Solos, duets and small ensembles
Every season we have an opportunity for people to have a go at singing solos, duets or small ensemble pieces, in a safe, supportive environment. This is our "Singposium". It's a chance for people to get together and try things out, whether it's your first time singing solo, or if you're an experienced soloist who wants to try a new genre or performance style. There's a supportive atmosphere, and everyone provides feedback for each other - both verbally after each performance, and in written comments which we collate and provide edited highlights of afterwards. Timothy, our musical director, provides detailed written feedback too, highlighting what was successful about your performance and how to raise it to the next level.
Where and when
The Singposium normally takes place about 4 weeks into each season, and we vary the location between our different groups. There's a small charge to take part, which covers the expenses of hiring the venue and Tim's time running the session and writing the feedback afterwards.
The experience normally lasts for 3-4 hours, depending on the number of participants - you'll get 8-10 minutes for your performance and feedback. Everyone gets a chance to sing. You'll get some feedback from Tim and the other participants, and you might even be asked to sing part of your song again to help you take on board any tips that have been passed on.
Occasionally, people want to come to the Singposium but aren't sure whether it's right for them or not. After having a conversation with them, we may arrange for them to be a non-participating observer at a Singposium, so they can decide whether to take the plunge the following season. Please note though, Singposiums are not intended to have an audience, and we'll only accept observers if they're genuinely interested in having a go themselves in the future.
How to prepare
If you're interested in taking part in a Singposium, or just want to find out more, get in touch and we'll be happy to answer your questions. In order to come prepared, you'll need either a backing track, or written piano accompaniment. We ask you to let us have a copy of this in advance, so we can have everything ready on the day. Don't worry if you're not sure whether the key of the sheet music is right for you - mention this before you start and Tim will work with you to find the right key before you perform.
The atmosphere of Singposiums is really friendly, welcoming and supportive. Everyone is there to will each other on, and we do everything we can to make it as un-scary as possible! We understand that singing on your own can be an intimidating idea, and we're there to help you through it and ensure you get the most out of your experience. If you have any fears, talk to us - or talk to any of our singers who have been to a Singposium, and they will tell you just how supportive and positive an experience it is.
We never ask anyone to audition to be a part of BeVox. The only auditions we run are for people who want to sing solos, duets or small ensemble pieces in any of our performances.
How to prepare
In order to prepare for an audition, you need to make sure you know your song really, really well. The nerves of performing in an audition situation will often make people forget things they thought they knew - practice until you're absolutely convinced there's no way you can forget your words. Choose a song that suits your voice and that you're comfortable with. It's better to sing something relatively straightforward and do it well than to try something very difficult and just about get through it.
You'll need to provide printed piano accompaniment or a backing track (sent to us in advance). You will need to sing your song from memory, as though in a performance. Remember it's not just about the singing, it's also about how you look, how you enter the room, how you acknowledge the audience at the end of the song - you're performing from the second you can be seen to the second you leave.
How to apply
Auditions are one of the very few things you can't sign up for using BeVox OnLine. In order to apply, you will need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including the information below:
- Who is singing? (For duets and ensembles - only one person needs to email us from each group, unless several people within the group are also auditioning solos, in which case each person should email separately)
- What will you sing?
- Will you sing to sheet music or a track? (If a track, please email it to us as soon as possible, and no later than a week before the auditions. If sheet music, please make sure it's in the right key, matches the version of the song that you intend to sing, and is in a format that will stay open on a music stand)
It's fine to audition a solo song, a duet or a small ensemble (up to nine singers). We'd expect ensemble performances to be in harmony, not a group of people all singing the tune. You can audition with one or two performances, provided they involve a different line-up (a solo and a duet, for example, or two ensemble performances with different people in each ensemble).
Our auditions take place in front of a panel of your fellow singers (see below), as well as our musical director, Tim. Tim is responsible for making the final decisions on allocation of solos. The panel help to give Tim an audience-member's viewpoint, as well as keeping the process transparent. Additionally, if either Tim or Toni are involved in any audition performances themselves, either as soloists or as part of an ensemble, the audition panel make the decisions on these performances. This removes any possibility of favouritism, and means that if Tim or Toni want to sing a solo, duet or ensemble piece, they have to impress the audition panel! Tim will email all participants to let them know the results of the auditions as soon as possible after the decisions have been made.
Allocating solos, duets and ensemble pieces can be divisive if it is not handled well. If you are unhappy about any decision that has been made, for whatever reason, it's absolutely essential that you talk to Tim about it. He promises to take any concerns seriously, give them due consideration, and respond accordingly. It's so important to the health of the choir that auditions are seen to be fair and transparent - any worries about this whatsoever absolutely must be shared with us. Tim is always happy to discuss the reasons for any decisions he makes.
Where and when
Auditions typically take place around halfway through each season. We vary the location each time, and normally the auditions happen in the same area as the "larger-scale" performance at the end of the season. Audition times are allocated about a week before the auditions, and you'll only be needed for 5-10 minutes. Auditions will always be free to take part in.
Being on the panel
Every season, we have up to five spaces for singers to be on the audition panel, watching all the performances and sharing their opinions with Tim as he makes his decisions. If you're interested in being on the panel, or want to talk to other singers who have done this to find out more, please get in touch.