So, this has been my third big event with BeVox:
- Nottingham Variety Show: under the stage lights at Nottingham Arts Theatre last July BeVox performed a replacement event for the usual 'end of season' performance the choir does at each of its venues [now Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield]. I sang just in the matinee performance of an event where BeVox headlined, but which was part of a multi-act Variety Performance Concert
- the matinee and evening mammoth event that was BeVox at Buxton with Brass
- Music at the Minster: this took place last night, and I sang with the fullest BeVox choir at Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire - our event to raise money for pancreatitis research (for reasons explained later). This was instead of our local Nottingham 'end of season' concert, so I've actually only done one 'standard' end of season gig, when the lovely Tim and Sarah joined Neil and my friend Helen in the audience at the Becket School, West Bridgford, Nottingham.
It was quite an experience: there is SO much to consider when doing an event like this, and how Timothy Allen (our choir director) managed to co-ordinate everything with so many people is mind-blowing. Being part of the choir - even as a relative newcomer - I've seen first-hand the upheaval that the choir has had to cope with this season (see Tim's post 'A test of what BeVox is Truly About') and for Tim to have kept going and kept *US* all going is a great credit to him.
But co-ordinating an event like yesterday requires immense attention to detail and teamwork, so thanks go not only for Tim's co-ordination with all the following, but those individuals and teams as well:
- our hosts, the Dean and Chapter at Southwell Minster;
- Pauline and the Totally Boxed team who got us in place and in and out of the Minster from our dressing room spaces without us causing them too many problems;
- the music co-ordination [Dylan - that is right, yeah?] and the piano-playing brilliance of Rickey, who did an amazing job both with cueing backing tracks, playing Tim's exquisite arrangements and getting the sound balance right in the capacious space of Southwell Minster
- everyone else behind the scenes, not least Tim's parents
- all the members of choir, including all the soloists and the ensemble
You can get a bit of a flavour of the concert from this video: I wish there had been more video taken as it would have been lovely to get more of this event out there (you just miss the first bit of Tim's opening Swahili solo here).
(FYI: I'm on the far side away from Tim, four rows up with a blue scarf that looks larger than it was, one person away from the rails at the side of our seats near the pillars).
The concert was a big deal for everyone but especially the Nottingham singers taking part: the event was to raise money for pancreatitis research, in memory of Carl Cropley, one of the singers at Nottingham. Carl died from this horrible illness just as I started going to the choir - pretty much the first circulated email I got when I joined was about his death. He had friends at the choir; he was much loved by the choir; and he had been an integral part of one of their biggest events - creating a film for their large scale performance at Magna in Sheffield.
But most importantly, he had met his partner at the choir. You can imagine what that impact that had and still has. Carl only a sang a solo once with the choir - and it was "Stars" from the medley of songs from Les Miserables that Tim had put together. The medley is an emotional rollercoaster anyway, but to hear Tim take over and do the full-length solo of "Stars" in Carl's memory.... *exhalation*
...and for the performance at Southwell, I was stood next to Carl's partner who still sings with BeVox. Despite all of Tim's advice that we should, could and probably would need to let go of our emotions, I felt I just *had* to hold it together.
Did I say that Southwell was nigh full? People were having to sit on the seats down the side of the Cathedral as all the seats in the central aisles were full. The event raised over £3000 for the cause, well worth doing. I was knackered by the end but I hope everyone got as much out of it as I did.
Oh yes, and if you want a flavour of the Les Mis medley, then the Wakefield branch of BeVox did a cracking job (including the choir version of "Stars") at their own end of season concert.
Now if Tim would just bring back Radiohead's "Creep" to one of the upcoming performances, I'd feel that I have caught up on some of the best bits missed from previous seasons (since the Les Mis medley was one of the ones I had felt most gutted about missing doing when I belatedly joined in!)