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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!

The awards night takes place on Tuesday 5 March 2024, however the vote for the Inspiration Award is down to a public vote via the RPS website. To support the chorus for their work with young musicians, follow the link and cast your vote! https://royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk/awards/rps_music_awards/inspiration-award/sheffield-philharmonic-chorus 

Previous News Items

12 December 2023 Chorus nominated for prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Inspiration Award

15 November 2023 Chorus record with Black Dyke Band

30 October 2023 Two more world premieres!

27 September 2023 Chorus project shortlisted for Making Music Award

26 September 2023 Mahler 2 in Monte Carlo

18 September 2023 Chorus members sing Mahler 2 in Monaco

20 June 2023 Fantastic Verdi Requiem with Sofi Jeannin

 
 

27 January 2023 Chorus announces competition shortlist

2022

10 November 2022 CLASSICAL MUSIC: Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus Launches Competition

01 November 2022 CLASSICAL SHEFFIELD: Exciting Competition for Young Composers

31 October 2022 RMCMEDIA: Local Choir Launches New Competition For Young Composers

28 Oct 2022 Chorus launches new competition for young composers

11 June 2022 Belshazzar’s Feast a tremendous wall of sound – SHEFFIELKD TELEGRAPG REVIEW

22 April 2022 Chorus hosts French and German singers

20 April SHEFFIELD STAR: World famous Black Dyke Band and Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus to perform brass arrangement of Handel’s Messiah at City Hall

16 April 2022 BRITISH BANDSMAN: Black Dyke set for choral collaboration

02 April 4BARSREST: European links for Messiah

29 March 2022 Chorus welcome French and German visitors

14 March 2022 Chorus collect almost £2,000 for Ukraine Appeal

05 March 2022 Russian concert in aid of Ukraine

2020

Tuesday 15 December 2020 ‘Tis the season…..

20 October 2020 Chorus CD tops the charts!

21 July 2020 Music Director gives on-line recital for Yorkshire Day

21 July 2020 SHEFFIELD TELEGRAPH: Lockdown performance of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus music director’s new arrangement for Handel’s Messiah

6 July 2020 Music Director’s beautiful Messiah arrangement

28 June 2020 Chorus starts on-line rehearsals

18 June 2020 Music Director joins choral greats in highlighting challenges faced by choirs

16 June 2020 The Guardian – Covid-19 has silenced choirs

18 May 2020 Chorus supports its locked-down musicians

23 March 2020 Concerts postponed and rehearsals cancelled

2 February 2020 Chorus to sing Messiah with French and German visitors

2019

17 December 2019 REVIEW: Sheffield’s Christmas concert tradition

16 December 2019 Carol wins Classic FM competition

15 December 2019 Sheffield Telegraph – Chorus in finals of national carol competition

14 November 2019 REVIEW – ‘Beautifully and intricately rendered by the choir’

8 November 2019 Bring a Man Night

2 November 2019 Chorus to present Bochum gift to Lord Mayor

22 October 2019 Chorus feature on Black Dyke Band CD

28 September 2019 Chorus kicks off BBC Music Day

23 Sept 2019 Chorus kick off BBC Music Day on Fargate

12 June 2019 REVIEW Holy Face Sheffield Telegraph

 
 

07 April 2019 Bach’s compendium; SPC /Royal Northern Sinfonia, City Hall

14 March 2019 Women centre stage – Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus /Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City Hall

5 Feb 2019 Press release from Bochum, Germany: Mayor Erika Stahl receives Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

1 Feb 2019 Chorus members sing Messiah in Germany

2018

28 Dec New Year’s Honour for local choir President

13 Dec 2018 Chorus Hat trick

6 Dec 2018 Excellent programme from the Chorus

26 Oct 2018 Composer thrilled with recording

28 July 2018 Yorkshire Post celebrates publication of 1911 World Tour Book

23 July 2018 Chorus members sing in France during World Cup

20 July 2018 Tour de France for Sheffield Choir

03 July 2018 Chorus prepares to deliver French mini tour

14 June 2018 Up Close and Personal

11 June 2018 Audience thrilled by Rossini and original Mustel harmonium

31 May 2018 Chorus and harmonium in perfect harmony

11 May 2018 ‘Outstanding’ – Chorus ends Mahler tour on high note

30 April 2018  Review: Bruckner Orchester Linz, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, four stars

30 April 2018 Chorus sing a ‘blazing’ Mahler 2 in Edinburgh

29 April 2018 ‘Assertive Mahler’ Simon Thompson, Seen and Heard International

12 Feb 2018 Chorus sings with Sheffield mezzo soprano

3 Feb 2018 World premiere ‘an emotive journey’

12 Jan 2018 Chorus on journey to Paradise

2017

11 Dec 2017 Calypso Carol on Classic FM

15 Oct 2017 Composer thrilled with premiere of his new work

3 July 2017 Chorus records new CD

6 April 2017 Stairs? No problem!

24 April 2017 Open Letter from the Chair: The relevance of classical music.

20 March 2017 It’s a fact – Singing is good for you!

pre-2016

16 May 2016 140th birthday celebrations

16 Feb 2016 What’s your ‘Fantasy Concert’?

18 Oct 2015 Sisters Steal Away

15 May 2015 Now on sale: ‘Awake, Arise! A Yorkshire Christmas Collection for Brass and Voices‘, our exciting CD of Christmas music

18 Feb 2013 Rachmaninov – will Chorus be reaching for the vodka?

8 Oct 2012 Free choral workshops and a welcome return for Handel’s Messiah

8 Aug 2012 Free choral workshops and a year full of singing

17 June 2012 Olympic Dreams – Will it be Singin’ in The Rain or Mr Blue Skies?

16 Apr 2012 Contemporary composers take centre stage

16 Apr 2012 New community links in Sheffield

3 April 2012 Bronte Mass ‘impressive’

12 Feb 2012 Alight: Eclectic music lines up to take centre stage as part of the Cultural Olympiad

13 Jan 2012 Scaling The Heights – Singclude Breaks Down Barriers For Disabled Singers

24 Feb 2011 Three-fold choral debut

22 Nov 2010 Songs of Praise – Chorus celebrate 75th Anniversary year with audience of over 2 million

28 Oct 2010 The Dream of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

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Anthems, Hymns and Gloria for Brass Band

In 2019 the Chorus recorded John Rutter’s Gloria with Black Dyke Band – and the CD on which it is features reached the Number One spot in the Classic FM Specialist Classical Albums charts in October 2020, only two weeks after it’s release by Naxos.

The CD Anthems, Hymns and Gloria for Brass Band , was recorded in St Oswald’s Church on Bannerdale Road in Sheffield. Directed by Professor Nicholas Childs and Chorus Music Director Darius Battiwalla, the CD was featured as Album of the Week on the Classic FM radio station, and rapidly moved up the chart over the following week.

The CD features eleven tracks composed by Rutter and arranged for brass band by Belgian conductor Luc Vertommen. It includes many of the English choral composer’s most famous works, including the Pie Jesu from his 1985 Requiem, and This is the Day composed for the wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

John Rutter’s Gloria was composed in 1974 for choir, brass, percussion and organ, with an alternative version for choir and orchestra. Described as “exalted, devotional and jubilant”, it was Rutter’s first commission from the US. Structured in three movements and based on the Gloria from the Latin mass, it was always intended as a concert piece.

Buy Anthems on Black Dyke Band website

Buy Anthems via Naxos

Read more about the CD:

Chorus CD tops the charts!

Chorus feature on Black Dyke Band CD

Chorus CD tops the charts!

Tuesday 20 October 2020

The CD recorded by the Chorus with Black Dyke Band has reached the Number One spot in the Classic FM Specialist Classical Albums charts, outselling recordings by Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, the Halle, the Sixteen and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Chorus recorded the new Naxos CD release of music by composer John Rutter with the world-famous Black Dyke Band one chilly October evening last year, in St Oswald’s Church on Bannerdale Road in Sheffield. Directed by Prof Nicholas Childs and Chorus Music Director Darius Battiwalla, the CD Anthems, Hymns and Gloria for Brass Band was recently featured as Album of the Week on the Classic FM radio station. The impact on sales from around the world was immediate, and the CD rapidly moved up the chart over the following week.

Chorus and band recording the Gloria in St Oswald’s Church

‘We joined the band to record Rutter’s concert work ‘Gloria’, which was commissioned in 1974 by The Voices of Mel Olsen in Omaha, Nebraska, when Rutter was making his first trip to the United States.’ explained Chorus Chair Paul Henstridge. ‘We love collaborating with this amazing band of consummate musicians, who join us for the annual carol concert in the City Hall each year. We had a wonderful evening at St Oswald’s and are absolutely delighted that it has  led to an Album of the Week and the Number One slot!’

The CD features eleven tracks composed by Rutter and arranged for brass band by Belgian conductor Luc Vertommen. It includes many of the English choral composer’s most famous works, including the Pie Jesu from his 1985 Requiem, and This is the Day composed for the wedding of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

The Chorus has collaborated with the Black Dyke Band on numerous occasions, including two world premieres, Philip Wilby’s oratorio Holy Face with Leeds Philharmonic Chorus in 2017 and Paul Mealor’s beautiful Paradise in 2018. Joint recordings include Wilby’s Holy Face and Awake Arise, a Christmas CD full of festive music from Yorkshire. Chorus Music Director and Leeds City Organist Darius Battiwalla is no stranger to brass band music, regularly composing and arranging works for brass and chorus. 

Recording with Black Dyke Band in St Oswald’s Church Bannerdale Road Sheffield

‘Darius most recently arranged two pieces for brass band and chorus during the coronavirus lock-down’ said Chorus Administrator Anne Adams, ‘One is an beautiful soprano aria from Handel’s Messiah, which we were planning to present with Black Dyke in Sheffield cathedral but sadly had to postpone, and the other is a 16th Century German carol which we and Black Dyke are going to record from our homes as part of a virtual Christmas carol concert in December.’

Chorus and band hope to present the brass Messiah in 2021, alongside choirs from France and Germany, and the Chorus is still hoping to be able to present Rachmaninov’s Vespers and Faure’s Requiem at the City Hall in May and June 2021.

In the meantime you can hear the new arrangement of Handel’s ‘How Beautiful are the Feet‘ on the Chorus website at sheffieldphil.org / records-and-books / how-beautiful-are-the-feet , you can buy our buy our Christmas CD – and of course you can help to keep the John Rutter Anthems CD at the top of the charts by buying it from the Black Dyke Band website at www.blackdykeshop.co.uk

Carol wins Classic FM competition

16 December 2020

The Chorus version of O Holy Night has been selected as a winner of the Classic FM / Making Music carol competition, in which 5 carols are selected to be played in the Classic FM Drive slot in the week commencing Monday 16 December 2019. 

O Holy Night, arranged by Chorus Music Director Darius Battiwalla, was recorded by Black Dyke and the Chorus in the City Hall in 2015 and released on our CD ‘Awake, Arise! A Yorkshire Christmas Carol Collection for Brass and Voices’.

The CD has a real Yorkshire flavour and includes some of the Sheffield carols, traditionally sung in local pubs over the Christmas period. Darius Battiwalla’s O Holy Night for chorus and brass band is a wonderfully uplifting arrangement which goes down a storm at our carol concerts each year. 

This is the fourth time one of the carols from our recording has been selected for the Classic FM Drive competition, and we are thrilled that this time it’s our favourite, O Holy Night. 

It will be played in the Classic FM Drive slot sometime between 5pm and 8pm on Monday 16 December 2019.

Of course the Chorus will be singing O Holy Night at the annual carol concert at the City Hall on Saturday 14 December 2019 at 2pm and 5.30pm. We are thrilled that the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Sheffield will attend the 2pm session.

Also on the programme will be Darius Battiwalla’s arrangements of three local carols – Egypt, Tyre Mill and Hail Smiling Morn – all also on the CD, along with Paul Fincham’s new carol Ring the Bells, the royalties from which will be donated to homelessness charity Crisis.

Tickets available online or from the City Hall box office. The CD will be on sale in the foyer for the special concert price of £10.

Find out further information about the carol project.  or about homelessness charity Crisis.

Read more about the Christmas CD

Find out more about the Classic FM / Making Music Drive competition.

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus in finals of national carol competition

Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus have been shortlisted in the top ten for a national carol competition.

By Julia Armstrong

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 10:00 am

Updated Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 12:40 pm

Run by Making Music UK and Classic FM, the festive competition invited performers to submit a performance to be played on the popular classical radio. With more than 5.7 million listeners tuning in every week, Classic FM is the biggest classical music radio station in the world.

The competition is part of Classic FM’s 11-year partnership with Making Music UK, which regularly offers member groups the chance to submit recordings for live broadcast.

The shortlisted carols have been broadcast in the lead-up to the festive season on the station’s Drive programme. The winning five were then being played all this week on the show.

Resident chorus at Sheffield City Hall, the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, won through to the top 10 for the competition.

The Philharmonic Chorus teamed up with Black Dyke Band for a beautiful rendition of O Holy Night.

The duo often perform this work at their annual Christmas concerts at Sheffield City Hall, with this year’s event, which took place on December 14, proving no different.

The carol, composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847, reflects how the birth of Jesus has impacted on humanity.

Many popular artists who have covered the carol include Nat King Cole in 1960, Patti LaBelle (1990), Mariah Carey (1994), Josh Groban (2002) and Idina Menzel this year.

During the first three weeks of December, Classic FM listeners were also invited to vote for their favourite-ever Christmas carol – and O Holy Night has held the top spot since 2016.

This year’s results will be revealed on Christmas Day between 1pm and 3pm.

Link to article in Sheffield Telegraph