SHEFFIELD PERFORMER AND AUDIENCE RESEARCH CENTRE
At SPARC, we study audiences, performers and live music, using empirical approaches in order to understand arts experiences. Our aims are:
to explore the purposes and practicalities of empirical research with audiences and performers;
to consider the roles of audience members as musical participants;
to illustrate the musical, social and personal richness of audience experience in different contexts;
to investigate the perceived relationships between audiences and performers;
to explore musicians’ perspectives on live performance;
to consider the relevance of our research for arts organisations, musicians, educators and researchers.
WHO WE ARE
Stephanie Pitts / Director of SPARC The University of Sheffield
Fay Hield, The University of Sheffield
Members of the SPARC team have conducted research with organisations including: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Buxton Festival; CAST, Doncaster; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO); Classical Sheffield; Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs (CoMA); Derbyshire County Council; Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival; the Firebird Trust; the London Chamber Orchestra; Making Music; Music in the Round; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Sheffield City Council; and the Spin Jazz Club, Oxford.
Stephanie Pitts and Chris Spencer and jointly supervised PhD students Melissa Dobson and Kate Gee formed SPARC upon Melissa and Kate's graduation.
Together they completed a research and knowledge exchange project with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (Pitts, Dobson, Gee and Spencer, 2013). Melissa and Kate then left Sheffield for other academic roles.
The University of Sheffield, UK
A variety of valued academic colleagues have contributed to SPARC projects since its establishment, including those funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the University of Sheffield Impact, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IIKE), and the University of Sheffield Arts Enterprise Fund.