The first meeting of the newly formed ‘Stannington Singers’ was held at the Lomas Hall Sheffield on Thursday 19 February 1987. The choir consisted back then of just 17 women and 3 men under a new musical director – Alvin Tipple. Early choir practice took place in the upper rooms at Stannington Church Hall and funds for the choir were raised by having a stall at local craft fairs during the afternoon and a concert performance, for friends and family, in the same evening. A raffle was held every week with choir members taking it in turns to provide a prize.
The choir’s first public performance took place at the Lomas Hall on 3 October 1987 with guest performers – Thurlstone Bell Ringers: the ticket price was just £1:00.
During their first year together, the choir performed at weddings and held several carol concerts in, and around, the Stannington area.
In October 1987 the Stannington Singers moved their practice sessions to Underbank Chapel where they stayed until October 1988. By this time the choir practice moved to a Thursday evening at Knowle Top Chapel, our current home. In 1990, the choir was performing two public concerts a year in addition to several concerts of Christmas Carols with various guest performers.
By 1990, Knowle Top Chapel was shared with the Stannington Ladies Choir: the two choirs eventually performed together at the Lomas Hall in May 1992.
In October 1991, the highlight for Stannington Singers was a concert at the Crucible with Grimethorpe Colliery Band and compared by the late Bobby Knutt.
The title of the concert – Stannington Singers presents ‘An Autumn Serenade’ – was sponsored by many local businesses and the proceeds from that concert were donated to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
In January 1992, the choir was renamed ‘Stannington Mixed Choir’ under a new conductor – Mark Rotchell and a new pianist Sheila Mettham. The choir’s objective was to ‘enjoy singing’ and most of the concert profits were donated to local charities.
Other notable events of the past 30 years include:
- Winning three awards at the Ecclesfield Music Festival
- Recording a CD of local carols – Autumn 2009
- Singing carols during a BBC ’Look North’ broadcast from Chatsworth House in December 2009
- Performing the Rutter Requiem on tour in Tuscany in 2017
By 2012, one of the choir’s founder members – Hilary Osborn, returned to us as our Musical Director. Under Hilary’s leadership, the choir’s weekly rehearsals work towards public concerts on two or more occasions during the year. The choir has also undertaken several major works and performed at the Victoria Hall in Sheffield with other local choirs.
At present, we have 45 choir members and enjoy singing a varied repertoire, ranging from ‘songs from the shows’ to more classical music.
Rehearsals take place on a Thursday evening from 7:30pm – 9:30pm at Knowle Top Chapel, Stannington in Sheffield. If you would like to join the choir, please contact Fred Holmes (0114 2346803) or Sue Mason (0114 2348500).