The City of Sheffield Teachers’ Choir was formed on Thursday, 7 November, 1968 by Sheffield’s then Music Adviser, Dr David Clover. It was a direct result of the daily choral sessions of his initial residential music course held at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick. This was the first time that Sheffield music teachers had ever come together in this way and it was a historic occasion for Sheffield music.
The choir’s first performance was the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols in Sheffield Cathedral during Christmastide 1968.
For eleven years the choir flourished under David Clover’s baton, raising much money for children’s charities, both local and national, and giving opportunities for those connected, at that time, with the education service in Sheffield to come together and sing for the sheer joy of singing.
Since his death in January 1979 the choir has continued to perform both at home and abroad. It celebrated its 50thanniversary in 2018 with a concert on Saturday 10 November, at Holy Trinity Church, Grove Road, Millhouses, Sheffield.
Dr David Clover MA, DMus, GTCL, FTCL, LTCL | 1930 – 1979
David was born in Fressingfield, Suffolk in 1930. He was educated at Southend High School for Boys and Huntingdon Grammar School. He went on to study at Trinity College of Music, London, gaining graduate status. He then studied for the Master of Arts degree from London University. He was a member of The Royal College of Organists
In the mid 1950’s he took up his first teaching post as Director of Music at Stationers’ Company School. After Stationers’ (1960) David accepted the position of Music Advisor for the City of Hull. Next, in 1967, came the position of Senior Music adviser for The City of Sheffleld. He was the Founder and Conductor of The City of Sheffield Teachers’ Choir and Orchestra from 1968 and the Founder and Conductor of The City of Sheffield Youth Chorale from 1969. On a national level he founded and conducted The British Youth Choir and Chamber Orchestra (now the National Youth Choir of Great Britain)
He was an Examiner for Trinity College of Music, London from 1960 which took him abroad working in Canada, USA and the Caribbean. He regularly adjudicated at local and regional music festivals and competitions. His Compositions include various choral and instrumental works and arrangements. Some are still available.
His specialist subject was music making among young people, choral, school music. He enjoyed driving, photography, and talking.
Patrons & Presidents
Lesley Garrett CBE
Lesley Garrett was born in South Yorkshire and studied first with Vivien Pike and later, at the Royal Academy of Music, with Joy Mammen, with whom she continues to study. Her operatic career began at Opera North with Sophie, Werther and Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro. She returned to the Company in 2013 as Elle, La Voix Humaine.
Mark Wildman FRAM, FRSA
Mark Wildman received his early formal musical education at The King’s School, Gloucester and as a chorister in Gloucester Cathedral where he studied and sang under Dr Herbert Sumsion. Later on, he studied at The Royal Academy of Music under the guidance of Henry Cummings, Rex Stephens, Tom Hammond and Norman Feasey and later on with Rupert Bruce Lockhart. He was awarded the Westmorland Scholarship, the Academy Recital Diploma and the Frederick Shinn Fellowship. His career began as a Choral Exhibitioner at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where he sang for three years which was followed by a similar period with the BBC Singers with whom he travelled and performed world-wide.
Elizabeth Watts Hon. D. Mus
Elizabeth arrived in Sheffield 18 years old, with a passion for singing and a love of archaeology, which she was reading at the University. Although music was not her degree subject she took her singing seriously. Her teacher strongly encouraged her to enter competitions to gain performing experience and she was delighted to find a flyer for the David Clover Competition of Singing which provided her with the opportunity to perform many times, singing different repertoire and, gain a wealth of experience.
Ralph Green ARCM
Ralph Green was born in Oldham and was educated at Chadderton Grammar School. He owes much of his earliest musical experience to Marian Barnett with whom he studied piano and organ at Macedonia URC in Failsworth, and to the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, where he regularly attended the Halle Concerts and sang from its platform in the choir at school speech days.
James Kirkwood LRAM, LTCL, ARCM,
James Kirkwood was educated at Woodhouse Grammar School and was inspired to follow a musical career by his music teacher there, Muriel Gill. Two years in the R.A.F. (Suez Crisis) was followed by teacher training at Bretton Hall College of Music, Art and Drama and some years later at the Northern School of Music in Manchester where he gained a number of diplomas appertaining to various aspects of music education.
Richard Clover LTCL, FASC
Richard was born in Kingston upon Hull in 1961. Educated at Silverdale Comprehensive School, Sheffield (Chorister, head-chorister and songman at Sheffield Cathedral), Trinity College of Music, London studying singing with the late Erich Vietheer and Anna Berenska as well as piano with Valda Aveling.