Talent of singers of all ages to showcased at this Sheffield festival

People of all ages are preparing to come together to perform in one of the UK’s only singing-focused festivals.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 11:28 am
Updated Monday, 13th January 2020, 3:03 pm
The David Clover Singing Festival. Jane Irwin (adjudicator), Amy Shaw, Natasha Agarwal, Ella Taylor, Vivien Pike (Music Coordinator), Mark Wildman (President). Photo by Emma Ede.

The David Glover Singing Festival, which offers opportunities for singers to display their talents in a wide variety of classical and modern songs, is taking place for January 24 to 26 and also January 31 to February 2.

One weekend, called the Singers’ Platform, focuses on young performers, including conservatoires and universities at the start of their careers. It attracts singers from across the country and abroad, who compete for substantial prizes.

The second weekend, called Festival Weekend, is open to singers of all ages who come from Sheffield and the surrounding area.

David Clover Singing Festival. Pictured are prizewinners from the Festival Weekend with their prizes. Photo by Emma Ede.

Tony Trippett, publicity officer for the festival, said: “The invariable comment of members of the public attending David Clover events for the first time is ‘why didn’t I know about this before?’

“Audiences can attend any of the sessions of either weekend, but we particularly recommend the finals evening of each weekend, and especially that of the Singers’ Platform.”

The Singers’ Platform provides an opportunity for singers, aged between 19 and 28, who are already studying at universities and conservatoires, including postgraduates and to those being privately tutored, to continue the development of their art with substantial award money. Past winners of the title have been offered paid engagements with choirs in Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

The festival has strong links with the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. The singers who take part are encouraged and guided by professional adjudicators of international standing.

There are prizes to be won, including The Singers’ Platform, and singers can also gain opportunities for further performances and career advancement.

In the past, people who have taken part have won solos with Sheffield, Bakewell, Ripon and Harrogate choral societies.

Tony said: “Ella Taylor, last year’s winner in the Singer’s Platform Opera class, is now at the National Opera Studio, Anna Harvey, who performed at the Festival Weekend, is a soloist with Dusseldorf Opera, and Jessica Greaves, also a Festival Weekend performer, is a member of the Welsh National Opera Chorus.

“Other finalists have been chosen to perform in international master classes at Leeds Lieder.”

This year audio recordings of Finals Evenings performances will be passed on to singers to help their development and publicity; and the two prize winners from the Singers’ Platform will perform in the Sheffield Chamber Music Festival on May 16.

The festival, which is now in it’s 41st year, is one of the very few festivals in the UK that focuses solely on singing. It takes its name from a charismatic Musical Adviser for Sheffield, David Clover.

Tony said: “David is still revered and fondly remembered some forty years after his premature death for his inspirational and transformative approach to singing.

“His concrete legacy was the Sheffield Teachers’ Choir, which still performs regularly, and the Festival of Singing which was founded in his memory.”

The David Clover event is a prestigious festival which has opera singer Lesley Garrett as patron, former Head of Vocal Studies at the Royal Academy of Music Professor Mark Wildman as president and international soprano Elizabeth Watts, among others, as vice-president.

For more information, visit the official website www.davidclover-festivalofsinging.org.uk.