Judging Lineups: Community Final

We’re really excited to be able to announce our judging lineups. Here’s the judges who will be picking our Community Winner. Remember you can get tickets here.

 

James Davey

James Davey

James Davey is one of the UK’s most distinguished and respected young choral directors, in demand for his work as conductor, choir trainer, choral education practitioner, arranger and adjudicator.

A graduate of the MA Choral Education course at Roehampton University, James is Musical Director for; Chantage – BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year 2006, the Chandos Chamber Choir, the Aylesbury Festival Choir, the Fleet Singers and a number of work-place choirs, including staff choirs at Channel 4 TV and the London Mayor’s staff choir at the Greater London Authority.

Formerly the chief choral advisor for the BBC’s sheet music archives, James regularly conducts and prepares choirs for broadcasts on TV and Radio, and he is also a choir trainer for the Royal College of Music Junior Department, a Guest Conductor for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and a tutor for the Cranleigh Choral Week, the Ingenium Academy and the Sherborne Summer School of Music.

 

Jo Marshall

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A graduate of The Royal Academy of Music, Jo began her singing career performing with the internationally acclaimed Swingle Singers and spent over six years touring world renowned music venues (La Scala, The Royal Albert Hall, and Ronnie Scott’s) and working with world class conductors such as Zubin Mehta and Antonio Pappano.

She has since been much in demand on the London session scene recording albums, TV and film soundtracks (Spectre, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) and often performs with London’s leading vocal ensembles.

Jo also works as a soloist and a jazz singer (The Jo Marshall Trio, Cubana Bop). She is a choral director and vocal tutor for Blackheath Centre for Singing and has led a cappella master classes and choral workshops all over the world.

 

Rachel Mason

Rachel Mason

Since gaining her Bachelor of Music, Rachel has been teaching singing, composing songs and performing extensively. Rachel has also been the BRIT awards correspondent for BBC Somerset, and has judged choral contests, Show Choir Championships and taught Musical Theatre masterclasses in the UK, Canada and Ireland. She also composed the music and lyrics for two musicals that were performed in Somerset.

For four years Rachel was the Musical Director of the UK’s top show choir, Euphoria. The group won many awards and performed in New York, Dublin, Hollywood and at the Royal Albert Hall. In addition to arranging and teaching all the music for Euphoria, Rachel also composed original songs that were recorded by the choir for the album Hollywood Bound. One of these songs was the anti bullying anthem Body On Mute which won numerous awards, was the anthem for the charity Beat Bullying and has now been adopted by The Diana Trust to help raise funds for their anti bullying projects.

Body On Mute was performed by Rachel and the choir on stage in New York, Dublin on BBC radio, live television in Canada and on Sky television. Some of the performances were filmed and have received wonderful comments on YouTube from those currently struggling with the effects of bullying. The lyrics for the song have also been featured in an article written about the choir in the top American Show Choir magazine, and are now on a range of American Apparel t shirts. Body On Mute has also been played on radio stations across America as part of Songs for Social Causes.

Rachel is also a prolific arranger, and has been commissioned to write custom arrangements for vocal groups and show choirs across the world.

Rachel is currently studying for her Masters in Songwriting. She enjoys collaborating with other artists on new songs, and is currently working on a new album. Rachel is honoured to have been made a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) in 2014 and a member of BASCA (The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) in 2013.


All the King’s Men get stuck into a cappella education

B2K3oWcCUAAnWq7 On Tuesday 11th November All the King’s Men journeyed to the Glyn School, in Surrey, to run a series of a cappella workshops across a range of age groups, including one made up exclusively of GCSE and A-Level music students. In each hour-long session the Men introduced the groups to a range of different aspects of a cappella music, including vocal percussion, harmony and breathing technique. As well as touching base with Dr. Couchman, the Glyn school’s head of curricular music and AtKM alumni Tom Hindmarch’s sister, we worked alongside other members of the music department staff to ensure the day ran smoothly. We were thrilled by both the enthusiasm of the students and the positive feedback from staff, and cannot wait to return to the school in the future.

For many of us, school workshops are a highlight of singing with AtKM. It gives us the opportunity to share our musical experiences, as well as introducing the next generation of musicians to areas of vocal music that are not included in the core curriculum. In a school such as the Glyn School, where years 7 to 11 are all-boys, one of the biggest challenges is dispelling the stigma around males singing. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of singing with the group when we get teenage boys to set aside their preconceptions about a cappella music, and join us in singing the All the King’s Men classic ‘In the Jungle’.

B2KfbSdIcAAdODyAll the King’s Men would like to thank the Glyn School for the warm welcome we received and to all of their music students for their tremendous energy. We look forward to continuing our involvement with schools and education over the forthcoming year and beyond.

A big thank you to Sam Lyons of All the King’s Men for sharing his experience of the day. If you think your group has done something noteworthy or unique with individuals from your community, and would like to write a blog post for us, email beth@thevoicefestival.co.uk for more details. Alternatively, if you’d like some tips on how to provide a cappella workshops for young people, or would like to be matched up with another group in your area, get in touch with amy@thevoicefestival.co.uk, who’d be delighted to help.


A very fond farewell to the one and only Ally!

AllyIn 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!

P1030896So 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.


VF-UK at Ed Fringe: The Vocalites!

VocalitesNext up in our series of spotlights on our fabulous Fringe Festival performers is a peek at the ladies four-part community a cappella group The Vocalites. They share some of their favourite moments from the last year and tell us what lies ahead for the rest of 2014!

Remember, the VF-UK workshop and a cappella showcase – featuring the Vocalites and much more – takes place at Greyfriar’s Kirk, Edinburgh, on the 8th August, and there’s still time to grab your tickets. Don’t miss out!

Tell us a bit about your group. Where are you from? When did you start singing together?

There are 4 people (of course!) and they have been together for about 4.5 years. They are Alicia Tindal (lead), Juliet Erskine (tenor), Kate McGeoch (baritone) and Jacqui King (bass).

Last year they sang in the Spiegeltent at Edinburgh Literary Festival and in the Mitchell Theatre in Glasgow amongst other venues, and competed in Llandudno and Bangor, N.I. The Vocalites are part of the choir singing for the baton relay celebrations at both Inverary and Dumbarton Castles this month, and have recently won through to the semi finals of this year’s Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) national competition so will be heading down to Harrogate in October for that. They also hope to be in the finals of Scottish Power’s Got Talent, but that has yet to be decided!

Is this your only appearance at the Fringe, or will you be performing elsewhere?

They won’t be appearing anywhere else in Edinburgh, sadly, but are looking forward to their appearance at the VF-UK Edinburgh Fringe Showcase this year. 


Be the future of UK a cappella!

P10407532013-14 has been quite some year for the Voice Festival. September 2013 saw a shiny new 10-strong team set out to deliver the biggest and best year yet… and deliver it we did, with the biggest Festival Weekend to date featuring a performance from the Swingle Singers, a brand new video round in the University competition (and the most entries we’ve ever received), a fantastic Community Showcase, and a Youth Competition Final which blew us all away. And that’s not to mention Take the Stage at Kings Place, our recently-introduced webinars, and the forthcoming Edinburgh Festival Showcase (featuring groups across all our programmes). We certainly like to keep ourselves busy!

But it doesn’t end there. We’ve seen what we are capable of, and we’re thinking big for the future. As a result, we’re looking to build our team. We need even more talent, ideas and enthusiasm to help us carry VF-UK through the next year and beyond so that we can continue to deliver an inclusive, educational and exciting programme of events that caters in the best possible way to all our communities and participants.

 

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The Team

The VF-UK team is a dynamic group of dedicated volunteers with a diverse range of day jobs. Some are singers and some are not, but all ten have been brought together by their love of, and belief in, the a cappella art form and its educational and community-building potential. Now, it’s time to spread that love and welcome new volunteers into our fold! (You can meet the team here)

We asked some of our volunteers why it is that they enjoy giving their time and talents to the Voice Festival’s year-round activities. One team member said:I get to work alongside a team of brilliant, dedicated and inspiring volunteers to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get involved with this unique art form. And everybody knows that a cappella singing makes the world a happier place!’ Check out what other team members said here!

 

Have we tickled your a cappella tastebuds? 

If so, we have two options for you…

1) There are three specific roles that we’d like filled – you can browse these below. If any of these take your fancy, then drop us an email telling us why you’re the perfect person for the role. There is no application form, but a CV would help us to establish a good idea of who you are and what you do. 

VF-UK Community Programme Manager

VF-UK Youth Programme Manager

VF-UK Regional Event Manager

 

2) If none of these roles are quite what you’re looking for, but you’d love to join the Voice Festival team – get in touch anyway. We’re open to new ideas and would welcome anyone who has something new to offer, whether you’re a tech-whizz, a musical maestro, a creative genius, a seasoned event manager, or something else besides! See more information below, and email us at voice@thevoicefestival.co.uk letting us know a little bit about yourself, why you want to become part of the team, and how you might like to help.

VF-UK Volunteer

 

Please note, while most of our team discussions happen across email and mobile, we like to get together occasionally for face-to-face meetings. Our next planning meeting is on the Sunday 13th July, and if you are selected to join the team it would be an advantage if you were able to attend (all reasonable travel expenses will be covered).

Make sure you get in touch with us before midnight on Sunday 15th June if you’d like to be considered for one of our roles. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


I love volunteering for the Voice Festival because…

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a member of the VF-UK family? Considered volunteering, and want to hear some first-hand experiences? Well now’s your chance! We asked four members of the team why it is that they love giving their talent and free time to the Voice Festival’s year-round activities. Here’s what they have to say…

 

I get to work alongside a team of brilliant, dedicated and inspiring volunteers to give as many people as possible the opportunity to get involved with this unique art form. And everybody knows that a cappella singing makes the world a happier place!

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It’s given me the opportunity to develop so many new skills, which have helped me in all other jobs. I love being involved in such a vibrant and growing community, and seeing the impact that the work we do has on the UK a cappella scene. And I love being around people who love singing as much as I do!

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There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a cappella communities – both new and established – enjoy and benefit from the work that VF-UK does. And the icing on the cake is that I get to do all this planning alongside a group of new friends who share my passions and interests.

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I love volunteering with the Voice Festival because it’s completely different to what I do for my day job. It’s so refreshing to see young people working together, trying something new and achieving phenomenally high standards of a cappella singing. It’s great to be at the heart of a growing community of a cappella singers across the country!

 

 

Sound good? Because now, we’re giving you the chance to become a part of this vibrant and ever-growing team! Click here to find out howP1040753


Voice Festival UK recording partnership with Liquid 5th

Liquid 5th ProductionsThe Voice Festival UK are thrilled to announce that for our 2013 season we will be working in partnership with Liquid 5th, who have generously offered to record, mix and master a free single for the three winning groups from the Voice Festival’s Youth, University and Community competitions!

Liquid 5th, based in the US, provide a cappella services of all kinds – recording, production, editing, mixing and mastering, as well as live sound, arranging and coaching. Like the Voice Festival UK, they recognise and understand the multiple ways in which a cappella singers need support to develop, and we are delighted to be working with them this year.