In 2011 the Voice Festival team received an e-mail from a member of Birmingham University’s first a cappella group ‘Augmented 7’. The group had decided to go their separate ways and she was looking for an exciting new a cappella challenge. Luckily for VF-UK, she thought of us and so it was that Ally Eastwood joined the Voice Festival team!
Ally has spent the last three years bringing a wealth of energy and experience to the Voice Festival team; whether organising Birmingham’s regional events in 2012 and 2013, using her photographic talent to capture Voice Festival events, bringing her unique brand of fun and friendliness to our social media channels or transforming the Community Programme in her role as manager over the last year. Ally has met every new challenge with dedication, creativity and humour, which have been infectious for team members, singers and audiences alike. She also has a habit of indulging VF-UK team members and judges – in fact, in her first role as Birmingham Event Manager she turned up with half of the Sainsbury’s bakery section to make sure everyone started the day in a good mood – it certainly worked and has become something of a VF-UK tradition!
As much as we would have liked to keep Ally permanently as an a cappella event organiser extraordinaire, this multi-talented lady is needed elsewhere. She has just qualified as a doctor and is taking up a position in a busy A&E department, and so has made the decision to retire from her Voice Festival responsibilities to devote her time to saving lives. We are so sad to have to say ‘goodbye’ but it could hardly be for a better cause!
So thank you Ally for all you have done to make the Voice Festival what it is today. We will miss you very much and wish you every happiness and success in your next steps. Make sure you stay in touch and we hope we’ll be seeing you grinning in the front row at many future VF-UK events! In the mean time a warm welcome to Ally’s successor, James.
Finally, if any of you should find yourselves seeking medical treatment in the Nottingham area and being serenaded by songs from Mary Poppins in the middle of the night… well, we can assure you that you are in very good hands.