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 www.bevox.co.uk/lakeside, or www.bevox.co.uk/performances-forthcoming. 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.