Today at the Halifax Festival: Friday, July 12

Square Chapel Cube Choir & Singspiration, 8pm tonight at Halifax Minster
Square Chapel Cube Choir & Singspiration, 8pm tonight at Halifax Minster

The celebration of arts and culture that is the Halifax Festival continues today.

Various events are taking place throughout the town as part of the ten-day spectacular.

Here’s our guide to what’s on today - Friday July 12:

English Coronations from Saxon Times to 1727 with David Glover at Square Chapel, 2pm - £5 & £3 concessions

This year marks 60 years since the Queen’s coronation. To celebrate, in a lavishly illustrated lecture, David Glover will look at the origins of the coronation ceremony. Starting in the 10th Century, he will describe and illustrate the ceremony’s evolution, down to the crowning of George ll, at which event Handel’s glorious Coronation Anthems were first heard. Ritual and pageantry, accompanied by amusing anecdotes: What went wrong? Which sovereign had to be carried into Westminster Abbey? Who had to leave in a hurry because of a lack of toilets?

Further talks on coronations are planned…

Bedlam Arts Grand Opening at Somerset House, 7.30pm - £10 & £8 concessions

Come join us on the grand opening with original theatre, live music and comedy that will kickstart Bedlam Arts. First you will see the premiere of ‘Echo Ridge’ a gritty and powerful piece of new theatre, followed by live music and comedy. The night will then finish with talks from Only Projects and other workshop facilitators about what amazing workshops Bedlam have to offer plus much more. Come and have a drink and enjoy entertainment with raw talent at Bedlam! E-mail for more info and tickets or buy tickets from Halifax Festival Box Office on 01422 349422.

Square Chapel Cube Choir & Singspiration - An evening of contemporary classics at Halifax Minster, 8pm - £8 & £6 concessions

Square Chapel’s over 50s Cube Choir joins forces with Singspiration, a local intergenerational choir, to deliver a lively and fun-packed evening of contemporary songs, including pop, rock, folk and world music, show tunes and much more. Singspiration have been singing together for a year and are directed by Alice and Louise from Simply Singing. Cube Choir is led by charismatic choir leader, Caroline Bradley. An accomplished, inclusive and talented choir, they wowed the audience with their performance at Halifax Minster in December 2012.

The Nightingale of South Bank - The arias of the versatile English Soprano Florence Easton at Square Chapel on Friday 12 July 8pm - £11 & £9 concessions

Florence Easton was born in 1882 in South Bank, Middlesbrough. After training at the Royal Academy she went on to become one of our most versatile English opera singers, known professionally as “The Nightingale of South Bank”. Helena Leonard sings many of Florence’s famous arias and tells the fascinating story of her varied career.

Events on throughout the Festival

Long Division by IOU at All Souls Church until Sunday 14 July, 11am - 6pm - FREE

The first day of Halifax Festival 2013 begins with an incredible sound installation from local company IOU Theatre. Long Division has been created for one of Halifax’s most magnificent historical buildings, All Souls Church. As the clock chimes on the hour, there follows a sequence of 60 hushed, spoken exchanges, timed to the divisions of the clock. The whispering phrases gather in intensity second by second creating rhythmic speech patterns that send a wash of sound rippling around the walls.

All Souls Church is a Halifax landmark and one of the most beautiful buildings designed by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott. A prolific architect whose work includes St. Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial, Scott thought this his best church, completed in1859. The presentation of Long Division, as part of the Halifax Festival, will be a rare opportunity to visit All Souls.

What is Art? at Bankfield Museum on until Saturday 31 August, 10am - 4pm - FREE

Drawing on the collections of Calderdale Museums, this exhibition explores our perceptions of art. From the prehistoric to post-modern, explore concepts and taste and consider the questions “Is it Art?” and “Do you like it?” There is also a unique opportunity to ‘vote out’ your least favourite work. For more information telephone 01422 352334.

Britain’s got Artists Top 50 at UK-Artworks on until Wednesday 31 July, 10.30am - 3pm (10.30am - 8pm Fridays) - FREE

The prestigious national art competition, now in its second year, comes to new Halifax art gallery UK-Artworks at 29-31 Broad Street.

Check out this must-see exhibition of the top 50 artists, as voted for by the public, including the top three finalists, chosen by judges Alison Dunn, sculptor Sheila Gaffney and MP George Galloway in the judges’ live final event. The gallery is also host to many other cultural events throughout the year, please check website for details -

Calderdale Calligraphers - Hanging on Every Word at Halifax Minster on until Monday 16 September, 10am - 4pm - FREE

Display of calligraphy created on fabrics and based around Pennine people and places, and situated in the nave of Halifax Minster.

Northern Division Exhibition of Contemporary Glass by Contemporary Glass Society in Unit 58, Piece Hall, on until Sunday 14 July, 11am - 4pm - FREE

In its second year, this exhibition will celebrate the wealth of creative talent in the world of glass from across the North of England. The work will be presented by the artists themselves who will talk to you about techniques and inspirations that went into producing each piece. You will also have the opportunity to make a piece of your own fused glass. A full timetable of artists can be seen on the Halifax Festival website.

Giant Map of South Pennines by Angela Smyth at Halifax Central Library on until Sunday 14 July and available for viewing during library opening times - FREE

Internationally-acclaimed artist Angela Smyth has created a spectacular, giant, ten foot map to encourage people to seek out the hidden treasures of the South Pennines.

The artwork, painted in the Halifax-born artist’s trademark quirky and humorous style, captures the character and charm of the area and took six months to complete in the artist’s Sowerby Bridgebased studio. Not a map in the traditional sense, it is Angela’s interpretation of the area and a reflection of the things she finds inspiring.

Simon Armitage, the Marsden-born poet, playwright and novelist, has contributed lines of poetry to the map from his Stanza Stones project – a set of poems inspired by the region’s language and landscape.

The South Pennines Map was commissioned by the Local Distinctiveness Project managed by rural regeneration company Pennine Prospects.

Square Circle Exhibition in the Square Chapel Foyer until Wednesday 31 July, Mon – Fri 9.30am – 5pm and Sat 11am – 3pm and during events - FREE

A selection of work produced over the past year by the artists who attend Square Chapel’s Square Circle workshops - weaving, painting and calligraphy for the over 50s.