The festival takes you on a tour through much of the National Park and along the spectacular Jurassic coastline. We are so fortunate to have the use of these extraordinary historic buildings, some of which date back to the Anglo-Saxons. In a sense the concert begins the moment you set out to travel over the moors to your chosen destination - the landscape is very much part of the artistic experience.
St HIldA’s CHurch, Danby
Nestled within Danby Dale, positioned in the remote heart of the National Park, this church still possesses its Saxon tower and remains one of our most enigmatic and popular venues. This lunchtime concert, which often sells out well in advance, marks the centre point of the festival and is traditionally followed by refreshments within marquees outside. Early booking advised. .
ST OSWALD’S CHURCH, LYTHE
Perched just above the cliffs north of Whitby along the Jurassic coast, this intimate church also houses a museum of Viking and Celtic remains discovered within its grounds. Take your interval drink and gaze towards the sea . .
St Peter & St Paul, Pickering
Dominating the market town of Pickering, the interior walls within St Peter & St Paul reveal 14th century frescoes and glorious acoustics. The impassioned repertoire for this opening concert of the festival matches the magnificence of the architecture.
ALL SAINT’S CHURCH, HELMSLEY
The market town of Helmsley is one of the most idyllic in the region and All Saints' Church is very much at the heart of it. Gloriously spacious and atmospheric, an emotionally evocative programme will be brought alive by its resonance.
ST MARY’S CHURCH, LASTINGHAM
One of Simon Jenkins' most highly-rated churches, St Mary's Lastingham - with its Anglo-Saxon crypt and charismatic ambience - is nestled witin the village at the foot of the moors. The programme there this year promises to stir the soul. Advanced booking here is recommended . .
ST HILDA’S PRIORY, SNEATON CASTLE, WHITBY
This Priory is at the heart of the festival and where many rehearsals take place throughout the entire fortnight thanks to the generosity of the Sisters who allow us to perform, record and practise here. Renowned for its warm atmosphere and comfortable surroundings, views to Whitby Abbey and the coast are an added bonus . .
ST HILDA’S CHURCH, WESTCLIFF, WHITBY
Originally intended to be a Cathedral, this splendid church is traditionally where we always stage our grand finales for which the musicians, who have collaborated and shared over the course of the festival, come together to form a large ensemble. Place in the heart of Whitby's west side, it's a fitting venue for a great celebration and conclusion.
ST AIDAN'S CHURCH, BOOSBECK
New to the festival, this charming church rests just above the North York Moors National Park, north east of Guisborough as you head into the Tees Valley. St Aidan's is a cruciform building of stone in the Norman style, erected in 1900. Boosbeck was the village in which the English composer Michael Tippett lived between 1932 and 1934 and where he wrote 'Robin Hood', the overture to which we will perform here for the first time since it was premiered.
ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, FYLINGDALES
Positioned on the cusp of Robin Hood's Bay, a characterful fisherman's village deep down at the base of the cliffs, the church's Gothic interior lends itself well to music of dramatic nature, which will come alive once the sun sets and the church imposes its dominance through silhouette.
ST HEDDA’S CHURCH, EGTON BRIDGE
It is unusual to stumble across a large Catholic church positioned as it is within this stunning lush valley on the North York Moors near Glaisdale. Its grandeur lends itself to large ensembles and in particular through music classical or baroque in style. This year it will be host to masterpieces by Elgar, Goss, Tippett and Vaughan Williams.
All church photography ©Frank Harrison