For over two hundred years, Ushaw College has been a place of seclusion and retreat, where young Roman Catholics could study and prepare for a life of priesthood. The college is hidden from the main road behind trees and its exterior is forbidding and austere, but inside there is an amazing collection of Victorian Gothic rooms: naturally, there are numerous chapels, including the building’s greatest treasure, St Cuthbert’s Chapel, designed by A.W.N Pugin; and there are also a number of smaller rooms, and a magnificent lecture theatre with raked seating and a fully-kitted stage. The possibilities for all these spaces and others are astounding, and I’m thrilled to be involved in part of the plans to make it all open for everyone.
We’ve planned a series of classical, jazz and folk events – there will be choral music in the chapel, chamber music in the theatre, and jazz and folk bands will play in the relaxed setting of the former reading room where there will also be a licensed bar. This term’s classical and jazz events are listed here: www.musicdurham.co.uk/events/tag/ushaw-concerts (I’ve not included the folk music because that goes beyond the remit of this website). There are also carol services, a monthly Sunday evening service, a lecture series and a Christmas ceilidh: Click here to download a draft version of the Full autumn Programme.
Coming up in 2015, the concerts include Kathryn Tickell and the Side, Royal Northern Sinfonia, New Tyneside Orchestra, organist Robert Sharpe and I’m particularly looking forward to the two sublime baroque concerts that we’ve got for the beginning and end of Lent.
For the time being tickets for all events will be available on the door, but we hope to have a booking system set up soon. If you’d like any more information, or if you’re interested in performing at Ushaw, do get in touch.