‘The Armed Man’ Concert – 28th April – Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

Posted on April 24, 2012 by

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus – 28th April 2012

This concert is centred on Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace. We will be joined by the Halifax Choral Society and the Black Dyke Band. In April 2010 they and we performed this at the Birmingham Symphony Hall (and a DVD of that concert was published).

Karl Jenkins composed The Armed Man in 1999 for the Millennium celebrations. Its message is summarised in the final chorus which begins with Mallory’s words:

Better is peace than always war

And better is peace than evermore war

When Karl Jenkins was composing the Mass, the tragedy of the Kosovo massacres was unfolding. Reminded daily of the horror of such conflict, he dedicated it to the victims of Kosovo. He also decided to make the second movement a simple performance of the Call to Prayers — sung in mosques every day. We have arranged for this to be sung in our concert by Qamar Zaman, a 35-year-old muezzin from the Madina Masjid mosque on Wolseley Road.

Click on this YouTube link to hear some of the movements, including the best-known Benedictus:


The concert also includes A Brontë Mass, a more recent composition by Philip Wilby. It is a challenging and beautiful work which includes poems by Charlotte, Anne, Emily and Branwell Brontë and some of the Latin Mass.

The concert will be in the City Hall. You can buy tickets for £15 each from the City Hall Box Office (0114-223-3751) or web site


The sooner you buy a ticket, the better the seats you can choose for that price in all parts of the Hall.

The Halifax Choral Society has developed a visual presentation to accompany performances of The Armed Man. The concert will include a new version of this, including images of Sheffield’s experience of the Second World War. The audience reaction is usually strong. When the visual images were projected at a previous concert, their editor said “we were unprepared for its emotional impact, with members of the audience sitting there with tears streaming down their faces — they were so moved by the work”.

The Members of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus