We're open to anyone who loves to sing
If you've sung all your life, or never sung in public before, you're equally welcome at BeVox. We don't hold auditions to join, and you don't need to be able to read music. We offer a community in which learning together is prized, and competition is avoided. We believe in giving people the opportunity to stretch themselves, and we give them the tools and support in order to do that. We aspire to exceptional standards in our performances, whilst never leaving anyone behind. Every person is welcome, every voice is valued. People who sing with us tell us that the experience is life-changing. Come and find out for yourself.
HOW IT WORKS
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we are running everything online. The information below will continue to apply whilst we're online-only. Some things will be different when we return to meeting physically, and these are noted in brackets at the end of each section.
We run three "seasons" every year - Spring, Summer and Autumn. The Spring season runs from January to April, the Summer season is May to August, and the Autumn season covers September to December. We work on different music each season. When you join the choir, you sign up to a season - you can then sign up to future seasons if you wish, as they become available. Within a season, we run at least twelve weeks of sessions, and you can access as many or as few of these as works for you.
(When we return to physical sessions, our season dates will revert to roughly matching school terms, with a break over Christmas, Easter, and the summer).
The music (and learning materials)
We cover a wide range of music, with all songs being chosen from suggestions made by our singers. In general, we tend to cover pop, rock, gospel, musical theatre, swing, and the occasional piece of light classical music. All of our musical arrangements are written specifically for the choir, and our singers are very proud of the quality of arrangements we sing. They are written to be accessible to amateur singers, whilst being exciting (and sometimes challenging) to sing. You can see a list of everything we've sung in the past here.
We provide a variety of learning materials to help singers get to grips with the music and how to sing it. These include sheet music (whether you read music or not - see below), rehearsal tracks (recordings of your voice part being sung by a professional singer), "full mix" tracks (recordings of the whole choir arrangement being sung by professional singers), and conductor videos (videos of our musical director, Tim, conducting your particular voice part, including the lyrics appearing at the top of the screen).
We provide sheet music because it contains all the words, and also because there are clues you can pick up from seeing the sheet music even if you can't "read music". We use as little musical terminology as possible, and we always clearly explain any terms we do use.
(When we return to physical sessions, we may stop providing conductor videos, but the rest of the learning materials will continue to be available).
All our sessions are delivered via Zoom, and we can offer individual help over the phone to get this set up if you're unfamiliar with the technology. All you need to access the Zoom sessions is either a computer or laptop with a webcam (built-in or external), or a tablet such as an iPad, Galaxy Tab or similar, or a smartphone. Whilst we're singing during the session, your microphone is muted, so no-one else can hear you sing - you will be singing along with our rehearsal tracks, so you'll have a professional session singer to sing along with instead! When we're working on small bits of a song, our musical director Tim will play and sing your parts too. If you have questions, or would like to request to go over something again, or in more detail, you can easily unmute yourself and ask Tim directly. There's also the facility to send messages by typing into Zoom's "chat" function, which is a great way of chatting with other singers during the session.
Most of the sessions we run are for individual voice parts - this allows us to focus just on the things that you need to know, and not to take up your time going over things that aren't relevant to your voice part. We do also run sessions with the whole choir together, and these are useful for covering things like volume, phrasing and interpretation, which are relevant to the whole choir. Whenever we have a session for the whole choir, we always set aside some time for socialising in "breakout rooms" (a Zoom function that allows us to separate the session into lots of separate sessions with 6-10 people in, where people can unmute themselves and chat). We also do occasional sessions on vocal technique, music theory, or other musical things that have been suggested or requested by our singers.
(When we return to physical sessions, all sessions will be for the whole choir. We may continue to offer voice-part-specific and/or vocal technique sessions occasionally via Zoom).
It's completely up to you whether you want to just come along to the online sessions for a bit of a sing, or whether you also want to take part in our "remote recording" for the season. Our recordings are done by asking singers to record themselves singing their own voice part, whilst watching the conductor video (so you can see the words and get all of your entries, cut-offs etc from Tim). To do this, you need either a computer/laptop with a microphone or webcam, or two separate devices (a tablet and phone, for example, or phone and computer without a webcam). You'll also need headphones, as you'll need the music playing over headphones whilst you're recording, rather than playing "live" in the room. We give loads of support to people who are doing remote recording, as we understand that it can feel a little daunting at first. You can record as many or as few of the season's songs as you choose, although of course we'll always encourage people to do all of them if they can. Once you've recorded yourself singing a song, you send that recording in to us, and we mix all of the recordings from different singers together, so that we can create the sound of the whole choir singing together. We put all of those songs together on an album, which is released a short while after the season ends.
(When we return to physical sessions, we will organise concerts instead of remote recordings. Full details of these will be made available nearer the time. For a flavour of what we used to do before the pandemic, see this page).
We start each season with a few "welcome" sessions for new singers, then we get into the main weekly sessions. These run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with very occasional Saturday afternoons (all sessions are optional). Timings vary from session to session, but weekday sessions will be between 6:30pm and 9:30pm, and weekend sessions will be between 2pm and 5:30pm. Most sessions last between 75 and 90 minutes (weekend sessions are longer, but only happen occasionally). We vary the times for the sessions to make them available to as many people as possible - if you can't make an early start (6:30pm), we'll have some sessions that start later, and vice versa.
Dates for our current/upcoming season are available here.
(When we return to physical sessions, we normally run from 7pm to 9pm, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. We have historically run in Nottingham on Tuesdays, in Lincoln on Wednesdays, and in Sheffield on Thursdays - we aim to return to that pattern, but it will depend on the availability of venues).
During the pandemic, we've taken the decision to only charge for the learning materials we provide, and to ask for donations for the sessions. Our finances have taken a major hit from the current situation, but we feel it's really important that people aren't excluded from being part of our community if they are also struggling financially. We're very grateful to the generosity of our singers, which has allowed us to keep running throughout 2020 - we're hopeful that this generosity will continue. Our prices are below:
Access to the learning materials for a season: £40 (this gives you access to all learning materials digitally)
Printed copy of the sheet music (optional): £5
Rehearsal CD (optional): £5
Postage and packing for sheet music/rehearsal CD (required if ordering either): £5
Sessions: Free, but donations encouraged
Unfortunately, we can't send rehearsal CDs on their own, so you can only order a rehearsal CD along with sheet music. You can order sheet music on its own.
It is possible to spread the cost across the season, so if you'd prefer not to pay the full amount up-front, you can make smaller payments until the balance is settled.
We are aware that some people are in real financial difficulties because of the pandemic. If this applies to you, and it means that the prices above are beyond your reach, please get in touch and talk to us. We may be able to reach an arrangement that allows you to still take part.
(We will be reviewing our pricing when we return to physical sessions. As a guide, our prices pre-pandemic ranged from £99 for a season, to £12 for an individual session. This included access to the rehearsal materials, but not the price of physical sheet music or a rehearsal CD, which remained at £5 each).