Concert details, and a thank you

First of all, thank you to everyone who has sent me such lovely birthday wishes. I had a lovely day yesterday, relaxing and doing very little – a real novelty for me! Toni is taking me somewhere this afternoon/evening – she’s not told me where, but she’s been bubbling with excitement about it for the last couple of months, so I’m sure I’m in for a treat!

I’ve put the details of our Real Variety Performances up on the website, and on our Facebook page. Please invite all your friends, family and colleagues, so we can have some great audiences for the shows and raise lots of money for some very worthy causes. Posters should be available in the coming week, if you’d like to display them anywhere (please get permission from the place you’re displaying them first!).

I’m putting the finishing touches to the information pack about our major concert this year – BeVox and Brass in Buxton (working title!). I’m hoping to get this information out before the end of the season, so you can read all about it and start making your decision about whether to join us for it.

I’m also working on the music for next season (couple of songs sorted already, itching to get onto the next ones) – if you missed it, the list of songs is here. We’ve already been invited to take part in lots of exciting events over the summer, singing this music, so it’s lining up to be a great season! Don’t forget, if you’ve sung with us before, all you need to do to register for the Summer Season is to send an email to signup@bevox.co.uk. If you’ve not sung with us before, come along to our first session and sign up then! Not sure when our first session is? Check out the website!

Performing

What a great start to the week! The weekend felt very intense – surprising shoppers in Derby’s Westfield Centre with our flash mob was great fun, but also very nerve-wracking. These events always need a lot of focus, and the wait before it started had my stomach doing back-flips, but then to be hit with a technical problem just as the music was due to start – the stuff of nightmares! Thanks to everyone who held it together whilst I did an emergency re-cabling job! The end result was great though, and we’ve had lovely feedback from shoppers who saw it, and from the site staff at the centre.

West Bridgford was next, and we put on a good (high energy!) show. Challenging conditions, but we rose to it and sang our hearts out. It was great to be joined by Cat for our final number – and lovely to meet baby Austin (the second BeVox baby I met last week, after Anne brought her little Alys to Barnsley’s last session).

Toni and I managed to take most of Sunday off, and had a lovely meal out, followed by cuddles on the sofa in front of a romantic movie – great to stop for a bit and enjoy ourselves. Happy belated anniversary, love!

I spent a good chunk of Monday finishing “Olympic Triptych”, my commissioned piece for Alight – and I’m glad to say it’s finally done! I just have to prepare all the parts and record the rehearsal tracks now, then I can distribute it to all the performers. Looking forward to it…

Then, to start our week of End Of Season Performances, we headed to Wakefield. What a night! Definitely up there with some of the best performances BeVox have ever done. The energy and enthusiasm was great, the audience were very responsive (great feedback from people as they left), we had a capacity crowd, and the sound – oh, the sound – it was just incredible! Thank you to everyone who made it such a success – it’s set us up for the week now! Can’t wait to head to Nottingham tonight and do it all again!

The eye of the storm

It’s always a time of mixed emotions when we reach the end of a season. It’s sad that we’re no longer meeting every week, but exciting that we’re sharing our singing with audiences. It’s been a great week for that – after the Ecclesall concert in my last message, we sang at Meadowhall on 26th November, joining several groups who were raising funds for Lost Chord. There’s a video of us singing our “Phantom medley” on our YouTube channel – take a look on www.youtube.com/bevoxuk. Thanks to the generosity of passing shoppers, Lost Chord raised over £1,000 that day – a great sum.

I had a busy weekend, as I spent most of that Sunday on a non-BeVox event – running a custom workshop for someone’s 70th birthday. His family had invited lots of his singing friends to join him for three hours of singing to celebrate his birthday, and had commissioned me to write some original arrangements too. We had a great time!

Then it was the week of final sessions, which led to some quality singing – songs coming together in ways that hadn’t until that point. We took to the streets again on Thursday and Friday with lunchtime concerts at Sheffield Winter Gardens, and collected over £180 in donations for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. A very sincere “thank you” to everyone who gave so generously.

More performances today – the first of our “secret surprise” events, and the switch-on of West Bridgford Christmas Lights. We did this event last year, and we’re looking forward to going back again. Sunday is a rare day off, which Toni and I will be treating as a somewhat delayed celebration of our anniversary – we’ve been together for 5 years now. This last year has been a real whirlwind, and we’re both blown away by how exciting it all is. If you’d have shown us a picture of current lives when we got together 5 years ago, we would never have believed it!

Next week is the week of end-of-season performances – we’re very much looking forward to sharing our music with your friends and families. We’re very busy then, with thirteen events in as many days. I’ve now got just two weeks to write all the music for next season, and finish the “Olympic Triptych” for Alight – argh!

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!