Steaming ahead

We have just a fortnight to go until the first “Real Variety Performance”, and everything is falling into place to make these concerts really great. Thanks to everyone who is donating their time and expertise – it’s a real testement to what people can achieve for a good cause.

Less than a fortnight to go until BeVox@Magna too. Things are coming together in a really exciting way for this – I have a little leap of excitement every time I hear a newly finished backing track or see a completed video. All we have to do now is develop more of an audience – ticket sales are only growing slowly, so we’re doing a big push this week. We have an ad in the Sheffield Star later in the week, and we’re encouraging everyone to spread the word. It’s truly going to be an amazing event. I hope you’re not one of the people who will hear about it afterwards and think “I wish I had been there”!

After a very positive meeting this morning, I’m proud to say that BeVox will be taking part in Alight – part of Music Nation, a Countdown event for the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. I’m still working on the various different events we’ll be bringing to Alight, so watch out for more details nearer the time; but for now, save the date! We’ll be performing at various events throughout the day on Saturday 3rd March 2012. I can’t wait!

Spontaneous Sing at St Pancras

On Saturday, BeVox joined with City Voices Cardiff for a Spontaneous Sing at St Pancras International station in London. Over 200 singers took part, and we entertained passengers, station staff, retailers and members of the public in four performances throughout the afternoon. It was great fun! There are several videos already available on YouTube, including our “official” one – visit www.youtube.com/bevoxuk to see them.

Simon Curtis, the director of City Voices Cardiff, was interviewed by Media Wales yesterday, and a small piece (admittedly with a Welsh bias!) appeared in the Wales on Sunday newspaper too. It has been great working with the CVC singers – they’re a great, friendly, talented bunch. Simon and I are looking into working together again in the future, so watch this space for more combined BeVox/CVC events!

We’re still welcoming more new singers for our Summer season, which kicked off with a bang in Sheffield on Thursday – loads of energy and enthusiasm, which was great to see and hear. Looking forward to Wakefield tonight, Nottingham tomorrow and Barnsley on Wednesday.

Summer season

Our summer season starts this week, and we’ve already had invitations to perform in several interesting places! After the success of our “Spontaneous Sing” events at the shopping centres, we’ve been invited to do more work with them, so look out for more concerts in the future – and even though it’s only April, we’re already making plans for how we can entertain Christmas shoppers…

We’re very pleased to be able to officially launch the BeVox @ Magna concert today – all the information is in our info pack, available from the “BeVox @ Magna” link on the right. This is going to be such an exciting event!

The blend of big events and sharing music with the community will continue throughout the Summer season. We’ve been invited to sing at a Charity Fun Day at The Cadlands Pub in Chilwell, Nottingham, and all of the retirement and care homes we performed in at the end of the Spring season have invited us back. We’re also looking for performance opportunities in Wakefield and Barnsley, as they are currently under-represented, so please email us your ideas.

Sharing it with the world (in threes!)

What a week it has been! After three superb Season Finales, in which we sang to over 300 people over three nights, we then had three very successful free lunchtime concerts at Sheffield Winter Gardens – and today, three amazing “Spontaneous Sing” performances in three different shopping centres! The performances at Sheffield Winter Gardens enabled us to start our charity fund-raising efforts, and we collected over £220 for the Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. The “Spontaneous Sings” were an absolute blast, and we entertained hundreds of shoppers. Videos are already hitting YouTube, and I’ll try to keep up with posting them on our “Photos/videos” page (check out the link on the right). We’ve been invited back to do more of these events in the future, so watch out – you never know when we might start singing to you!!!

Frustration!

I’m having one of those frustrating days when nothing seems to be going quite my way! I’ve been trying to sort out the travel arrangements for one of our “surprise” trips, and it’s proving far more difficult than I first thought. More information on this at the sessions this week.

Nevertheless, things are still going well – we had a very productive (and emotional) workshop in Sheffield on Saturday, and several invitations to sing in different places over the next few months. My main difficulty at the moment is trying to find enough hours in the day to get everything done!

The song list has now been frozen until next season, to give me chance to select the songs, write the arrangements and get the CDs recorded in time for the start of Season Three. I’m hoping to have the selections done by next week, and I’ll post them up here when they’re done. I’m excited about the songs I have to pick from – I’ve got 184 to wade through!!!

The future’s bright…

All the taster sessions for the spring season have taken place now, and we’re into the season proper – it was the first “standard” session in Nottingham on Tuesday, with Sheffield following tonight and Wakefield on Monday. It’s great to be back singing again, and fantastic to see the groups growing. Nottingham has nearly tripled in size, and now has 68 singers signed up. Sheffield is on course to top 70 singers, and Wakefield has grown by over 35%.

I spent this morning visiting the venue for our major performance at the end of Season Three. Wow! It is an awesome space, a truly unique place to stage a concert, and more than that – the staff are exceptionally helpful, too. Full details of this concert will be released in the next 2-3 weeks, once all the paperwork is sorted – but for now, pencil in 16th July 2011…

People who sing with me regularly will know that I like to keep you informed with regular emails. There’ll be a bit of a delay before I can send out my next email, due to a minor technical problem (my PC exploded after a power cut!). Normal service should resume in the next couple of days.

Finally, a quick note about the weekend workshops I’m running this season – most of these are quickly filling up, with the Sheffield Solo Singing workshop already oversubscribed and the Nottingham Solo Singing workshop only having one place left. In the next few days, I’ll be emailing or writing to everyone who has applied with full details of what to expect. I’m also hoping to schedule an additional date for the Solo Singing workshop in Sheffield, to accommodate everyone who wants to take part. After some suggestions from singers in Nottingham, I’m also looking at developing a fourth workshop. This will be aimed at people who have been singing in choirs for some time but who don’t have ambitions to become a soloist, giving them a “vocal assessment” and a detailed plan of how to improve their areas of weakness. Further details on this will be available once I’ve written the plan and confirmed some dates.