Stunning candlelight concert series starts at Sunderland's Seventeen Nineteen

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

A series of stunning candlelight concerts has started at a revitalised church.

Seventeen Nineteen, the church at the heart of Old Sunderland, has never looked so majestic as it did on Saturday night.

The first in the Candlelight Concert series at Seventeen Nineteen in the East End The first in the Candlelight Concert series at Seventeen Nineteen in the East End
The first in the Candlelight Concert series at Seventeen Nineteen in the East End | national world

The flicker of around 3000 LED candles formed a stunning backdrop to the soaring sounds of Hans Zimmer as the first in a series of classical concerts got underway in front of a sold-out crowd.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The restoration of the former Holy Trinity Church, which was reborn as Seventeen Nineteen in 2022, so called after the year the port’s first parish church opened its doors, has been nothing short of spectacular.

Once a crumbling damp, dark space on the Heritage At Risk Register, it's risen from the ashes of decay thanks to the Churches Conservation Trust who secured £5million of funding to restore it as an events space and preserve it for future generations.

Since it reopened, it's hosted a wide range of events, from community and craft fayres to gigs.

And the latest really showed off the Georgian gem in all its glory.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The Northern String Quarter performing at the church on Saturday, September 23 The Northern String Quarter performing at the church on Saturday, September 23
The Northern String Quarter performing at the church on Saturday, September 23 | National World

Organised by events company Fever, who stage concerts around the world, the concert series features a Tribute to Queen, Hans Zimmer’s best work and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons over a series of nights at the East End landmark later this autumn.

It's a chance to experience the incredible musicianship of the award-winning Northern String Quartet who brought Hans Zimmer's iconic film scores to life with pin-point precision for the first in the Sunderland series.

It started with the hauntingly-beautiful Time from Inception, a true modern masterpiece that drenched the church in rich sound. The natural acoustics of the church blending seamlessly with the strains of the violins, viola and cello.

The church looked spectacular The church looked spectacular
The church looked spectacular | National world

The German composer and producer has crafted some of the greatest music of our times and the hour-long concert was a celestial Saturday night at the movies which spanned many genres, from his sweeping Disney creations for The Lion King and Madagascar to the sombre timbre and tension of his tracks for war films Dunkirk and The Pacific.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A real highlight for me was Cornfield Chase from Interstellar, one of my favourite pieces of music, which was so devastatingly moving to experience live. It's real goose bump stuff.

No photography is allowed until the very end of the concert (as it should be) and it gives you the chance to really immersive yourself in this multi-sensory experience.

The first in the Sunderland concert series sold out with 160 tickets sold The first in the Sunderland concert series sold out with 160 tickets sold
The first in the Sunderland concert series sold out with 160 tickets sold | National World

Fans of Gladiator won't be disappointed by the exquisite rendition of Now We Are Free which really tugs at the heart strings.

You get plenty of quality and music for your money, with tracks also performed from Batman, Wonder Woman, Dune and Sherlock Holmes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The finale was a real crowd-pleaser: a triple bill of Pirates of the Caribbean, a testament to Zimmer's mastery of melodies that brought some real Hollywood sparkle to Sunderland for an enchanting evening of entertainment.

Tickets for the Candlelight concert series at Seventeen Nineteen are £24 and are available at www.feverup.com with limited availability remaining, so get in quick.

The venue also has a bar for refreshments.

Remaining concerts in the series

::Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen, October 6 at 7pm and 9pm

Duration: 60 minutes (doors open 45 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted)

::Candlelight: Vivaldi's Four Seasons, October 13 at 7pm and 9pm

Duration: 60 minutes (doors open 45 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted)

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Seventeen Nineteen's importance to Sunderland

Holy Trinity is one of the oldest buildings in Sunderland and stands proud in the East EndHoly Trinity is one of the oldest buildings in Sunderland and stands proud in the East End
Holy Trinity is one of the oldest buildings in Sunderland and stands proud in the East End | sn

Seventeen Nineteen once housed the old town’s council chamber and its first library as Holy Trinity Church, making it one of the city’s most historically-significant buildings.

It was at the heart of civic life in Old Sunderland and even hosted the area's very first fire service.

Due to dwindling numbers, it closed as a church in 1988 when the Grade I-listed structure was vested into the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Over the decades it had fallen into disrepair and was in desperate need of major structural works, but thanks to £4.3million of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Sunderland City Council, Benefact Trust and other donors, the Georgian building has been saved for future generations.

In 2019, ground was broken to start the major works, which have included removal of more than 600 tonnes of rubble from the floor void to allow airflow back into the building so it can breathe once again; replacing all windows with an original sash design; the removal, repair and re-installation of a stained glass window; replacing more than 16,000 handmade bricks and skilled stone masons repairing damaged stone work using traditional methods.

Due to delays caused by the pandemic and Brexit, the project received a further £800,000 of funding.

Despite its main purpose now as a community and events space, it remains a consecrated space and hosts around six services a year and its won numerous awards for its new chapter as a vibrant community space.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.