A message from the Voice Festival Directors

Dear friends,

We are writing to share some news with you from Voice Festival HQ.

After ten glorious years of Voice Festival Weekends, we have decided that we are going to take the charity in a different direction from this season onwards.

We are currently doing a lot of strategic thinking about what the future of the charity is going to look like, and will be sharing news about that as soon as we can, but in the short-term, as many of you are likely planning your year ahead, we wanted to let you know that there will not be a Festival Weekend or competition in 2019. As for what else will be happening – watch this space.
 
In the mean time we have an exciting invitation for you.
 
We are offering groups, institutions or individuals, the opportunity to bid for up to £500 of funding for an a cappella project of your choice. The only stipulations are that it must meet one or more of the Voice Festival UK’s charitable aims:

1. Recruiting and supporting new participants: fostering the development of new school, university and community singers and groups

2. Developing new audiences: providing opportunities for new a cappella audiences to learn about and experience the art form

3. Supporting and educating existing participants: providing performance, competition, workshop, masterclass and networking opportunities for a cappella singers

4. Building UK A Cappella Communities: creating opportunities for new and existing a cappella singers to meet, collaborate, and share ideas

To apply, please submit a project proposal of up to 500 words outlining:

 

* Your objectives

* Who is involved, and their roles

* What you would plan to do and how it meets one of more of VF’s aims

* How you would measure your success

* Your timeframe

* Your budget, including specifying if the project were to be solely funded by VF, or whether other sources of funding were being sought

Projects can take place at any point during 2019. Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday 14th December, and you will be informed early in 2019 if you have been successful.

We hope that everything is going well for you, and look forward to staying in touch with more of our news in the coming months.

In the mean time, have you checked out the resources on our website and YouTube channel? There’s plenty of inspiration there, from videos of past Voice Festival performances and collaborative projects to ‘how to’ guides, tips and hints for how to take your group to the next level.

And finally, have you got your tickets for Club A Cappella in London on 27th November, and LACF in January? Maybe we’ll see you there!

 
With best wishes,

Alexandra, Cherith and Simon

Voice Festival Director team


Voice Festival Weekend 2018 groups announced!

 

It’s that time of year again!

This year, VF-UK are headed up to the University of Birmingham for our annual Festival Weekend, being held this year on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th April 2018. We loved it back in 2015, and we can’t wait to be back again.

Our wonderful judges have spent the last few weeks deliberating and viewing entrants’ audition videos, and we are pleased to announce the groups who will be competing at this year’s Festival Weekend.

We’re pleased to announce that the groups through to our Youth Final on Saturday 14th April are…
From Coombe Boys School
Vox
From King’s Ely
The Kings Barbers
From Putney High School
License to Trill
Polyphonics
The Rolling Tones

And finally, the University groups through to our semi finals on Friday 13th April are…
Semi Final I:
From the University of Nottingham
Aca-Pocalypse
From the University of Manchester
Fantastic Beats and Where To Find Them 
From the University of Edinburgh
Licence to Trill
Tone Up
From University of Bristol
Pitch Fight
From University of Leeds
The Cosmopolitones 

Semi final II:
From University of Bristol
Academy A Cappella
From University of Bath
Aquapella
From Cardiff University
Decibelles
From University of Nottingham
RadioOctave
From University of Oxford
The Oxford Commas

Congratulations to all of our groups!
 
Tickets are on sale RIGHT NOW, and you can grab yours by clicking this link – if you buy before 1st April, you can benefit from a special Earlybird discount too!

See you all there!


Meet Houmaa

1.    How did you get involved with VFUK?

Having fallen in love with a cappella in the summer of 2014 (those should be song lyrics), I discovered The Voice Festival on YouTube not long after. In a twist of fate, I then discovered the 2015 Festival Weekend would be held in Birmingham (where I live) for the first time. After a mind-blowing volunteering stint at the Weekend, my heart and sights were set on becoming an official teammember. And here I am!

2. What is your role within the team?

I am University Programme Officer which means I help Zoe with anything to do with the Voice Festival’s University programme. I am also focusing to targeting Youth and University programme alumni to encourage them to continue with a cappella in the next stages of their lives.

3. What has been your favourite VFUK moment so far?

Everything about volunteering at the 2015 and 2016 festival weekenda! Meeting the VFUK team for the first time, talking to various competing groups, attending workshops, meeting my idols, taking away inspiration for my own a cappella group, watching some breath-taking performances from the front row etc.

4. Who is your favourite professional group?

It’s cruelty to make me pick just one group! But The Sons of Pitches have inspired me in so many ways, so I have to say them.

5. Have you got any secret talent/fact to share with everyone?

I can only stay with the a cappella theme (because I have approximately 0 other talents and because who doesn’t love a bit of shameless self-promotion?) and say that I founded an a cappella group called AbraCappella within weeks of arriving at university.

6. Sum up VFUK in 3 words.
 
Dreams. Come. True.

7. What do you do outside of the a cappella world?

I’m going into my third year of studying Psychology at the University of Birmingham. I also work as Head of Physical Sales and Merchandise at the university’s record label, New Street Records, which is pretty cool.


My a cappella adventure begins – by Jess Tansley

Jess seen here third from right with her group, The Kingstones

Jess seen here third from right with her group, The Kingstones

Our very own VF-UK team member Jess reflects on her journey to being in her very first a cappella group, her role within VF and more!

It’s no secret that I love a cappella.

It originated through late night YouTube searches of my favourite songs, but when I moved to London for university, I was introduced to a whole new world – a bubble of a cappella, if you will. Attending the Voice Festival weekend in 2014 and seeing so many incredible groups not only competing against each other, but also bonding as part of a community cemented it in my mind – I wanted to be part of a group myself.

But where did I start? I didn’t know anyone crazy enough to start a group with me, and I wasn’t sure how to do it by myself. I knew I wanted to be involved in any way I could, so I joined the Voice Festival team in June 2014. We published a guide a few months later on how to start your own a cappella group (which you can see if you click here), which included a list of questions to consider such as group size, group name etc. Reading it made me want to start even more!

In October 2014, a girl posted on a Kingston University Society page on Facebook saying that she wanted to start up an a cappella group. I couldn’t believe it! I contacted her straight away, and soon, The Kingstones was born.

We initially tried to start as soon as we had enough people (around six), but due to scheduling conflicts and commitment issues with some members, we stopped and retried at the beginning of this year. We’ve definitely hit roadblocks – deciding a name one of the big ones! – But on Wednesday 11th March we had our first public performance as a part of our University’s Global Week. Some of our group had never performed in front of a crowd before, so naturally we were nervous, but we all had loads of fun and the crowd were really supportive, too.

I’ve learnt a magnitude of new things since joining; promotional skills, countless new music skills, team building, composing, and obviously which syllables and sounds are best for an electric guitar (verdict: it’s beeyyyooowww. You’re welcome.)

I’ve taken on the role of media manager in which I manage all of our social media accounts (@KUKingstones and The Kingstones on Facebook, go follow/like us, yeah?) and make decisions on things such as logos, t-shirts etc. although we all help each other out, too. We sing such a wide range of music – from The Muppets to Hozier – which means that there’s never a dull moment in rehearsal! We’re already planning our next performance opportunities, and we can’t wait.

Joining a group and getting involved with VF-UK has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. It has not only enriched my university experience, but also taken me to places I would never have visited, opened me up to new experiences and challenge my leadership skills, too.

The recent Festival Weekend in Birmingham was such an incredible whirlwind. I’ve never been involved in something as big as this before, and even though it was hectic and so fast paced with 400 things happening at once, I loved every second of it. It actually made me a little bit emotional to see so many diverse, talented, wonderful people all in one place celebrating each other’s successes. The level of talent this year was insane, and I can’t wait to see how the UK a cappella scene progresses.

If you’re considering either starting or joining a group, or even just getting more involved in the a cappella world – my advice? Do it!