Workshop in February

We’ve just got all the details confirmed for another really exciting workshop at Leeds College of Music. We’ll be taking part in their second “Choral Fiesta”, which covers three different musical styles in a day, on February 16th. Full details are on the LCM website at:http://www.lcm.ac.uk/short-courses/choral-fiesta-day-iiFlyer for workshop

Summer singing retreat

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!

In association with Leeds College of Music…

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.

A sad event

Normally I’m really excited to announce new events that we’ll be performing in. Today it’s a sad one – we’ve been asked to sing at the funeral of one of our choir members. Carl Cropley, a bass from Nottingham, passed away in hospital on Wednesday morning. We will be singing in his honour at his funeral on Monday 18th June.

Carl was well-known and well-loved within BeVox. His CGI animations were one of the highlights of our BeVox@Magna concert last year, and his cheeky smile graced many of our performances. He will be very sorely missed.

Summer singing retreat

I’m very excited indeed to be able to announce the details of our Summer Singing Retreat. Taking place from 19th to 24th August 2012, we’ll be taking over the luxurious country manor house of Stubton Hall, just outside Newark, and running an incredible programme of workshops and one-to-one sessions. We have three guest workshop leaders – Alastair Brookshaw (West End performer and session singer on albums such as the 50th Anniversary recording of West Side Story), Dylan Charles (studio producer and song-writer) – and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be having a session from David Grant, best known as a judge and vocal coach from the BBC’s “Fame Academy”. For more information, head straight to our Summer singing retreat page!

Back up and running

I’ve not been able to update the website for the last couple of weeks, as my computer broke down. It took a few days to get the components for a new one, then a few more days for Toni to build it, then several days to reinstall all the software and move the data over from the old machine. At least I back everything up very regularly! I’m now up and running again, with lots to report.

It’s the Alight Commissions workshop this weekend – everyone who is signed up should have received an email last night with the link to the scores. Remember, you need to download and print this, and bring it with you on Saturday.

We’ve been working hard on creating some future events, as well as getting things ready for the end of season performances. I’ve updated the Performance page with details of all the performances we have coming up.

We should be able to announce all the details for our Summer Singing Retreat in the next couple of days – we’re very excited about it. Pencil in August 19th-24th…

We’re also planning another set of “Variety” performances, again raising funds for local charities – these will take place in early April. We’re putting things in place for a rock and pop concert, in collaboration with Tragical History Tour, which will happen in mid-July and include two very different halves (our music in the first half, and a Beatles set in the second half – featuring a recreation of the entire Abbey Road album live on stage).

And, would you believe it, we have a date booked for NEXT Christmas – we’ll be doing our very own black-tie gala evening, with dinner and a concert, at the incredible Buxton Dome – this will be on December 8th 2012, and will include a full concert, accompanied by a live brass and percussion ensemble. It’s going to be a busy year!

Back to today, and we’re off to view a performance venue this afternoon (for one of our “secret” events), then it’s back to getting everything ready for this weekend – not just the Alight Commissions workshop, but there’s the small matter of a wedding on Friday – looking forward to that VERY much indeed!

Time flies

They say time flies when you’re having fun. I must be having a lot of fun then!

The Singposium last weekend was a great afternoon – such a supportive atmosphere in the room, and everyone who took part should be very proud of themselves. People who had taken part in last season’s Singposium as well had definitely upped their game! It was lovely to see some new faces too, including a singer from Wakefield – we’ve just got to get a Barnsley singer into next season’s Singposium and we’ll have all the groups represented. I’d like to say thanks to the singers who came along just to watch and support as well – I hope you found it interesting to see how the process works. I’ll be sending out individual emails to everyone who sang, with details of which songs and performances I’d like to offer them – once these have been accepted or rejected, I’ll be able to send everyone the list of who is performing what and when.

Of course, I’ve also had my parents attending each session this week – back from their Australian adventure, and very keen to see how BeVox works. They thoroughly enjoyed their time up here – both the singing and the chance to meet and chat with our singers. They’ve taken CDs and sheet music back to Berkshire with them, and who knows – they might just come up and sing with us in some of our performances…

And finally, last night was “Another One-Off Show” in Dronfield. Thanks to everyone who came along – particularly for your patience. I think all the waiting around ended up being worth it though, with a great performance and a fantastic reaction from the audience. The event raised over £2,000 for the mission to Nepal, so thanks for helping us support this cause.

I’ve got two big projects this week, and I’m trying to focus on them and nothing else – getting the Magna DVD ready for duplication (nearly there!), and finishing my commissioned piece for Alight. The workshop on 5th November is approaching very quickly, and I’ve still got a lot of writing to do!

Our second year

Well here it is – the start of our second year. We’re VERY excited about getting back into the weekly sessions again. It seems like an age since we were last together, even though it’s less than a month since our last performance. It’s been a busy time, getting things ready for the new season, but I managed to get two weeks away – I even managed to take Toni with me for the second week(!).

We’ve come back to a flood of email (once we’d fixed a problem with my computer – I got very frustrated with it until Toni managed to get it working again!), so if it takes us a little while to respond then please bear with us. The first week of a new season is always busy, but it’s busier than ever this time around. After the craziness of our first week’s sessions, we’re heading down to London for the evening on Friday to see Alastair Brookshaw (the guy who sings all the male parts on our rehearsal CDs) star in a production of Jason Robert Brown’s “Parade” at the Southwark Playhouse. We’ll be heading straight back up to Yorkshire after the show though – we have to be at The Mall in Barnsley for the first leg of our promotional weekend by 8:30am on Saturday… Well, we do, but thankfully those singers who are kindly joining us don’t have to be there until 9:45!

Please encourage your friends, family and work colleagues to come along and give BeVox a try this week – their first session is free, so they’re not risking anything, and we’ve got a great season of music and performances lined up. We’re raring to go – see you there!

Lowedges festival

Many thanks to everyone who was involved in the Lowedges Festival today – including those who came to support. Thankfully the rain held off, and we had a lovely day! I’ve even got a bit of sunburn to show for it…

Also, a big thank you all the singers who’ve been looking after us this weekend – Louise and Chris, Dotty and co – and to those of you who are organising next weekend’s Fun Day – Annie, Roz, Carl and Margaret. It’s so lovely to see the community flourishing and supporting each other (and us!) – that’s what it’s all about in our book. Thank you.

Autumn season approaches

We’re in the midst of preparations for the Autumn season, and it’s getting exciting! We have a new venue for the Barnsley group – Carlton Community College, on Royston Lane. The full postal address and a link to a map are on the Contacts page. We’re really thrilled to be moving to this new venue – it’s a bright, modern building with excellent facilities. Take a look at their website if you’re interested – www.carltoncommunitycollege.org.

We’ve made a start on putting the Magna DVD together, and we’re very excited about how it looks and sounds. Look out for a pre-order form which will be available from this website in the next few days, and hopefully in a week or two we should have a sneak preview of the DVD itself available on our YouTube page – check back here for details in a week or two!

I’m over halfway through writing the arrangements for the Autumn season, and there’s some great stuff to work on. I can’t wait to start singing it with you. I’m recording the rehearsal tracks in London on Friday and Saturday next week, then mixing and mastering the following week. There are some nice challenges in the music this season – scatting in “A foggy day”, made-up languages in “Adiemus”, and the longest medley we’ve ever done. There’s also the chance for some beautiful choral singing, with classics like “Moon river” and “What the world needs now is love”. All in all, it’s going to be a great season!

We’re looking forward to Lowedges Festival tomorrow, and the BeVox Fun Day/Picnic the following weekend. Let’s hope for good weather…