South Yorkshire's foremost large mixed-voice choir
Chorus nominated for prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Inspiration Award
Tuesday 12 December 2023
The Chorus is delighted to announce that they have been shortlisted for a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Inspiration Award sponsored by Presto Music. Widely regarded as the BAFTAS of the classical music world, the RPS Awards are a sought-after achievement by both amateur and professional musicians alike.
Recently introduced into the awards list, the ‘Inspiration Award’ is for a non-professional ensemble or individual who works with such groups, in recognition of the remarkable constellation of such music-makers. The Chorus is delighted to have been shortlisted out of an outstanding pool of groups and music-makers.
The nomination celebrates the choir’s support for young musicians, in particular the Stella Jockel Young Composer Competition, which was brought to life at the finale of the Classical Sheffield Festival Weekend 2023. The competition, in its inaugural year, attracted fourteen high-quality pieces of music to be judged by a panel of experts, including conductor and composer George Nicholson, Emeritus Professor of Composition at the University of Sheffield. Two of the shortlisted candidates won the top prize, and received their prizes from the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Sioned-Mair Richards.
The text for the competition was set by award-winning Sheffield poet Katherine Towers, and it encouraged the young composers to think outside the box when writing their pieces. Joint winners Mason Birch and James Thomas wowed the judges and the 1400-strong audience at Sheffield City Hall with their talent and fine ear for composition. The competition was set up in memory of former SPC member Stella Jockel, who supported young musicians throughout her life, using part of a generous legacy left to the Chorus when she passed in 2020.
Described by The Sunday Times as ‘the biggest night in UK classical music’, the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards are classical music’s annual good news story, shining much-needed light on inspirational individuals, groups and initiatives whose music has lifted hearts and minds across the nation.
Joanne Briddock, SPC’s Chair, said “I am absolutely delighted that Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus has been nominated for this important award. It is wonderful to be recognised for our efforts to develop new music and young composers alongside our existing musical activities. We are totally thrilled!”