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!!!

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!

Excitement

Lots of great things falling into place at the moment. The song list for the Summer Season has been posted (click here), and I’m already halfway through writing the arrangements. It’s going to be really exciting! But I mustn’t get too carried away with thinking about next season just yet, as there are still lots of things to be excited about for this season.

We’ve just finalised the details of another community concert, which is quite personal to me – we’re going to be singing at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, bringing the joy of singing to a group of people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access it. It’s this kind of opportunity that makes me so glad to be a part of BeVox – it’s not just about the singing, it’s about sharing it with others and bringing happiness into people’s lives.

Plans for our secret surprise events are coming together nicely – for those people not involved, you’ll hear all about these as soon as we’ve done them. I’m really looking forward to the challenges these events present, as well as the great opportunities – not just for us as singers, but for us as a company too.

Tickets are now available for our Season Finales for this season – click on the “Come and listen” link on the right to find out more. We’re looking forward to sharing our music with 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!!!

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!

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.

Great start to the season

We had our taster session in Nottingham last night – and wow! What a great start to the season. It was lovely to see so many people there, familiar faces and lots of new ones too. There was a real buzz in the room, and already the group has grown significantly since last season.

I was then on BBC Radio Nottingham after the session, talking with Richard Spurr and Dr Lauren Stewart about tone deafness and methods of working with people who believe they can’t sing. All light-hearted fun, but great to have these opportunities to spread the message that singing is for everyone! Click here to listen if you’re interested – Dr Steward comes on at about 2:10:00, and I’m a little after that.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the taster sessions now – Sheffield on Thursday then Wakefield on Monday. A group of us are singing at the opening of “Your Space” in Wakefield on Saturday – a great chance to support a real community event.

Finally, as a few people were asking last night, the link to the list of songs for this season ishere – enjoy!

Website redesign

The website has had a general update, which will hopefully make it easier to find what you need. Let us know what you think using the Contact Us link. There are plans to make the website more interactive next year, which will include an online calendar of events, a singer’s area with customised information specific to each singer, and the ability to book your place online.