Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus

South Yorkshire's foremost large mixed-voice chorus

The Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus is South Yorkshire's foremost large mixed-voice chorus. We regularly sing with leading orchestras including the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic, the Northern Sinfonia and the Manchester Camerata, and with internationally renowned conductors such as Gianandrea Noseda, Nicholas Kraemer, David Hill, Ryan Wigglesworth and James Burton. We perform with Orchestra in Residence the Hallé and acclaimed soloists as part of the Sheffield International Concert Season at the City Hall in Sheffield, and at other venues around the UK. We frequently collaborate with other large choirs such as the Halle Chorus, the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus and the Halifax Choral Society.

We have participated in The Proms on a number of occasions, including the Proms in the Park event for the Last Night of the Proms in Heaton Park, Manchester in 2005 and in a performance of Beethoven‘s ninth symphony (sung from memory) with the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for Prom 75. Since around 2006 we have developed touring and performance links with the Philharmonischer Chor Bochum, who are regular performers with the Bochumer Symphoniker and based in Bochum, one of Sheffield’s twin towns in Germany.

Our subscriptions pay for a professional Music Director, Darius Battiwalla, and accompanist Rachel Fright, both of whom give tremendous value to every rehearsal. Individual singers are professionally coached in rehearsals by Maggie McDonald (also voice coach to the Hallé Choir) every few weeks. The actor Samuel West is our patron and Rachel Copley is our President.

The chorus currently numbers about 180 singers, and always welcomes new members. Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 9pm at King Edward VII Upper School, Glossop Rd, Sheffield S10 2PW. We are a friendly choir and prospective members are very welcome to try us out before joining, which follows a short audition; re-auditions are every three years. If you are interested, do contact the New Members' Officer on 01433 630970 or 0777 157 8233 or

The Chorus was founded in 1935 as the resident choir for the new Philharmonic Society's series of concerts in Sheffield City Hall. It was formed from two Sheffield choirs whose origins date back to the 1860s. After the Second World War the Chorus became closely associated with John Barbirolli and the Hallé Orchestra, with whom the Chorus sang in many other cities to great acclaim.

There have been a number of really high points in the Chorus’s history. The recording of The Dream of Gerontius made with the Hallé and Barbirolli nearly 50 years ago is highly acclaimed and is still available; amazingly a few existing Chorus members took part in the recording. The Chorus performed the Berlioz Te Deum in the Royal Albert Hall under Sir Thomas Beecham, Handel’s Messiah with Sir Malcolm Sargent, and Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, with the composer himself conducting. More recently the Chorus has worked with a wide range of conductors and orchestras - and some outstanding soloists - performing some 'traditional' repertoire (Messiah, Mozart Requiem, Britten's War Requiem, etc.) as well as that of contemporary composers, including Wilby and Mealor. The Chorus has commissioned several new pieces in recent years, and has made recordings for Chandos and for BBC Radio 3. The Chorus also has its lighter moments, in particular our very popular annual Christmas Concerts with the Black Dyke Band.

In 2011 the Chorus launched The Friends of Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus. More details are on the Friends page of the Chorus website, which is at The website provides news of forthcoming concerts, reviews, details of recordings featuring the chorus, and a detailed history of the Chorus.

How to get involved

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