Sisters Jo Briddock and Rachel Mallaband have more reasons than most to be looking forward to this weekend’s Classical Sheffield Festival of Music.
They are part of a quartet of singers featured in Deep River from Tippett’s A Child of our Time in the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus concert, Steal Away – Spirituals and More, in the City Hall Ballroom on Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve sung together in the chorus for over 10 years now,” says Rachel, “but when Jo texted to say I was one of the quartet you could have knocked me down will a feather!” she laughs.
“It was her fault,” she continues pointing at big sister Jo, “I would never have volunteered to sing anything on my own that had a top B in it!”
A number of families are represented in the chorus – husbands and wives, mums and daughters. Indeed, family members are encouraged to join the chorus if they meet the standard expected by music director Darius Battiwalla.
Jo’s claim to fame is singing at the Proms and filming Songs of Praise for the BBC when the chorus first became associated with the local village carols.
“Recording the CD was certainly a highlight too,” she says, referring to Awake, Arise! the chorus’s new recording featuring some local carols due out on the 20th of November. “We are so lucky, getting to record such fabulous arrangements, and in the City Hall too!”