Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year

Our final performance of the autumn season was yesterday, so we’re now officially finished for Christmas. Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped working – far from it – but we won’t see our singers again until January now. It’s been an incredible season – we’ve seen strong growth in the size of all four groups (over 25% bigger since the summer), we’ve done 22 performances in 24 days, we’ve helped to raise around £1,500 for charity, and we’ve surprised plenty more people with our flash mobs. Videos of us performing on YouTube have been viewed over 38,000 times, including around 1,500 views of our performances this season. (Incidentally, our Motown Medley videos are STILL really popular – over 2,000 views in the last fortnight alone!).

Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this season yet another successful one. I’m really excited about our plans for the future, and I look forward to another chapter in the BeVox story.

Amazing first week

What an amazing first week back! The company as a whole has grown by more than a quarter, with over a hundred singers signed up for this season in Sheffield, and over two hundred across all four groups. The sound last night as the Sheffield group sang “Moon River” was very promising – we’re going to make some good noises this season!

I also had some very productive conversations with people in the pub after last night’s session, with some great ideas for things we can do in the future – everything from interesting ideas for performance venues to requests for singing African chants. I love hearing what our singers want to do with BeVox – it really spurs me on to make some of those things happen. Keep sending me your ideas!

We’ll be releasing more information about the performances we’re doing this season in the next week or so – just trying to finalise all the dates so we don’t have to change anything once we’ve publicised them. We’re also working on a week-long residential course for August 2012, which we’re very excited about – it will be great to spend a concentrated stretch of time exploring new music with a bunch of you, and have that time together to get to know each other too. We’ve got several other ideas in the pipe-line too, from singing days (working on some very different music) to full-scale concerts, from charity fund-raisers to social occasions (like the Clumber Picnic earlier this year which was such fun). Exciting times…

So now we’re off to London for the evening(!), then it’s the promo weekend in Barnsley (Saturday) and Wakefield (Sunday). Who knows – this time next week, BeVox might be even bigger!

The more the merrier

We’ve had our first sessions of the season in Wakefield, Nottingham and Barnsley now – only Sheffield to come tonight. So far, Wakefield has grown by a third, Nottingham gained another fifteen singers, and Barnsley more than doubled in size! All the Barnsley singers seemed to enjoy our new venue, which is really light and modern, and it was great to see some old friends in Nottingham who I’ve not seen for a while.

We’ve had lots of people voting for us in the Soweto Gospel Choir competition – thanks for your support. Keep spreading the word, and hopefully we’ll get to sing on 2nd October – we’re really looking forward to it if we get the opportunity. A big thank you to everyone who has shared the link on Facebook or sent it to their friends and family – it’s great to have your support.

We’ve updated our Performance page with information about some of the performances we have confirmed for this season – take a look if you’d like to come and hear us sing. More performances will be added as they are confirmed. If you can’t wait until then, head to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/bevoxuk to see us there – we have lots of videos for you to watch.

We’re getting all geared up for our final “launch night” tonight – Sheffield. Let’s see if we can raise the roof!

Awesome night

I’m writing this at half past five on Friday morning, having not yet gone to bed after our dress rehearsal for BeVox@Magna on Thursday night. What a night! Every single person who has had anything to do with making this event such a success should be very proud of themselves – that was quite simply the best rehearsal I have ever had for any production, ever! The energy, concentration, disclipine and sheer joy were amazing to witness, and the end result was a sound that had me fighting for breath in places. The shows on Saturday are going to be a landmark in the history of BeVox.

It just keeps getting better

I’m in the middle of a very productive week, and it feels good! We had a great final session in Nottingham last night, putting the finishing touches to everything ready to share our singing with an audience at the Season Finale next week. Tomorrow is our final session in Sheffield, before the Season Finale on 31st, and I’m really excited about that too. And of course Wakefield has their final session next Monday – we had a great time on Monday this week, aided by a few visitors from the Sheffield group – always good to have people visiting other groups and sharing the experience.

Plans for our other end-of-season events are shaping up nicely too, with the coach places for our two surprise events nearly full, and the first of our planning sessions for these events happening this weekend. All the information about these events will be going out tomorrow to singers who have signed up for them – check your inboxes!

Toni and I spent the morning at Magna today, finalising some of the arrangements for our end-of-first-year celebration concert in July. The staff at Magna are so very welcoming and helpful, it’s a joy to be planning this event with them. The more I get involved with the forward planning for this concert, the more excited I am about it: right from the moment that we turned into the approach road and saw the massive building in front of us, throughout all the meetings about marketing and tickets, all the time we were walking around the site, checking dressing rooms, planning routes for singers to get to and from the stage, looking at sight-lines to make sure eveyone will be able to see the huge video screens, discussing possible future events and collaborations – I just couldn’t stop grinning the whole time!

Progress

Things are moving along quite nicely. All the groups have gelled really well this season, and the workshops have taken off. We have a handful of performance dates confirmed so far, and meetings to work on the rest of the dates in the next week or two. I’ve now got well over 120 song suggestions for the next few seasons, so I’m going to have great fun going through all of those to pick the programme for Season Three. I’m now looking at which area to open the next BeVox group in – if you’re interested in singing with us and there isn’t a group in your area, let me know!