News

Read about significant events in the life of Steel City Choristers. Subscribe to our newsletter to always hear our latest news!

Eleanor Jarvis appointed as our Director of Music

1 July 2022

Eleanor is a recent graduate of the University of Manchester, having studied a Bachelor of Music with emphasis on conducting. She has experience leading a good variety of ensembles, with a grounding in both choral and instrumental conducting.

Eleanor is a committed singer, having been a chorister since the age of ten. She has conducted two chamber choirs as well the University of Manchester Chorus which has a membership of over 200 singers. In 2021 she founded The Marie Consort to provide further performance opportunities and chamber choir experience to the University students. Eleanor is tutored by Robert Guy and has participated in several conducting masterclasses with the Royal Philharmonic Society, Cardiff International Academy of Conducting as well as Musicfest Aberystwyth.

Evensong and farewell to Joshua Stephens

21 May 2022

Steel City Choristers sang its own very first Evensong as a full choir on Saturday as we said goodbye to our founding director of Music, Joshua Stephens, who will soon be taking up his post as Sub-Organist at Winchester Cathedral.

Music included Lloyd View me Lord, Stanford Psalm 150, Rose Preces & Responses, Dyson Evening Service in D, and Howells Hymn to St Cecilia.

The lectionary reading and sermon given by Rev Dr Beth Keith were particularly poignant:

“There are many reasons why people sing and this community in exile, found their voice again. They sang the songs which helped them express how they felt when they did not have the words to express their grief. They sang familiar songs to remember their identity and to remember who they were. They sang songs of activism calling on God to bring redemption. And they sang songs of joy as they found life, and hope, and saw a future emerging.”

Evensong was followed by a short presentation to Josh, including a surprise song sung by the choir, and a fabulous afternoon tea provided by choir families for all our Friends and supporters.

Reasons to Sing! Project Final Concert 

7 May 2022

The year-long collaboration between Steel City Choristers and PXI to explore the stories behind people’s favourite songs culminated with a concert at Mount Tabor church in Parson Cross.

The concert featured six songs chosen by people from PXI connected through the themes of comfort, gratitude, loss, love, unity and structure to six pieces from the traditional English choral repertoire.

A series of singing workshops at Mount Tabor in two months in the run up to the concert enabled a number of people from Parson Cross to perform their 6 songs with Steel City Choristers. The audience joined in a rousing encore of Hi Ho Silver Lining.

Nick Waterfield of PXI explained the wellbeing course that will soon be published to help people reflect on the role that songs play in expressing our feelings. A set of discussion notes will accompany videos of the 12 Reasons to Sing! songs, and both will be available from this webpage free of charge for use by church groups, community groups, care homes and schools.

Kate Caroe, warmly encouraged others to express interest in running a similar Reason to Sing! project with Steel City Choristers in their community.

Joshua Stephens appointed sub-organist at Winchester Cathedral

3 May 2022

We are very proud that our founding Director of Music, Joshua Stephens, has been appointed to the prestigious post of Sub-Organist at Winchester Cathedral.

Kate Caroe, chair of trustees said “We are hugely sorry to be losing Josh, but also absolutely delighted for him and very proud to have played a part in supporting his career progression. We wish him every success, and look forward to taking the choir to visit!”

We are now looking for someone with the vision, passion and musical expertise to help lead Steel City Choristers into the next chapter of its exciting journey. Applications should be submitted by 6 June. Click here for more information.

Sell out performance of Bach’s St John Passion with English Touring Opera

3 April 2022

Steel City Choristers helped deliver a dramatic performance of Bach’s St John Passion to a sell out audience in Firth Hall.

Soloists and period instrumentalists from English Touring Opera were supported by a chorus which included Steel City Choristers, the Sheffield University Chamber Choir and girls from Sheffield High School.

ETO said “we pushed the choir out of their comfort zone, asking them to sing in a dramatic, operatic style, and they rose to the challenge with aplomb.” 

Celebrating our Trustee’s birthday in style!

26 March 2022

Yinka Oluwole, Steel City Choristers trustee, celebrated a significant birthday in style with a whole day of events at Cutlers Hall. The proceedings began with a celebration of the Eucharist for which Steel City Choristers led the worship, including singing the anthem If Ye Love Me, by Thomas Tallis.

Our choral music contrasted wonderfully with the Yoruba choruses sung by Yinka and her Nigerian friends and family.

Steel City Choristers ‘Get Up to Speed’ with STEM 

23 March 2022

Steel City Choristers enjoyed a day at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham experiencing the world of work as employers filled the place with fun and interactive exhibits to showcase their industry and employment opportunities.

During the day, the choir sang in the exhibition space on two separate occasions, as well as for a group of employers as they met over lunch. 

Success at the David Clover Singing Festival

6 February 2022

Our choristers, David and Anna, were selected from their classes to sing at the final evening concert of the David Clover Singing Festival. Both choristers are taught by our singing teacher, Vivien Pike. They performed beautifully and each came away with an award. Another of our choristers, James, won the Festival’s award for the most promising male singer under the age of 16. 

Steel City Choristers celebrates the Queen’s Accession with Doncaster Minster

6 February 2022

Doncaster Minister resounded to the triumphant sound of Parry’s I was glad as Steel City Choristers joined the Minister Choir to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession.

The combined choirs were conducted by the Minster’s Musical Director Darren Williams, while Steel City Choristers’ Joshua Stephens played the organ for a festal evensong also including Brewer’s setting in D of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis

A weekend of workshops and worship with members of The Sixteen

23 January 2022

Members of The Sixteen came to Sheffield this weekend to work with and sing alongside Steel City Choristers. Through a series of inspiring workshops they delivered tailored vocal training for all sections of the choir including the Clerks and Changing Voices, the Choristers, and the Junior Choristers.

Amanda MacLeod, Education and Outreach Manager said “Steel City Choristers’ commitment to singing, faith, and choral music is commendable but most importantly we had so much fun! We look forward to returning in the future.”

The weekend culminated in singing together for Mass at St Matthew’s Carver Street – with music including Byrd’s Four Part Mass and the anthem My Lord has Come by Will Todd.

Father Naylor said “It was an absolute privilege to host these two very special choirs to sing the Mass. Byrd wrote this sacred music not to be performed in concert halls but to contribute to the beauty of the Mass. I was very moved by the talents of these singers who could only be surpassed by the choirs of angels.”

Steel City Choristers sing carols in aid of the Children’s Hospital

11 December 2021

The Moor was filled with Christmas carols today as Steel City Chorister sang outside Moor Market in aid of Sheffield Children’s hospital.

Shoppers generously donated nearly £200 as the choir sang two half-hour sets of well known Christmas favourites. In between, junior members of the choir played carols on their brass instruments.

Steel City Choristers is delighted to be sponsoring a Children’s Hospital snowflake on St John’s Church, Owlerton.

 

Steel City Choristers sing as Snowflakes light up on St John’s Church, Owlerton

3 December 2021

Steel City Chorister sang carols last Friday to add festive cheer to the Christmas Market accompanying the ‘Big Switch On’ of the Children’s Hospital Snowflakes appearing on St John’s for the first time this year.

Joined, at times, by guest conductor Ozzy the Owl from nearby Sheffield Wednesday, the choir sang old favourites such as Silent Night as well as more recent classics including Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Joy French, vicar of St John’s church said: “Thank you so much, you are amazing. Everyone loves carols, and you sang them so beautifully.”

Steel City Choristers is delighted to be sponsoring a snowflake on St John’s, which is one of eight venues across the city hosting snowflakes this year.

Steel City Choristers join Brian Cox at North Star 2021

24 November 2021

Brian Cox was in town today, speaking at North Star 2021, a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) event for around 600 children in Gulliver’s Valley theme park, organised by the Work-Wise foundation. North Star is part of the national Science Summer School initiative launched in London in 2012 by Professor Brian Cox CBE and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE.

Steel City Choristers sang at the opening ceremony, helping create a calm and peaceful atmosphere for the beginning of the event and reminding ourselves about what it important – that the work of STEAM industries is about projecting our planet. We sang an arrangement of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ theme tune, and Tim Peters’ arrangement of ‘What a Wonderful World’ which they had recorded for COP26.

“You heard the choir – absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful world” said Professor Brian Cox , “and from a scientific viewpoint that’s absolutely true. It really is an extremely rare and wonderful world.”

 “After the chaos of everyone arriving that was exactly what we needed. I feel nice and calm”, said Ruth Amos, YouTube Inventor from Kids Invent Stuff 

Lord Mawson talked about the importance of bringing people together in order to improve communities, joining the dots between education, health and business. This event is designed to inspire children to pursue careers in STEAM. The children then went on to enjoy a day of talks by Brian Cox and Ruth Amos, as well as STEAM workshops and hands-on activities put on by the Royal Navy, Barrett Homes, Kids Invent Stuff and Gulliver’s Valley, amongst others.

Steel City Choristers adds voices to “Sing the Change”

27 October 2021

Steel City Choristers are supporting a nationwide campaign called ‘Sing the Change’, in which choirs and individuals are showing their support for climate action by singing Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World on 30 October.

With the COP26 climate summit just beginning in Glasgow, choirs around the country are urging politicians to work together to end deforestation, cut pollution and support more vulnerable countries. They want future generations to be able to see ‘trees of green, and red roses too’. They want politicians to do whatever they can to hold temperature rises to 1.5°C and protect our wonderful world for generations to come.

For more information see: Sing the Change | Music Declares Emergency

 

Steel City Choristers awarded charity status and sings first services

25 September 2021

The full Steel City Choristers choir sang its first church service last weekend. For the children who were members of the former Sheffield Cathedral choir, this was the first time they had sung a Sunday service since the Cathedral unexpectedly and controversially closed their choir in July 2020.  

Also this week, the choir has been recognised by the Charity Commission for England and Wales as delivering benefit to the public through its objective to take cathedral music out and about around Sheffield, making choral music accessible to those who wouldn’t otherwise sing or listen to it.  Charitable status will give the choir greater access to grants, as well as Gift Aid on donations from individuals. Details of a new Friends’ scheme will be available on the website shortly.

On Sunday 19 September the choir sang for a morning service at St John the Baptist church, Owlerton, and in the afternoon the adults of the choir, known as the Steel City Clerks, sang for a traditional Evensong based on words dating from the 17th century at Beauchief Abbey. Both services were well attended.

Kate Caroe, from the Steel City Choristers’ committee, said, 

“The choir loved singing in these two contrasting churches. It really demonstrates our commitment to taking choral music to a diverse range of communities across the city. It was wonderful to hear how people from both traditions were touched by our music and felt it really helped them in their worship. ”

Steel City Choristers performs first concert

2 July 2021

Steel City Choristers performed its very first indoor concert last night at Christ Church Dore Community Centre. We sang a varied programme of choral music from across the centuries to a sell-out crowd. The audience was treated to choral classics that brought the beauty of cathedral music out into the local community. 

Kate Caroe, from the Steel City Choristers’ committee, said, 

“singing has spiritual value for everyone, it’s good to break down the divide between sacred and secular”. 

The 21-strong choir, led by Director of Music Joshua Stephens, delighted its audience despite hugely limited rehearsal time. It was evident how much of themselves the choir members brought to their singing; the concert ended with a moving rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. 

“What a treat. We were thrilled by you all! You are wonderful, you really are,” said Maureen Cope, organiser of Dore Festival.

Steel City Chorister awarded choral scholarship to Clare College Cambridge

28 March 2021

There was fabulous news this morning for Steel City Choristers: one of our choristers, Emma, has been awarded a choral scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge. Emma is 17 and is studying for her A-Levels at UTC, Olympic Legacy Park, Attercliffe. She is hoping to read Maths at Clare College from October 2021. 

Emma sang in Sheffield Cathedral choir from the age of 10 until last summer, and is a key member of Steel City Choristers. She said “I was delighted to receive the email and I’m really looking forward to going if I get my grades!”

The choir of Clare College has gained an international reputation as one of the world’s leading university choirs. In addition to its primary function of leading services three times a week in the College chapel, the Choir keeps an active schedule recording, broadcasting, and performing. Former directors have included John Rutter and Timothy Brown. Under the direction of Graham Ross, Director of Music since 2010, it has been praised for its consistently ‘thrilling’ and ‘outstanding’ performances worldwide.

David Willington, Chair of Steel City Choristers, said “We are all very proud of Emma, it’s been a difficult year but she has persevered and worked hard. Clare College choir is superb, I know she’ll have a wonderful time”.