Sheffield choir in running for national award

Sheffield's Glee Bah Gum has been shortlisted for a national arts award.
Sheffield's Glee Bah Gum has been shortlisted for a national arts award.
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A CHOIR from Sheffield has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of its work breaking down barriers in the community.

Glee Bah Gum is one of 20 community arts programmes in the UK to have been shortlisted for the Epic Award, which celebrates amateur art activities and their community impact.

Musical director Liz Yoxall has been leading the Parson Cross-based glee club since it started in November 2011.

She said: “We entered the awards last minute and were blown away to find we had been shortlisted.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because I think we’ve got a fantastic bunch of people and I’d like to see a voluntary amateur group like ours get its moment in the spotlight.”

Glee Bah Gum formed for a one-off charity performance, but the small group enjoyed the appearance so much they decided to keep going.

Liz said: “There were just 12 of us back then and we realised if we were going to do this we’d need bank accounts and committees, but we worked together and pulled it off.

“Not one of our members just turns up and sings, everybody plays their part in keeping the club going.”

A year later, the club has about 30 members and performs regularly at fundraising events and in support of charities in the region.

Liz said keeping the club accessible to people who are constrained by time or money is a priority.

She said: “We ask members to contribute 25p per rehearsal in support of our costs but, if anyone didn’t have it, we’d never turn them away.

“We have a mum who has been bringing her baby with her since he was 12 weeks old because she can’t get childcare, and that’s fine – we make things work.”

n To vote for the club, visit www.epicawards.co.uk/shortlist by the deadline on Wednesday.