Square Chapel celebrated it’s 250th anniversary on 3rd December, to mark 250 years since the original building was constructed, 30 years since it received Arts Centre status and one year since officially reopening to the public. It was a chance for people to reminisce but to also get a look and say into the future of Square Chapel since it recently secured funding from Arts Council England’s 2023-26 Investment Round and joins the National Portfolio of Organisations from April 2023.
Square Chapel invited the local community of Halifax to their 250th Birthday party in the Atrium Bar, with celebrations throughout the day including various local performances and culminating in live DJ sets. Attendees also got a little taste of what’s to come in 2023, with the well received complimentary food samples by Mel, of Bam Bam’s Vegan Kitchen. This was a great opportunity for attendees to play an integral part in the development of our exciting new menu.
Local Historian, David Glover, returned with a commemorative presentation, revisiting Square Chapel’s compelling history. The lecture took a historical dive into Square Chapel’s past and present, from the era of Titus Knight (1719-1793) all the way to the 21st Century expansion. In precedence, a tombstone tour took place with attendees taking a 30-minute graveyard stroll to visit iconic figureheads with an aim to explore the stories of some of those named on the stones such as the Bradley engineers, the Kershaws, the early Crossleys, the Glendinings, Thomas Rawlinson and the last Tristram.
The evening’s event was a toast to the arts, with a Celebration Concert in the Red Brick Theatre. The line-up featured a variety of 9 local talents, rich in talent and diversity and all of which have a special connection to the venue. The Entertainment delighted audiences throughout the evening, with a charming mix of musical styles, genres, and culture with a nod to Jazz, melodies from Indian Classical music to pop, and metal.
Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Halifax, West Yorkshire Amy-Rose Atkinson took to the stage as performer and compère for the evening. Despite losing her hearing, Amy-Rose’s love of blues, roots and jazz prevails, and she counts herself incredibly lucky to be backed and supported by three world class musicians.
Amy was joined by Deaf musician Sean Chandler, a professional trumpet player with whom she works alongside with at Music and The Deaf – providing opportunities for deaf children to gain experience in making music.
“It’s so important to have a platform for musicians from all walks of life with varying degrees of disability and Square Chapel are providing that platform, promoting inclusivity and accessibility in the arts and that is invaluable.”
– Amy-Rose Atkinson Singer-Songwriter
Square Chapel were also pleased to welcome young musician Lucy Illingworth. Having lost her sight as a baby, 13-year-old Lucy has found that music is her window on the world. She communicates her thoughts and feelings through the piano. With regular lessons from the age of 3 sponsored by Amber Trust and her schools, Highbury and Ravenscliffe, Lucy has accumulated a vast repertoire of classical, jazz and pop music, which she plays with astonishing emotional depth and style.
For us, the highlight for Square Chapel was to have hosted an accessible and inclusive evening featuring artists that are truly representative of the fact.
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