Hiring the Abbey for Concerts and Recitals

concertimageThe Abbey provides a wonderful setting for musical events and is particularly popular with choral groups. Because Sherborne has a relatively small population and because there are many other activities going on in the Abbey, the number of concerts per year is limited to approximately one per month. Our concert schedule therefore tends to be booked up well in advance, so we advise you to make enquiries in good time.

The Abbey holds weekly organ recitals on a Wednesday and also on Bank Holiday Mondays, both at 1pm. If you are interested in performing in either, please get in touch with the Director of Music, Paul Ellis.

Below is a summary of the Abbey’s main concert facilities. For full details, plans and charges, please contact the Concerts Administrator, Rachel Greaves.

Seating

The Abbey’s seating is mainly fixed pews which hold up to approximately 620 people. It is possible to increase this with extra chairs (most of which need to be hired in) to around 700.

Facilities for performers

The Abbey has a three manual organ which was rebuilt in 2004/5 by Kenneth Tickell and Co. Further information can be found here. A chamber organ is also available for use. Extra charges apply for both.

A grand piano (suitable for accompaniment but not for solos) is available within the normal hire charge.

Rehearsal time on the day is usually available from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm.

The Abbey has its own flexible modular staging which is available to hire. Exact costs depend on the layout.

There are very limited backstage facilities in the Abbey and there are no public toilets. The choir vestry can be used for small groups; for larger groups we recommend that you hire the Digby Memorial Hall, just a couple of minutes’ walk away.

Facilities for audiences

The Abbey does not have its own box office, but a number of local outlets regularly sell tickets for Abbey concerts for a small commission charge.

Concert promoters are responsible for providing stewards and the box office on the night of the concert. Some stewarding help may be available on request.

Marketing

Concert promoters are responsible for marketing their own events, however the Abbey can provide some limited help with publicising your concert:

  • All concerts are included in the Abbey’s regular concert leaflet, which is published every six months
  • A4 posters can be displayed in all the churches of the Benefice for 6 weeks before the concert; flyers can also be displayed inside the Abbey.
  • All concerts are included in the weekly pew-sheets distributed to Abbey congregations the Sunday before each concert.