Alight, and Summer season song-list

What an incredible day we had on Saturday! I’m so indescribably proud of every member of BeVox for what we achieved. The day started with a long and complex technical rehearsal, and everyone kept their focus and good humour without fail. It was great to have the chance to spend a little extra time working on “Olympic Triptych”, which really paid off.

Then we moved to the Winter Gardens for our slot in Alight: Daylight. Thanks to your co-operation and good discipline, we were able to get on stage and ready to perform like a well-oiled machine – with not a hint of any “drill sergeant” barking at you! The performance itself was phenomenal – such energy! I think the audience reaction spoke for itself – great to see so many people getting caught up in the spirit of it all and clapping and dancing along. We really brought people together with our performance, which is exactly what BeVox exists to do. Unite! Arise! Alight!

Alight: Twilight at the City Hall was an absolute triumph. All the different groups that came together could have created a disjointed and awkward evening, but thanks to the dedication of each of the groups, and the talent of the creative team behind it, the show was a glorious success. I’ve had great feedback from lots of different people, including people who had lived in Sheffield all their lives but still learnt something new about their city from our show. Our performance of the “Sheffield Medley” was as energetic as I could wish for, and it was great to hear the audience clapping along.

And then there was “Olympic Triptych” – the piece that has occupied an increasingly large corner of my mind since June last year. It didn’t go absolutely perfectly, but it was still an incredible achievement for everyone involved. It was certainly a world premiere to be proud of, and I’m so grateful to everyone who helped bring it to life. I’m already looking at how we can secure further performances – I would love for BeVox (and other choirs) to be able to sing this over and over again.

Thank you to everyone who made Saturday such a special day for so many people. I can’t wait for us all to get in front of an audience and share what we do again.

Finally, our song list for the Summer season is now available. You can find it here: www.bevox.co.uk/songlist

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.

What a great day!

Yesterday was really incredible – a packed Singposium in the morning, and an exhilarating Alight rehearsal in the afternoon. Thanks to everyone who attended either event.

The Singposium is always a fun experience (well, for me anyway!), and this season’s was no exception. Some great performances, from people who have done it before and raised their game, to people who were taking their first steps into singing solo. Nerves aplenty, but lots of fantastic singing (and acting) too. Now I’ve just got to sort through all of that and work out who’s doing what, where and when! Emails will go out just as soon as possible.

The Alight rehearsal in the afternoon was fabulous – I pushed hard and you responded. You’ve truly made me proud, and that’s before we even get to concert day! Keep working on it, don’t let the focus drop, and let’s lift Sheffield Medley as well as Olympic Triptych to be pieces we can amaze people with on the night.

And of course we mustn’t forget last weekend, when over 80 of our singers headed to Meadowhall to help raise funds for the South Yorkshire Heart Appeal. We had a great day, dusting off the music from last season, and we got a great response from the crowds of shoppers who gathered to listen. The SYHA sent a lovely email the following day, thanking us for helping them to raise over £1,200 over the weekend.

Alight rehearsal today going ahead

Despite the snow, we’ll be going ahead with today’s rehearsal for “Alight”. We’ve been out in Sheffield this morning (after driving back from Edinburgh late last night), and all the main and secondary roads are clear – side roads may be slippery, but generally seem passable. Please use your judgement when deciding whether it’s safe for you to travel personally.

We don’t have contact details for the site manager at the school, but we’re pretty confident he’ll open up for us. If not, we can always co-opt the function room at the pub opposite!

Back up and running

I’ve not been able to update the website for the last couple of weeks, as my computer broke down. It took a few days to get the components for a new one, then a few more days for Toni to build it, then several days to reinstall all the software and move the data over from the old machine. At least I back everything up very regularly! I’m now up and running again, with lots to report.

It’s the Alight Commissions workshop this weekend – everyone who is signed up should have received an email last night with the link to the scores. Remember, you need to download and print this, and bring it with you on Saturday.

We’ve been working hard on creating some future events, as well as getting things ready for the end of season performances. I’ve updated the Performance page with details of all the performances we have coming up.

We should be able to announce all the details for our Summer Singing Retreat in the next couple of days – we’re very excited about it. Pencil in August 19th-24th…

We’re also planning another set of “Variety” performances, again raising funds for local charities – these will take place in early April. We’re putting things in place for a rock and pop concert, in collaboration with Tragical History Tour, which will happen in mid-July and include two very different halves (our music in the first half, and a Beatles set in the second half – featuring a recreation of the entire Abbey Road album live on stage).

And, would you believe it, we have a date booked for NEXT Christmas – we’ll be doing our very own black-tie gala evening, with dinner and a concert, at the incredible Buxton Dome – this will be on December 8th 2012, and will include a full concert, accompanied by a live brass and percussion ensemble. It’s going to be a busy year!

Back to today, and we’re off to view a performance venue this afternoon (for one of our “secret” events), then it’s back to getting everything ready for this weekend – not just the Alight Commissions workshop, but there’s the small matter of a wedding on Friday – looking forward to that VERY much indeed!

Steaming ahead

We have just a fortnight to go until the first “Real Variety Performance”, and everything is falling into place to make these concerts really great. Thanks to everyone who is donating their time and expertise – it’s a real testement to what people can achieve for a good cause.

Less than a fortnight to go until BeVox@Magna too. Things are coming together in a really exciting way for this – I have a little leap of excitement every time I hear a newly finished backing track or see a completed video. All we have to do now is develop more of an audience – ticket sales are only growing slowly, so we’re doing a big push this week. We have an ad in the Sheffield Star later in the week, and we’re encouraging everyone to spread the word. It’s truly going to be an amazing event. I hope you’re not one of the people who will hear about it afterwards and think “I wish I had been there”!

After a very positive meeting this morning, I’m proud to say that BeVox will be taking part in Alight – part of Music Nation, a Countdown event for the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. I’m still working on the various different events we’ll be bringing to Alight, so watch out for more details nearer the time; but for now, save the date! We’ll be performing at various events throughout the day on Saturday 3rd March 2012. I can’t wait!