A beginner's guide to BeVox
There are three BeVox groups, each in a different geographical area.Nottingham: Tuesdays Lincoln: Wednesdays Sheffield: Thursdays
A season is a collection of twelve weekly sessions. We run three seasons a year.Spring: Runs from January to March Summer: Runs from April to mid-July Autumn: Runs from September to November/December
- Sessions run from 7pm until 9pm. When you arrive, you'll be greeted by Toni or one of our many helpers. Make sure you sign in with them at every session. There will be some warm-up exercises at the beginning of the session, then the rest of the time is spent working on that season's music. There is no break in the session, but it's fine to nip out at any time.
- As we're a choir, we sing in harmony, with different voice parts singing different tunes. The voice parts are:
- Soprano 1 (highest)
- Soprano 2
- Alto 1
- Alto 2
- Tenor (high men and very low women)
- Don't worry if you don't know what voice part you are. Tim, our musical director, will work this out with you in your first session (don't worry, you won't have to sing on your own!).
- In many other choirs, the sopranos always have the tune and the other parts learn harmony lines. In BeVox, the tune gets passed around all of the voice parts, so each voice part will sometimes be singing the tune, and sometimes be singing harmony lines.
- We learn approximately ten to twelve songs in each season. The majority of these will be specific to the season, so everyone is learning them from scratch. We do include a few songs that we've sung before, but we cover these in the sessions just like the rest of the programme.
- We provide sheet music for the songs you're singing. It doesn't matter if you can't read music. The sheet music includes all the words, and it's useful for you to see which voice part is singing when. You'll pick up some basic bits of music reading as you go - simple things like how to find a specific bar number, and what basic musical terms mean.
- We also provide rehearsal tracks. These are recordings of the songs you're singing, sung by professional singers with a piano accompaniment. The tracks are mixed so that your individual voice part is louder than all the others, so you can learn your part. (It's also mixed so that your voice part comes out of the right speaker and all the others come out of the left speaker - helpful when listening in the car!).
- For our larger-scale events, we bring back a few more songs from previous seasons, as well as including the main programme of songs for that season. We have optional additional sessions to cover these additional songs, and you only have to learn these songs if you're taking part in the larger-scale event.
- We're very proud of the learning materials we provide (sheet music, rehearsal tracks, and occasionally some extra materials when needed) - we believe they are of exceptionally high quality. We take your learning very seriously, and want to do everything we can to support it.
- The sheet music and rehearsal tracks can be downloaded from the members' area of the website (known as BeVox OnLine). You'll have access to this once you've signed up. If you're not able to download the music from the website, you can order printed copies of the music and/or a rehearsal CD from us - this costs a little extra (£5 per item). In your first season with us, we give you a printed copy of the sheet music for free.
- We organise performances at the end of each season. We normally do a concert in our usual weekly session venue (the "end of season concert"), plus others in the community. You can take part in any of the performances we organise, no matter where they are.
- In the Spring and Autumn seasons, we do a larger-scale performance in one of our areas instead of the end of season performance. This is open to singers from all areas, just as our other performances are, and it's a great opportunity to bring lots of our singers together and put on a really memorable show. In the Summer season, we do other large-scale events, such as flash mobs or CD recordings. These can be anywhere in the country, but if they're outside our normal three areas, we can help to arrange transport for those that want us to.
- The vast majority of our performances are free to take part in. For bigger events, we often have two or three additional sessions, which are normally optional but recommended. These have a cost associated with them, and are usually scheduled for Saturdays or Sundays. Very occasionally we organise special events such as workshops which might have additional costs - we'll make these very clear when we announce them. All our events are optional - you only take part in those that you want to do. They are also open to all our singers from all areas - this helps everyone band together and builds the sense of community.
- We encourage people to try to learn their music from memory, so they can perform without their sheet music in front of them. However, for all local community and end of season performances, we don't insist on this. If you do want to use your sheet music for a performance, you'll need to put it in a black ring-binder. Our larger-scale events, including big concerts, recordings, and "flash mobs", must be sung from memory.
- Take a look at our Past Performances page to see the kind of performances we do, or our Forthcoming Performances page if you'd like to watch a performance before joining.
- We encourage you to get to know each other in the sessions. Introduce yourself to those around you, find out what you have in common. Lifelong friendships have been formed amongst our singers - you never know who you might meet! Some singers enjoy socialising in local pubs after the weekly sessions - it's a great way to get to know other people in the choir who you might not get chance to socialise with elsewhere.
- In keeping with our philosophy of encouraging your ideas, if you want to organise a social function involving your fellow singers, go ahead! We're happy to help out with forwarding emails and otherwise advertising the event to your fellow singers. We've had numerous parties, trips to the theatre, picnics and meals out organised by our singers in the time we've been together.
The most important thing you can do with BeVox is to have fun! Enjoyment is firmly at the centre of everything we do - if you're not having fun, tell us so we can work out a solution together.
We don't have a complex list of rules for taking part in BeVox - instead, we have some General Principles. You can read these here.