The Sterndale Singers
The Sterndale Singers began on Sunday 18th September 1977, when a small group of singers met for the first time at Millhouses Methodist Church, under the leadership of Arthur Robson and Vivien Fisher. The name 'Sterndale Singers' evolved over a post-rehearsal drink some time later; Sterndale Road was nearby and members knew of William Sterndale Bennett's Sheffield connections.
Sterndale Singers at St. John's, Ranmoor, Sheffield, in 2007
Mainly singing madrigals and other music suitable for small choirs the choir's concert schedule quickly grew, James Wild taking over from Arthur Robson in 1992, followed by his daughter Jill in 1992 and Richard Roddis in January 1999. Richard continued the tradition of extending the choir's repertoire, and in his final concert in July 2004 the choir performed Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb and Bach's Lobet den Herrn.
Robert Webb took over the post in September 2004, and his first concert featured Requiems by Duruflé and Rutter. Since then, the choir has sung a wide range of works ranging from Purcell and Monteverdi to Finzi, Britten and Howells. Notable concerts have included J S Bach's St. John Passion (Easter 2006 with players from Sheffield's Ensemble 360) and Christmas Oratorio (2007); Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle (2010); Ramirez's Navidad Nuestra & Missa Criolla (2008) and the first Yorkshire performance of Zalenka's Miserere (2OO9). In 2011 a performance of James MacMillan's Seven Last Words from the Cross further extended the choir's repertoire. Its versatility has been further demonstrated by recent concerts, ranging from arrangements of popular songs such as Blue Moon to Mahler's Second Symphony with Sheffield Symphony Orchestra.
In August 2007, the choir revived its earlier custom of travelling abroad to sing, visiting south-west France, a trip which was so enjoyed by choir members and audiences alike that it has become a bi-ennial event, with the fourth visit in 2013. The choir continues to enjoy not only an excellent standard of music making, but also the pleasure, excitement and friendship which are part of singing in a choir.