AFTER an eight-year delay in its construction because of financial constraints, building began on the City Hall in 1929 with the laying of the foundation stone and it opened on September 22 1932.
Taking to the venue’s stage in three weeks time, on the exact 80th anniversary date, will be the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra with a family concert.
Having heard them in recent times, the Mayor of London described the orchestra as “the finest ambassadors for the city of Sheffield,” although Boris may have changed his tune slightly following the exploits of Jessica Ennis, herself due to appear at the City Hall on November 30 talking to the BBC’s Dan Walker.
At the time he was only repeating an established national and international fact about the CSYO, which has long been regarded as one of the finest youth orchestras in the country and is now a charitable organisation. Formed 30 years ago, despite its itinerant nature of reluctantly saying farewell to young musicians once they reach the age of 21, the orchestra’s standard has remained consistently high, often remarkably so over the last few years under its inspirational music director Christopher Gayford.
And it has attracted famous musicians – in July this year, internationally celebrated cellist Natalie Clein for the second time in 12 months! Peter Cropper became the orchestra’s honorary president after performing with it last December.
Joining Chris Gayford on the Oval Hall stage on September 22 as compere will be Matthew Bugg, a CSYO violin and viola tutor between 1995 and 2009 and member of the orchestra for 10 years before leaving as principal viola.
After leaving, he began carving out a quietly impressive career primarily as a composer and choreographer in which capacities he has been at Nottingham Playhouse on a freelance basis since 2000 and, for the last five years, has taught privately and for Sheffield Music Service.
Music being performed at the 80th birthday concert includes extracts from Walton’s First Symphony and Vaughan Williams’ London Symphony.
Why they wrote the pieces and where they may have got their ideas from will be explored with the orchestra playing sections of the music to demonstrate how the piece is built up before putting the bits back together to perform the whole section.
There will be audience participation and other pieces are still to be announced with one having emerged recently, the first commission for CSYO member Tom Jarvis, shortly embarking on an MPhil in composition – an arrangement of Happy Birthday!