Exciting times for Sheffield’s all women’s acapella chorus, Sheffield Harmony

When Laura Jane Baxter chose to study at the University of Sheffield, she had a very specific reason that had nothing to do with her chosen subjects of Physics and Philosophy.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 3:41 pm
Sheffield Harmony's Laura Jane Baxter, who has just started her degree at the University of Sheffield, and Rosalind Kipps, new Musical Director.

With her passion for barbershop singing, she knew that having access to an award-winning acapella chorus, in the very city she would now call home, was too good an opportunity to pass up.

And so she became Sheffield Harmony’s youngest member in October 2018, joining the ranks alongside 60 other women.

And excited at the possibility of continuing her favourite hobby, whilst also studying for her joint honours degree, Laura Jane, aged 19, was even more delighted to find herself in good company as a new addition, as the group’s brand new musical director joined at the same time.

The chorus, already caught up in the bustle and excitement of its 40th anniversary celebrations, was thrilled to welcome 30-year-old Rosalind Kipps as its new MD. Rosalind herself was no stranger to coaching top level barbershop choruses, and was keen to encourage women of all ages to take up this hugely enjoyable style of singing.

Laura Jane said: “Starting university in a different city can be tough but the women at Sheffield Harmony have been so welcoming – they have become my new family.”

Laura Jane and Rosalind will both join the group on May 11 when Sheffield Harmony takes to the stage at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, when they are taking an exciting package of four-part harmony songs to the Sweet Adelines International Annual Convention.

Sheffield Harmony was founded in 1978 in the dining room of its treasurer, Joan. Since then, the chorus has gone from strength to strength, and competes at Sweet Adelines’ Region 31 contest each year.

As well as there many highlights on the competition stage, Sheffield Harmony has featured on film, television and radio – including Radio Sheffield’s Good News Friday and 2014’s Pulp: A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets.

The chorus recorded a barbershop version of ‘Common People’ that features on the film’s soundtrack, and performed at the premiere at Sheffield City Hall.

The chorus rehearses at High Storrs School each Monday, from 7.30pm to 10pm. Anyone interested in joining can feel free to visit.