Fun for all the family

It’s been a busy time for BeVox over the last few weeks. All four groups are thriving, with Barnsley taking off slowly but surely (thanks to a little help from guests from our other areas), Wakefield growing to over twice its previous size, and Sheffield and Nottingham continuing to be strong. We’ve sung at a fun day for The Cadland pub in Nottingham – an event that raised over £1,500 for “Help for Heroes”, and at the “Party in the Yard” for DIVA Wakefield, celebrating the opening of the new custom-built art gallery The Hepworth.

We also had our BeVox@Magna Singposium on Saturday – a chance for singers to get together, share their performances and collectively make suggestions for who should sing solos at our concert in July. It was a great day – lovely to see everyone being so supportive of their fellow singers. The decision-making process was so easy, thanks to the great feedback given by all participants, and everyone who took part has been sent an email letting them know who is singing what. That list will be shared here as soon as everyone has confirmed their acceptance of their part.

We’re finalising plans for all our Summer season performances this week, so look out for the “Come and listen” page in about a week’s time – it will have details of all the different opportunities you’ll have to come and hear BeVox in action! There is a real variety, which we’re thrilled about – that’s such a part of who we are.

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.

Launch of BeVox Barnsley, and change of venue for Wakefield

We’re very pleased to announce the details for our newest group, based in Barnsley. Our taster session for this group is on Wednesday 27th April, from 7pm until 9pm, at Staincross Methodist Church, Blacker Road, Mapplewell, Barnsley S75 6BP. We then start our regularly weekly sessions on Wednesday 11th May (a fortnight after the taster). If you are interested in joining us in Barnsley, or in any of our other groups, please get in touch using the “Contact us” link on the right, and we’ll see you soon.

Our Wakefield group is moving. We’ve been very well looked after at St Andrew’s Church, and we hope to continue running weekend workshops there and supporting their work in the community. From the Summer season, we’ll be meeting at Sandal Methodist Church instead, which is at 253 Barnsley Road, Wakefield WF1 5NU. Please spread the word and get your friends, family and colleagues to come and join us – everyone’s welcome!

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!