of the crib characters, Sheffield Cathedral, Saturday, 11.15am – post-refreshments in the 1554 Gallery.
Dore G&S Christmas Concert, they usually mix other things so it will not be all Gilbert and Sullivan at Dore Methodist Church, Saturday, 2.30pm – admission £6, a few tickets left.
Christmas Brass and Voices, annual festive Sheffield Cathedral Choir/ Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band get-together with, from the choir this year, Adam lay y bounden (Ord), For forty years our Nicolas (Britten), A Tender Shoot (Goldschmidt), In the Bleak Midwinter (Darke), I saw three ships, Away in a Manger (Willcocks), Sir Christemas (Mathias), A maiden most gentle (Carter), Three Kings (Cornelius), White Christmas (Berlin), Over the Rainbow (Arlen) and Steal Away. Among 15 pieces from the band are Leroy Anderson’s Christmas Festival and Sleigh Ride, Prokofiev’s Troika, Out of Africa Pater Noster (Lundberg), Hallelujah Chorus (Handel), Schneewalzer (Richards), O Holy Night (Adam), Christmas Song (Tormé), Jingle Bells and the communal items are O Come all ye Faithful, Good King Wenceslas, Hark, the Herald Angels and Parry’s Jerusalem. Sheffield Cathedral, Saturday, 7pm – £12, available Cathedral Shop of Blue Moon Café in advance.
A Ceremony of Carols, the ever-popular Britten work is part of Choral Evensong, Sheffield Cathedral, Sunday, 4pm.
Carols by Candlelight, another popular Sheffield Cathedral happening but will feel a little different this time round as it being held in the cathedral nave (which can be adapted to create an intimate atmosphere following renovation), instead of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Same intimate repertoire from the Cathedral Consort: The Truth from Above (Vaughan Williams), Up! Good Christen Folk (Piae Cantiones), In Dulci Jubilo (arr Pearsall), Jesus Christ the Apple Tree (Poston), The Holly and the Ivy, three of Poulenc’s Four Christmas Motets: Videntes Stellam, Quem Vidistis, O Magnum Mysterium; Bethlehem Down (Warlock), A Virgin Most Pure, I Saw a Maiden (Basque), Three Kings (Cornelius), Tomorrow (arr Willcocks), A Merry Lad, and I Sing of a Maiden (Berkeley). Sheffield Cathedral, Monday, 8pm – £8, includes mulled wine and mince pies, available from Cathedral Shop or Blue Moon Café in advance.
Festival of Lessons and Carols, includes the first performance of a commissioned work from Will Todd, a setting of James Montgomery’s Angels From the Realms of Glory, Sheffield Cathedral, Wednesday, December 24, 7pm.
City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, annual winter concert from one the finest young orchestras in the country and with a healthy choice for repertoire as here, Tchaikovsky’s under-performed, highly dramatic symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini, a 25-minute Gothic fantasy after Dante – if you like the Romeo and Juliet Overture you will love it. The central work is better known, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, with former CSYO member, like many others now enjoying a successful career as a professional musician, Gemma Wareham returning as soloist. Delius’ Sleigh Ride gets proceedings underway and the conductor, as always, is Christopher Gayford at Ecclesall Parish Church, Tuesday, December 30, 7.30pm – £12, £10 concessions, £4 students, children, available: Famous Sheffield Shop, Ecclesall Road; Sheffield Scene, Surrey Street; or 07763 128598.
New Year’s Eve Gala Concert, now annual event underpinned by the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra featuring vocal and orchestral favourites from opera, ballet, film, TV, musicals and communal Auld Lang Syne at midnight. Buxton Opera House, Wednesday, December 31, 9.30pm – £21, £26, £31, £36. 0845 12 72190
New Year Viennese Gala Concert, popular Sheffield Symphony Orchestra offering with former music director John Longstaff returning as conductor for the event he started. Ecclesall Parish Church, Saturday, January 3, 3pm – £10, £5 students, children. Buy tickets online or call 07948 116427 and leave a message on the answer phone with your details.
The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s hugely popular seasonal favourite relayed live from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow choreographed by the company’s renowned former artistic director Yuri Grigorovich. Sunday, 3pm, at Cineworld Sheffield – £19.30, £15.50 concessions; Showroom, Paternoster Row – £13.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, repeat of the live relay from the Royal Opera House of the revival of the Royal Ballet’s raved about staging of the ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale created and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon with Joby Talbot’s “superlative, playful and universally acclaimed music” underpinning it. Sunday, December 28, 2pm, at Vue, Meadowhall – £12.50, £10 concessions; Odeon, Arundel Gate – £13, £11 concessions.
For details of Choral Evensong at Sheffield Cathedral and St John’s Church, Ranmoor, and music at daytime services, please see the respective websites of both in the ‘Who’s Doing It’ section of Classical Sheffield.