Whittaker gets excited to make Albion debut

Jenny Whittaker, performing with Albion
Jenny Whittaker, performing with Albion

New life is brought to old musical favourites this Saturday when Sheffield choir Albion take to the stage.

The group have made their name through creating new versions of traditional music of Britain and Ireland.

In the beautiful setting of Holy Trinity Church in Millhouses, they will perform a number of songs with local connections. Totley soprano Jenny Whittaker, 18, will make her debut with the choir on Saturday.

She said: “I first heard Albion singing nearly two years ago, when they were very new, and since then it’s been my ambition to be part of it!”

A chance meeting at Christmas with director Fraser Wilson led to an invitation to join the group. Since then Jenny, a member of Sheffield Music Academy, has been working hard to get to grips with the new music.

She said: “All the music has to be memorised, so you have to do some work on that. And there is no conductor, so we have to listen a lot harder to each other. You see another side to singing in Albion.”

How is she feeling? “Excited, and a little nervous. I’m sure once we get going it will be fine!” Performing alongside Jenny and Albion will be 25 other singers from across the city. In an afternoon workshop they will tackle the challenge of singing without a conductor and then they will perform in the concert.

Bass David Shapiro, a member of the Purple Cats choir, says that he is looking forward to “singing glorious arrangements of fine material, and to working at the interface between learning by ear and following the dots.”

Fraser Wilson says that there are surprises in store. “We always make use of the space, singing in and around the audience. And with our guest singers too, we can do some really exciting things.”

The concert at the church on Grove Road starts at 7.30pm. Tickets: www.albionchoir.org.uk and possibly a limited number on the door.