Amazing start to Spring performances

What a great day! We started off with a fantastic performance at Nottingham’s Victoria Centre, where a huge crowd gathered to listen to us – certainly the biggest audience we’ve ever had there, and the biggest reaction too. It was great to see everyone really getting into it, including the kids that we’re having a good old dance, and then the icing on the cake was getting a massive round of applause halfway through the Superstar medley – the sound as we rang out those chords was just too good not to applaud! We had lots of enquiries afterwards, so let’s hope we’ve encouraged some new blood to come and join us. I’m really looking forward to going back to Victoria Centre at the end of April – if it’s anything like today, we’ll have a fantastic time.
Then we spent this afternoon having our final rehearsal for “Voices at the Lakeside”. Wow. What a sound! You guys sure know how to pace yourselves, as you’ve hit your stride just as we’re starting to put ourselves in front of audiences. I’m so excited for these concerts – yet again, we’re raising our game and delivering something a cut above where we’ve been before. I’m so proud of this whole community!

Utterly inspirational day

I’ve just got back in from our workshop with David Grant today, and I’m struggling to express the incredible jumble of emotions I’m feeling. I think the over-riding one is pride. I’m proud of what every one of us achieved today, proud of this community of singers, proud just as much of the sound we make as of the support we have for each other. I’m also incredibly grateful – to David, for everything he brought to the day, to Katie for her invaluable support on keys, and to every single singer for the dedication, passion and sheer hard work you all put into it. I’m humbled, both by the warmth from all of you, and from the really flattering things David had to say about Toni and me as leaders of this community. I’m worn out – not from exertion, but from laughing so much! And finally, I’m inspired – as much by the sound of all our voices raised in song as by all the things David had to say. He spurred us on to achieve more than we have ever done before, and you all raised your game to match his expectations. It truly was an awesome experience.

All the feedback I’m already seeing on Facebook and Twitter is incredible – it’s clear that people had an amazing day, and got so much out of it. I’m utterly thrilled with what we’ve achieved. I can’t wait for the coming week’s sessions, so we can cement all those fine details into our performance, then go out and share this music with as wide an audience as possible.

Now, I have a plea, and this really isn’t a commercial one – I want to get more singers into the choir. The sound we made today with 136 voices was incredible, and I’d love for us to make that kind of sound every time we come together. It’s hard to match that experience when we have groups of 40-50 singers, with sometimes only a handful of people in a section. There is strength in numbers – not just because you don’t feel as exposed, but because the enthusiasm of the people around you encourages you to sing out. The best way of encouraging people to come and join us, and share incredible experiences like today, is for them to hear us perform. There are two particular events coming up where we can all really help grow the choir, and enable other people to get the same great buzz we’ve had today – although we can do this at all our concerts, of course. One is our promo event at Victoria Centre on Saturday – we’ve currently only got 16 singers signed up for this – think how much we could excite the people of Nottingham if we had twice that number singing with the passion we’ve sung with today! The other one is “Voices at the Lakeside” – you’ve all worked so hard to make such an incredible sound and put together a truly memorable performance, so let’s share it with as many people as we possibly can. They will then go away inspired and uplifted by the energy you bring to this music, and spreading that joy goes just a little way towards making the world a better place. Point people towards, or How many of you first heard of us by coming to a concert and deciding, “I want to be a part of that”? Let’s inspire more people to take up singing, to come and join us and become a part of our incredible community.

My final thought for the night? As David said, we are all singers. Not just people who sing because we can, but people who sing because we must. It’s our way of expressing something that can’t be expressed any other way, or of escaping from the world, or of finding a place for ourselves where we belong. It’s very un-British, but let’s become evangelists for singing, let’s shout it from the rooftops – “I AM A SINGER, AND YOU COULD BE ONE TOO!“. If we could each make one other person feel as uplifted and inspired as we all have today, we would have given an invaluable gift – a gift that truly keeps on giving, and becomes part of a virtuous circle where we feel good because we sing, and we sing because we feel good. It’s why BeVox exists. Let’s share it with the world.

Songs for the Summer 2014

I’ve finally managed to narrow down my many shortlists and pick the songs for next season. It’s always tough to do this, as we have so many suggestions from our singers – over 450 to pick from at the moment! I’m sure there will be something in the list for everyone though.

As we don’t have a “big” concert next season, I thought we could bring back a couple of songs from previous seasons and include them in the main song list – it’s always fun to go back to songs we’ve enjoyed in the past, and I think bringing just a couple back strikes the right balance between not being intimidating to new people, whilst meaning we can cover a slightly longer list of songs.

As the Tour de France is coming to the UK in the summer, we just had to include Bicycle Race – and we’re planning a few special events based around this too.

The other event we’re commemorating with the music for the season is the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. I’m writing a medley of songs either from that time, or inspired by it, which focusses on those left behind. Continuing that theme, we’ll also be singing the beautiful “Wherever you are”, originally performed by the Military Wives choir. We hope this is a fitting tribute to all those caught up in conflict, in whatever capacity.

The full list of songs can be seen on our “Song list” page on the main website – take a look here. We’re looking forward to singing them all!