About the Choir

Registered Charity Number 1177305

Leeds Vocal Movement (LVM) is an un-auditioned SATB choir based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Founded by former musical director Charles Rhodes, our choir aims to bridge the gap between youth choirs and choral societies and we provide musical opportunities for young adults between the ages of 18 and 35.

Since forming in 2011, LVM has won trophies at the Pontefract Music Festival, performed for numerous functions and maintained bi-annual concerts throughout each year. We are fun, educational and social choir and we aim to perfect and perform music spanning a range of genres, including contemporary, classical, jazz, sacred and traditional music on an international level. In addition, our Musical Director Caitlin Mayall uses the Kodály method to help our members develop their ability to pitch, sight-read and improve tuning.

Our aims

Leeds Vocal Movement is a registered charity. This provides exciting opportunities for our members and potential members, and more information on those opportunities can be found in our charity blog entry.

Our reason for providing a space for young adults to continue their vocal training is two-fold: Firstly, scientific evidence suggests that the adult voice develops from 12-13 years of age until it settles at around 30 years of age. We feel it is important to provide for this age gap, and therefore aim to continue preparing young adult singers after they leave youth choirs at 18, as well as training those without that experience.

Secondly, many choral societies have, in recent years, seen a drop in applications from younger adult singers. We believe this may partly be due to a lack of formal music education in younger singers, as the arts funding available to schools and arts organisations has declined in the last decade. Also, most of our members – even those with previous choir experience – tend not to be confident music readers, which prevents them from auditioning to join choral societies. We aim to provide an educational choral experience, much like many youth choirs do, by teaching technical vocal training, choral skills and sight-reading skills to our choir members.

Our long term vision is to equip our members with all of the training necessary to be able to sing confidently in a choir, and continue on to a choral society or auditioned choir if they so choose. We will never turn away current members once they reach 35, but we hope that they will have the skills to go on to experience even more exhilarating and high quality music making with some of Yorkshire’s many long-standing, established choral organisations.

This choir also gives an ideal opportunity for individuals within this age range to find a community of peers to sing with, as our treasurer Sally has mentioned in her blog entry. Whether you’d like to further your vocal training or start it, LVM would love to have you join us.

If you have any questions about our aims or age range, please feel free to contact us via email.

Sing with us

We are always looking for fresh faces so get in touch if you are interested in getting to know more about LVM! Rehearsals are every Wednesday 7.15-9.15pm. Term and concert dates can be found on our FAQs page.

For updates on our events and activities, including the our next open rehearsals, please join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We are also available for hire and can perform repertoire suitable for Christmas events and weddings, as well corporate and private functions. If you’d like us to sing at your special event or collaborate with you, please send us an email.

Meet the team

Musical Director: Caitlin Mayall

Caitlin Mayall

Caitlin is a conductor, singer and teacher based in West Yorkshire. She gained her degree in Music and Spanish at the University of Leeds, where she specialised in vocal performance and teaching, and was awarded First Class Hons. With a background as a classically trained soprano, she also has a keen interest in gospel, jazz, world music, early music and musicals.

After directing the Leeds University Chorus whilst at university, in 2015 Caitlin was awarded a Sing for Pleasure Young Conducting Scholarship. Since then, she has conducted the Darlington Youth Choir, Durham County Youth Choir, Barnsley Youth Choir, Left Bank Choir, Penistone Children’s Choir and members of the National Youth Choir GB Chamber Choir. Caitlin became director of Leeds Vocal Movement in 2017 and has recently become part of the Hallé’s choral outreach team. She is a co-director and founder of new semi-professional octect, North8, established in 2018.

As musical director of LVM Caitlin hopes to develop the choir’s musicianship, inspire musical excellence through singing quality choral music and encourage collaborations with other local choirs. She is interested in choral education, having worked as a vocal teacher and singing strategist for Durham and Barnsley Music Services. She received a competitive Cecilia Vajda Memorial Scholarship from the British Kodály Academy in 2018 and uses the Kodály Method with LVM to enhance rehearsals.

Apprentice Conductor: Katie Rose

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Katie is a Scottish mezzo-soprano currently in her final year at the University of Huddersfield studying a BMus in Music Performance: Voice (predicted first-class degree). Classically trained from ten years old Katie has sung in many choirs, ensembles and bands alongside solo cabaret performances. Her musical interests include musical theatre, jazz, and opera and she is pursuing musical theatre performance as her career, specialising in character roles like ‘witches and bitches’.

Katie is delighted to be working with Leeds Vocal Movement as the choral conducting apprentice for 2018/19. She hopes to work on her conducting technique with Caitlin and enjoy socialising with the members of the choir. She also directs a ladies choir, has a small private singing teaching practice in Huddersfield, and vocal coaches with Youth Music Theatre Scotland.. Outside of music and theatre Katie enjoys cooking new vegetarian dishes, reading about inspiring women, and visiting her baby nephew, Freddie.

Piano Accompanist: Sylvia Jen

sylvia black&white 2Sylvia is currently doing a PhD in Music Psychology at the University of Leeds, but began her musical adventure as a pianist. She received distinction for her MMus in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and also for her MSc in Performance Science from the Royal College of Music. Sylvia has performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist, and also teaches piano.

Since beginning her PhD, Sylvia has been yearning to be more involved in music-making. Joining the LVM as a piano accompanist has allowed her to fulfill this wish, and as a bonus become part of a dynamic new community.

Sylvia is a tea fanatic, and also loves cats, though she is allergic to them.

Choir Manager & Librarian: Rosa Stevens

SONY DSCRosa has been a member of LVM for over four years, and the choir manager for the majority of her membership. Her managerial duties are centered around the administration and development of the choir, providing members with choir updates and performance opportunities, and (most importantly) organising choir socials.

More recently, Rosa has become the choir’s librarian, which caters to her academic background in music and love for organising anything she can get her hands on.

Rosa has been involved in performing arts societies and companies for eight years, and LVM has stood the test of time. She joined as a step away from the choral singing opportunities at university, finding that the choir matched her eclectic taste and social demographic. The particular appeal for her is that the choir consistently produces high quality performances with singers of all levels, which is only one of the unique selling points that keeps members enthused.

Treasurer: Sally Stephens

Sally has been a member of LVM since 2017. In her day-job she manages the administrative support and governance for a charity, and so the detail and spreadsheet fascination needed to be LVM treasurer are right up her street.

Sally is a trustee of Northern Opera Group, and has been involved with a wide range of performance and music groups both on-stage and off. Joining LVM has been a fantastic addition to a somewhat hectic calendar and rehearsals each week are a great way to relax – not to mention our socials in the pub afterwards!

Marketing Coordinator: Holly Rose Angel

SONY DSCHolly joined Leeds Vocal Movement in 2013. Fresh out of university she was seeking a new choir to join and found a young, friendly, unauditioned choir – just what she was looking for! Having graduated with a literature degree Holly specialises in words and was quickly asked to take over the social media accounts. It has been a fun way to share what the choir gets up to every week. She particularly enjoys singing choral music and musicals and has been able to sing both with LVM.

Publicity Secretary: Joanna O’Hea

Jo joined Leeds Vocal Movement in January 2017 as an alto and assumed the role of publicity secretary in February 2018. Originally from Belfast, she grew up surrounded by music; she played instruments from a young age and was a part of various clubs, orchestras and choirs throughout her school years and then at university where she also studied the subject academically. Having moved to Leeds in the summer of 2017 she was keen to join a music group so she could meet like-minded individuals and have fun making music and Leeds Vocal Movement fit the bill! She works as a freelance music teacher and enjoys volunteering in her spare time.

As publicity secretary, it is her job to keep the website up to date and to get the choirs name out there. You’ll usually find her in the alto section during rehearsals, nerding out over the sweet sweet harmony lines and loving life!

Social Secretary: Flo Mather

IMG_20181023_223123Having spent her university days singing in a chapel choir every week, Flo knew that singing is the ultimate social glue and was keen to join a choir soon after moving to Leeds in 2018. Joining LVM has allowed Flo to stretch her musical horizons and – crucially – chat with new friends at the pub each week after rehearsal!

As Social Secretary, Flo is responsible for organising regular social events for the choir, from impromptu get-togethers, to Christmas meals, to taking in the best of Leeds’ cultural offerings. If you have any ideas for fun and inclusive social events, send them her way!

Fundraising Secretary: Julia Beaumont

JuliaJulia is a soprano and has been a member of the choir for two years, she is also the charity’s fundraising secretary. She has been a member of a choir ever since she was 6 years old, being part of all inclusive choirs this is where she learnt to sing. She has been involved in many different types of choirs singing a capella, church choirs, chamber choirs and gospel choirs.

Julia grew up in Malaysia and the Philippines, and through living in these countries she learnt the importance of charity and community. She has seen the strength that it brings people when the community comes together to help and support one another, this is what lead Julia to contributing to lots of charity work with street children. A part of spending time with these children, activities of singing and dancing is what the kids responded to the most.

When Julia is not singing she works as a Civil Engineer in Leeds and loves working with kids to educate and inspire the next generation of engineers. She also enjoys cooking and baking for her colleague, friends and family.