BeVox Evolution is an initiative designed to help improve the musical standards of BeVox, by offering additional training to those who want it and are ready for it. The aim is three-fold:
- To help Evolution singers to develop, by offering additional training in blend, projection, performance skills, confidence, and musicality
- To benefit the rest of the choir indirectly, as they will be able to "latch on" to the stronger, more confident singers within the choir
- To benefit the rest of the choir directly, through workshops for the whole choir that have been developed out of the work done in Evolution
There is an annual workshop in which BeVox singers can join Evolution. This workshop gives a taster of what Evolution is all about, so singers can decide whether it is right for them. It also gives us the opportunity to make sure that people joining Evolution are ready to work at the more intense, focussed level required.
After this workshop, there are monthly Evolution sessions, held at the weekend, at a central location (no more than an hour's drive from each of our three areas). In order to fully benefit from the additional training these sessions offer, Evolution singers should attend the majority of them each year.
What we are looking for
- Singers who can learn the music themselves, at home, without significant help
- Singers who can hold a harmony line, and memorise material when asked
- Singers who can sing in tune – if you have difficulty pitching, it would be better to work on this in the main body of the choir or through individual singing lessons
- Singers who will share their additional experience with other members of BeVox and help them to develop appropriately
- We aren't looking for singers with the "best" voices, and we don't mind how "good" your voice sounds – if you can sing in tune, hold a harmony line, learn the songs, and share your skills with those around you, you're welcome to be a part of Evolution
What we're offering
Work on a variety of skills to help you take your choir singing to the next level. These include:
- Blending with other voices
- Developing confidence
- Handling tricky rhythms
- Getting punchy entries and crisp cut-offs
- Shaping phrases dynamically
- Following a conductor
- Appropriate physical presentation skills
After a period of time working on these skills, you will be able to anticipate what will be needed when working on a song, and deliver a strong, confident, musically-secure performance without needing to be told how to do so.
What we expect from you
- Be committed to the group
- Attend as many of the Evolution sessions each year as you can (so we don't have to repeat things from session to session)
- Attend a reasonable number of standard BeVox sessions each season (so the choir as a whole benefits from the improvements offered by Evolution)
- Attend a reasonable number of BeVox seasons each year
- Work on developing your skills
- Be ready to work hard at each session
- Put work in on the skills covered between the sessions
- Learn the songs you're asked to learn
- Contribute to the sessions
- Active learning is at the heart of Evolution - you'll be expected to offer lots of feedback, both to other Evolution members, and to Tim as he delivers the session
- The content of sessions will be shaped by what you want to get out of them, so you'll often be asked for ideas of particular areas of technique you'd like to develop further
- Share your experience with the rest of the choir
- Pass on the skills you've learnt to those around you, when appropriate
- Think about where you sit – don't always sit with the same people, be available to new singers (particularly in the first 3 sessions of a season, when new people join), spread your experience widely
- Pay for the sessions (£15 for each Evolution session except the initial workshop, which is free - every session is three hours long, with a short break in the middle)
What you can expect from us in an Evolution session
- Warm-ups and vocal exercises – similar to a standard BeVox session, but more focussed – honing in on particular aspects of technique and working on them until the exercise is delivering what is intended.
- Technique – although we'll do some work on vocal technique, this can only go so far in a group environment. If there are aspect of technique that individual singers need additional help with, we can identify what is needed, but it wouldn't be fair to do this work with individual singers in a group session.
- Work on songs – most of the work we'll do on improving your skills will be done whilst working on songs, rather than exercises. You'll be expected to have learnt the song before the session – no note-bashing will be done in the sessions. We'll launch into each new song by singing the whole thing, with all parts.
- Layout – we won't always be sat in the same configuration. We're likely to change the layout from session to session, and sometimes within each session. You might be asked to sing with just one person on each voice part, or in other small groups – this will help you hone your skills in different ways. Be prepared for anything!