We do some pretty daft things at BeVox sometimes. We’ve sung in greenhouses, converted steel foundaries, shopping centres and train stations. We’ve sung to audiences smaller than the choir, and to audiences of well over a thousand. We’ve sung in sunshine, rain, wind and snow. And yesterday, mud!
Despite the British Summer’s best efforts to put a dampener on things, The One Show ran its first ever Roadshow yesterday, at Endcliffe Park – and we were thrilled to have been invited to go along as part of the One Show scratch choir, working with Carrie Grant on getting Sheffield singing! It was a long day, and sometimes spirits drooped a little, but by the time the presenters were firing everyone up, and with the infectious enthusiasm of Alan Davies as their special guest, everyone threw themselves into the final performance with such energy and enthusiasm that it created a fantastic end to the show. We’re really grateful to the BBC for asking us to be a part of it!
We’ve just got back from our Summer Singing Retreat, and I don’t think words can express what an amazing time we had. Everything from the sumptuous surroundings to the exceptional talent of our guest workshop leaders was simply incredible – but the stars of the week had to be you – the singers. For a group of people who had never sung together before, you created a living, breathing, supportive, welcoming atmosphere that was something to behold. It impressed everyone who witnessed it – our guests from other choirs, our workshop leaders, Toni and I all commented on what a supportive group you all were. Thank you.
After the success of the week, we’re already planning several things to follow on. David Grant’s generous offer of allowing us to use the incredible “Hallelujah” we worked on has sparked several ideas, and once we’ve got those confirmed we’ll share them with you – we’re looking at some fun things around Easter next year. And of course we’re planning another Summer Singing Retreat – next year’s will be very different, with a different focus, but still the same emphasis on having a great time whilst singing together. Watch this space!
We’re proud to announce that Tim will be delivering part of a Choral Fiesta Day in association with Leeds College of Music. This really exciting opportunity gives you the chance to work on three different musical styles, with some incredible workshop leaders. At the end of the day, you’ll take part in an informal concert in the spectacular setting of LCM’s The Venue – an ultra-modern 350 seat concert hall in the centre of Leeds – with the option to have a live recording of the concert too.
The three styles being covered are contemporary rock and pop (which I’ll be running), African Township (run by Joyce Moholoagae and Paul Bartholomew from the Mbawula African Township Project), and Gospel (led by Ken Burton, principal conductor of the award-winning London Adventist Chorale and musical director of Croydon SDA Gospel Choir). The whole day of singing, including participating in the concert and having your own CD of the live recording of the concert, costs just £30 (or £25 if you don’t want the CD).
For more information, booking forms and payment options, see the page on Leeds College of Music’s website – www.lcm.ac.uk/short-courses/choral-fiesta-day.
Well, if I’d hoped for a rest after the end of the Summer season, I haven’t got one! We had a great time in our final performances of the season. Wakefield’s end-of-season concert was lots of fun, with a few people singing in their first ever public performance. Barnsley’s was really energetic too – fast-paced, due to having to drop the interval, but a great atmosphere. Then we had the Nottingham Variety Performance. I’m always nervous whenever we do an event that someone else is producing, so letting someone else produce our end-of-season concert was a real risk, but it went fantastically well. It was a pleasure to share the stage with a number of the other artistes, and we were very well received.
Then this weekend we sang trackside at the English Institute of Sport, where Jessica Ennis trains every day, just the day after she won her epic Olympic Gold medal. Despite the audience being small, they were very enthusiastic, and hopefully all the singers enjoyed the rest of the Sheftival.
We’re at Weston Park Bandstand at 12 noon this Sunday, then at Lowedges Festival in Greenhill Park at 3:30pm – great to have two shows on the same day. And then, in just a week and a half’s time, we’re off for our Summer Singing Retreat!
There’s not even chance to catch breath when we get back from Stubton Hall either – we’ll be joining Carrie Grant and the rest of the BBC One Show team for the One Show Roadshow on Wednesday 29th August – for more details, see www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activity/the-one-show-roadshow/occurrence/151562.
I’m in the studio all day tomorrow recording the final bits of our rehearsal tracks for next season, which I’m excited about – lovely to be working with our session singers again. Here’s some fun facts for you – I took Toni to see the West End production of “Ghost” for her birthday, and the lead role of Molly was played by none other than Rebecca Trehearn, who sings some of our rehearsal tracks for us – I’d been in the studio with her just the week before. And for those small number of you who watched the Olympic Opening Ceremony(!), as the Olympic Cauldron was lit, you’ll have heard some beautiful high soprano notes – sung by Eloise Irving, our other female session singer, who I was in the studio with a few days later. I’m working with Alastair tomorrow, singing all the male parts, and we’ll be making plans for his workshop at Stubton Hall while he’s up north. Exciting stuff!