Walking onto the City Hall stage didn’t intimidate one lunchtime singer...
Sharon Torrens has done it every day for the last seven years.
She always puts in a sparkling performance, too. Though Sharon is no professional singer. She doesn’t tread the boards, she cleans them.
One of a team of eight tasked with keeping the entire venue spick and span, Sharon is an enthusiastic songbird. She’s often to be found, mop in hand, warbling as she works.
“I absolutely love singing; it makes me feel good. It’s true what they say about it releasing the happy endorphins in the brain,” says the team’s assistant domestic service manager.
“I can feel all the stresses of the day disappearing and that sense of fun you feel in childhood flooding back.”
Sharon was always a very unconfident singer until she found the courage to join Sheffield’s gay choir Out Aloud six years ago.
“I used to be really worried about how I sounded to other people, I had no idea how to pitch or how to sing in tune,” she confesses readily. “But I decided to try and conquer my fears by joining the choir.”
She found her confidence and her voice. “I discovered that when I sing in a group I can follow - and also that I need to stand with the male tenors, otherwise I go out of tune,” she says.
She actually sang on the City Hall stage with Out Aloud during the 2010 Street Choir Festival. “It was a fantastic experience, looking out on an auditorium I know so well as a huge empty space, with a full audience.”
When she heard there was opportunity to get back up there at the new lunchtime sessions she jumped at the chance. “It couldn’t be more perfect for me,” says Sharon, of Handsworth. “I’ve sung my heart out and I’m going back to my cleaning with a lighter heart,” she enthuses.
“I’m no frustrated thespian, though. I’m happy getting onto the stage to give it good polish!”