Steel City Choristers Reasons to Sing!

Published on 13/10/2023

Reasons to Sing! Songs from the heart

A look back at Steel City Choristers Reason to Sing!

Every song has a personal story behind it. Steel City Choristers brought them to life in their Reasons to Sing! concert on Saturday night at St Mary's Bramall Lane. Over the past year, "Reasons to Sing!" invited people attending St Mary's social supermarket on Bramall Lane to share their favourite songs, many of which had a powerful emotional connection to their lives. Six songs were then chosen and arranged into four part harmony, then paired with pieces from the choristers' choral repertoire for a multi-genre performance of video and song. A singing circle for the community singers led by Yo Tozer-Loft took place for several weeks at St Mary's, which culminated in a joint rehearsal with Steel City Choristers and then the final concert, which was attended by an audience of over 120. 

The concert featured themes such as Motherhood with Mama by the Spice Girls being matched with Bogoroditse Devo by Rachmaninov, and Self Esteem with This is Me from the Greatest Showman being matched with Psalm 139. God will make a Way was chosen by Odette Sefuko who had to spend time in prison for doing a cleaning job in order to provide for her children while seeking asylum, and this was matched under the theme of Trust with The Lord's my ShepherdCount on Me by Bruno Mars was chosen by Julia Marshall who knows that she and her friends will always be there for each other. She has MS and is currently fundraising for a life-enhancing special wheelchair and she is grateful for all the help she has received from family and friends. This was paired under the theme of Loyalty with a lovely contemporary piece from our cathedral repertoire on the same theme: Upon Your Heart by Eleanor Daley. 

Their performance of Count on Me (Bruno Mars) can be found here

Their performance of Upon Your Heart (Eleanor Daley) can be found here

The community singers were thrilled to be singing with the choir and they sounded great. Stephanie Lauren Hawkins, a singer from St Mary's social supermarket, expressed their enthusiasm: 

"Thank you So Much Everyone. What a Performance and an Honour, the Steel City Choristers are Fantastic. Just Phenomenal. Loved it. Xxx"

This is the second year-long Reasons to Sing! project in Sheffield. The first took place with the Methodist social inclusion charity, Parson Cross Initiative, in 2022. Project leaders say both schemes have helped break down barriers around choral music and united people from all walks of life.

Kate Josephs CB, Chief Executive Sheffield City Council, testified that 

"The Reasons to Sing concert was a joyful celebration; highlighting the power of music to bring people together.  What a brilliant example of the positive work that Steel City Choristers do in our city!"

The £10,000 project was funded by Awards For All and fundraising will now begin for a third Reasons to Sing! project in 2024/25. More information about Reasons to Sing! More information can be found here