New season has begun

We started the Autumn season in Wakefield and Nottingham on Monday and Tuesday, and we’re looking forward to starting in Sheffield on Thursday. Welcome to you all – new singers and people who have sung with us before – it’s great to have you all on board.

We’ve got lots of exciting plans for this season, from traditional concerts in churches to entertaining punters in pubs, from charity events to singing in the engine room of a water pumping station! And of course, our big event for this season, the epic “Circle of Life” concert at Elsecar Heritage Centre – a truly unique theatrical event, telling the story of a life through music, from “Abide with me” to Alice Cooper!

I hope everyone is settling into the new season without any problems. As always, give me a shout if there’s anything you need. We’re also looking forward to the first of our “Discussion Picnics” in a week and a half – a chance for us to share our experiences and set our course for the following year. It’s kind of like an AGM without the boring bits, and with plenty of food and laughs!

Victoria BID flash mob update

I’m collecting the videos I find on YouTube into a playlist to make them easier to find – head to the BeVox YouTube channel to find them (along with lots of other fun stuff), or use the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-VJa9SAsibHZAHfIf2RC-lEdSoPZz1pg

The official video is being edited and will be made available in a week or so. You’ll only be able to access this by “liking” the Victoria BID Facebook page or following @VictoriaBID on Twitter.

I’d also like to share with you the following comments from Etienne, the Events Manager at Victoria BID:

Thank you for putting all of this together and putting on a spectacular performance. It is most certainly the most successful event I have attended in my time with the Victoria BID. So thank you very very much for all your hard work and efforts.

Music at the Minster

One of the nicest things about my job is that I’m exposed to the best bits of human nature on a regular basis. Three times a week, I’m surrounded by people who come together to share something they love doing, to see friends, to support each other and to dedicate a few hours to becoming better at something. The singers who make up BeVox are a loving, friendly, caring and generous bunch. This is a constant source of joy to me.

Yesterday, we came together to share that joy with an audience, and to remember one of our own who is no longer with us. The people that came to support us have matched our singers’ generosity of spirit with their generosity in donating to pancreatitis research, in memory of Carl. I’m overwhelmed to announce that the concert raised £3,089.35. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously – not just financially, but those who donated their time, energy and passion to make the event such a success.

And what a success it was! The atmosphere was electrifying, and it was thrilling to be singing to a packed house (again!). Every singer on that stage brought such energy and passion to the concert – energy that crackled in “Shine” and “Can you feel the boogie?”, passion that shone in “Fields of gold” and “The sound of silence”.

I believe last night was another milestone in the BeVox journey. It marked a point where we’ve “come of age” – I believe that as a choir, we now know we can do this, and that knowledge has brought a maturity of performance, a sensitivity to the music, and an ability to relax into the experience and enjoy it. Yes, we still have edges we can tidy up, but the core of what we do is now really solid and secure. We’re going to keep building on it!

We couldn’t achieve something like last night’s concert without the dedication of everyone involved. I’d like to correct an omission I made last night – please take a bow, Rickey Long, and accept my heartfelt thanks for accompanying us so ably. I’d also like to thank Miriam from Totally Boxed (and Emily and Maisie too), and my mum and dad, for all their assistance with the box office and looking after the audience. A big thank you to the event staff at Southwell Minster, who accommodated us wonderfully and were really helpful throughout. And of course, Pauline – where would we be without you? (Probably still in the dressing rooms, waiting to be called… 🙂

It’s been a tough season, with disruptions due to snow and illness. We’ve pulled together, overcome adversity, and shown what BeVox is really made of. I’m so proud of who we are together, and I can’t wait for next season – especially as (with luck) Toni will be back with us. I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Music at the Minster – running order

This is the planned running order for the “Music at the Minster” concert. It may change after our final rehearsal on 7th April, but I’m hopeful it won’t.

  1. Lean on me
  2. The circle of life
  3. Feelin’ groovy (59th Street Bridge Song)
  4. Nothing compares 2 U – Shelley Tidgwell
  5. You’ve got a friend
  6. Think/Respect
  7. The life I never led – Cat Allcock
  8. The rose
  9. Shine
  10. Footprints in the sand – Martin Clarke
  11. My favourite things
  12. True colours – Louise Beard
  13. Higher and higher

INTERVAL

  1. Somebody to love (soloist Cat Allcock)
  2. Evergreen – Lis Luke
  3. You were always on my mind
  4. Ave verum corpus – Ensemble
  5. Can you feel the boogie?
  6. The sound of silence
  7. My way – Hugh Bland
  8. Fields of gold
  9. Les Misérables medley (including Stars solo)

I’ll be teaching you the encore at the additional session on April 7th, or for those that can’t make this, on the afternoon of the concert. Don’t panic though – you’ll get it!

New Year, new stuff!

It seems like everything is new now we’ve hit 2013. First we had this blog, then the new website – now we’ve got our new van! We’re just waiting to get the sign-writing done, then we’ll have both a really convenient way of lugging our gear around, and a great mobile advert. It’s heading out to its first session tonight – through the snow – wish us luck!

Busy times

It’s an incredibly busy time for us here at BeVox – performances happening thick and fast, along with workshops, planning for future events, and our final few sessions of the season. There’s no time to draw breath! So this is just a quick news item to say I’ve not forgotten about you all – just so busy that I don’t have the time to write much! We’ve got loads more events planned for the end of this season – take a look at our Performances page to see what’s on, and come along to here what we’re all about!

Big things ahead

We have big things ahead of us. Sunday is the dress rehearsal for Alight: Twilight, and I’m so excited and nervous I can’t tell you. There was a great feature about my piece, “Olympic Triptych”, on the Sibelius blog today – see www.sibeliusblog.com/people/sheffield-comes-alight-with-timothy-allens-olympic-triptych-scored-in-sibelius. All the preparation that can be done has been done. The show comes together for the first time tomorrow, and I can’t wait! There are still some tickets left, so if your friends and family haven’t got theirs yet, head straight over to www.sheffieldboxoffice.com/sheffieldcityhall and get them!

Toni and I spent some of this afternoon on a site visit to the Devonshire Dome at Buxton, the venue for our spectacular concert planned for December 8th. It was great to meet up with Bill from Transmitta again, and talk through the sound and lighting – we’re going to make it look even more magnificent than our Magna concert last year! Also good to talk to representatives from the Air Ambulance, who we’ll be raising funds for with this event. The PR plan is swinging into action very early for this one – we’ve got to get a preliminary flyer out by the end of next week, to catch an event where we can promote the concert to a few thousand prospective audience members!

I’ve had more conversations over the last day or two about the plans for a performance of “Olympic Triptych” when the Olympic Flame comes to Sheffield. Everything is still in the planning stages, but we’ll let you know just as soon as everything is firmed up.

We’re also working on plans for our guest spot in Bestwood Male Voice Choir’s jubilee concert in September at Nottingham’s Albert Hall – a great opportunity for us, and one we’re really keen to pull all the stops out for.

Of course, our next events (after Alight on March 3rd) are our series of Real Variety Performances, and plans are continuing to move ahead for these. I was very pleased to be able to confirm soloists yesterday, after our very successful Singposium last weekend – congratulations to everyone who took part. Weekly sessions continue to go very well indeed, and I was thrilled to hear the Les Mis medley all the way through for the first time on Thursday – what an epic!

Thank you to each and every person who makes BeVox so much fun, so exhilarating, and so rewarding to be a part of. Together, we have a great future.

Our biggest week

It’s been a great week at BeVox. Despite the change of venue for Nottingham again, we still had plenty of people there (including a few new faces – welcome!). I know people have enjoyed the sound at the Methodist Church, but the parking is a real problem – we’re still looking at solutions. We are back to our usual home at The Becket School next week.

After some more new sign-ups and great attendance, I’m happy to say that this week has seen the most singers at sessions that we’ve ever seen – over 220 across the four groups. We’re thrilled that Barnsley is continuing to grow, and the sound in each group is getting better and better. “Shona malanga” is rapidly becoming a favourite, I think!

I’ve been trying to get all my loose ends tied up this week, as I’m in London from Friday to Sunday working on another project. I was at Sheffield City Hall yesterday, making plans for Alight, then I had a lovely email from David Grant, who is looking forward to working with everyone who is coming to our Summer Singing Retreat. I’m just booking another site visit to Buxton to prepare for our Charity Gala Concert on 8th December – it’s shaping up to be a busy and exciting year!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2012, and may we wish you a Happy New Year!

We’re looking forward to a great year of singing. We’ve just received an invitation to be the guest artistes at Bestwood Male Voice Choir’s annual concert in September, at Nottingham’s Albert Hall. We’re also working with a PR agency in Sheffield to create a special event for House of Fraser, and we start our new season in just a few days. I’ve collected the finished music tracks from the studio today, which will go to be duplicated tomorrow – I’m really excited to hear the music we’ll be working on. Roll on Thursday when it all starts again!