We are delighted to announce that Leeds Vocal Movement became a registered charity on 26th February 2018. This is wonderful news for the choir, as it opens up a lot of opportunities for its development. We would like to ensure that these opportunities are clearly outlined for our members, local public and anyone who is interested in the status and long-term growth of the choir.
The Charity Commission recognises the following objectives for the choir:
- For the public benefit to advance the musical education (including practical and theoretical musical training) of people aged between 18 and 35 years in and around Leeds.
- To advance, improve, develop and maintain public engagement in, and appreciation of, the art and science of music, through choir performances, workshops and rehearsals.
Why have we become a charity?
As a registered charity, LVM has public recognition as an organisation, with social benefits and public needs at the forefront of our aims and developments; we will use these to directly benefit our choir members and the local community, and our charity status guarantees this.
Being a charity also improves our ability to meet these objectives, through increasing our opportunities for funding our core and project-based costs. This keeps our choir affordable, without compromising the development of its members and quality of its events.
What does this mean for members?
Education: LVM provides musical education, guidance and practice at our rehearsals, which are led by our professional Musical Director Caitlin Mayall. Caitlin’s enthusiastic approach, and application of the Kodály method to musical education, allows each member to advance in their musical knowledge and skill at a crucial stage in their vocal development.
Diversity: We pride ourselves on providing a diverse selection on music from a wide range of musical genres to sing each term. Our Musical Director and Librarian work hard to make our repertoire as eclectic as possible. We also encourage our members to suggest pieces for the choir to sing (and what not to sing), as it’s a priority for our members to enjoy what they’re performing.
Development: our long-term project for the choir is to provide more musical education for our members, with the following aims:
- To run high-quality choral workshops from visiting conductors and vocal leaders
- To develop the Kodály Method music training programme for LVM members and the wider choral community in Leeds
- To provide an accompanying pianist, to provide exciting concert opportunities for SATB and piano
Opportunities: Members will have the opportunity to perform in the LVM concerts twice a year, as well as singing in collaborative concerts, festivals and competitions with other choirs in the arts community. In each of our concerts, our members have the chance to sing full choir and small ensemble pieces, both of which allow them to enhance their experience of performing music.
What does this mean for the local community?
Accessibility: We often gain members who haven’t sung in a choir for many years, or at all. For this reason, we do not have the barrier of auditioning or prior experience as a requirement for joining, as it can put people off before they’ve had a chance to sing with us. In addition, we offer subsidised membership fees for students and those on a low income, to make our choir affordable for our target audience.
Engagement: We often host open rehearsals during recruitment periods, to give individuals the opportunity to try out our choir first before joining; potential members and interested friends/colleagues can join us for an evening of singing, and see if LVM is right for them. Our choral workshops are also available for the public to participate, and join our members in developing their vocal knowledge and technique.
Community: All who join LVM are welcomed into a community of singers and music-lovers of varying musical abilities, knowledge and culture. Our members are a mixture of students and working professionals, which span our target age range and a wealth of careers and interests. We maintain this community outside of our weekly rehearsals, whether through social media, blog posts, choir socials, or just a post-rehearsal pint.
Entertainment: The musical education and guidance provided by our Musical Director, and the dedication of the choir, are best showcased in our concerts and performances. Our audience members can expect an evening of diverse and well-rehearsed repertoire, sung by a choir that continually strives for musical excellence.
What does this mean in relation to funding?
LVM’s core costs are always growing and currently being funded by members’ fees only. As a newly registered charity, we are constantly applying for sponsorship and arts funding to help us to cover costs such as our rehearsal venue, paying our Musical Director and hiring/purchasing music to perform.
We are also applying for project funding for the development our choir, the aims of which are outlined above. Our projects include our termly choir workshops, and the employment of an Apprentice Conductor and Piano Accompanist, which give early-career musicians an opportunity to gain paid experience in their field.
Any donations we receive, large or small, will help us provide excellent choral training for the members of our choir. If you are interested in funding, sponsoring or donating to our choir, please contact us via email or donate to our GoFundMe campaign.