VIDEO: Sheffield group battles with singers from across the UK on new Sky programme

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A group of singing students from Sheffield have been pitted against 30 others from across the UK and Ireland in the search for the best a-capella group around.

The Steelworks will appear on Sing: Ultimate A Cappella, the Sky 1 Musical programme, hosted by Cat Deeley, on October 20.

The singers with Cat Deeley after their performance

The singers with Cat Deeley after their performance

The group, formed at the University of Sheffield in 2014, sings ‘mashups’ of tunes which people would not expect to go together, according to member Bea Duncan.

They are under strict instructions to not give anything about the programme away, including what they sang.

They were judged on their vocals, musicality, interpretation of the song, and performance. There is no music to hide behind. It’s all done a-capella.

Miss Duncan, a former Sheffield student who has returned to live in London, and the other members have already performed on the pre-taped show.

She said the singers were finding it easier to keep the outcome a secret than the families and friends who watched the taping.

The television program is the group’s first foray into competition singing, and were regarded as the underdogs.

Miss Duncan said she thought the Sheffielders ‘held their own’.

“Because we hadn’t done this before, people didn’t have any expectations of us,” she said.

She was pleased with how they handled their nerves, despite the daunting prospect of taking on some more experienced groups in front of the television cameras.

“Some of the opposition were people who had been in the game for a long time,” Miss Duncan said.

The group has a range of ages, from first-year students to one doing his masters in landscape architecture.

The program’s producers contacted the group about appearing on the show, before attending rehearsals at the end of last year and videoing the group.

After their invitation to appear on the show, Miss Duncan said the group rehearsed hard over the summer months.

“We became a lot more pedantic about very little things,” she said.

“Like making sure we all breathed at the same time.”

Miss Duncan, who studied philosophy, is looking to start a career as a television presenter, and kept a keen eye on proceedings to glean some knowledge and tips.

“It was really interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes,” Miss Duncan said.