jazz, leedsvirtualmovement, Upcoming Events, Workshops

Virtual Singing Workshop Jazz with Tessa Smith

When: Thursday 23rtd June at 7:30PM – 9:30PM.
Where: Zoom (link to follow)
Admission: Free for all!

Leeds Vocal movement would like to invite you to our next Virtual Workshop! Tessa Smith will be leading us in an exciting Jazz session!

The fabulous free workshop is aimed at all abilities so please come along if you’re a complete beginner or you’ve been singing for as long as you can remember! Tessa will be taking us through an engaging warm up, and some Blues singing which will lead into some improvisation!

This will be a fun opportunity to sing in a new style in a safe, comfortable environment. The session will be via Zoom (link to follow). We welcome people from far and wide!

choir venue, Uncategorized, Upcoming Events

Leeds Vocal Movement’s Summer Concert 2022

When: Saturday 18th June at 7PM.
Where: Cornerstone Baptist Church,
Kirkstall Lane, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 3LF
Admission: Adult £12, Concession £8

Tickets available through Eventbrite or on the door.

It is our absolute pleasure to present Leeds Vocal Movement’s Summer Concert 2022; our first public performance since December 2019

Join us for an evening of music on Saturday 18th June at 7pm at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Headingley.

We’ll be singing music from the likes of Thomas Tallis and Edward Elgar, as well as more modern music from Billy Joel, The Killers as well as some traditional surprises.

Social distanced seating available on a first come first serve basis.


LVM Annual General Meeting – 14.09.2021, 19:00

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  1. Welcome and apologies

Committee present: Rosena Stevens, Florence Mather, Thomas George, Jo O’Hea

Choir members present: Scott Wiseman

  1. Manager’s update (Rosa)
    1. Virtual rehearsals

We had fortnightly rehearsals Spring 2020-Summer 2021 to keep an opportunity for the choir to sing together, with pay as you feel donations. The rehearsals were attended by roughly ⅕ of members. 

In conjunction with those rehearsals, we managed to virtually perform two pieces, Seal Lullaby and Let It Free.

  1. Venue changes and COVID guidelines

Since starting in-person rehearsals again, we are singing in Yorkshire Dance, however we are currently looking into using studio space at Leeds City College, which we may be able to use from January 2021 if not before.

The COVID guidelines we have in place for rehearsals will remain for this term in both Yorkshire Dance and elsewhere, as they are a committee decision to keep members safe and comfortable; however, the guidelines will be discussed in advance of next term. In addition, Leeds City College has bigger spaces, which would allow for the possibility of a higher maximum of socially-distanced attendees.

  1. Committee updates

Since the last Annual Meeting, Holly stepped down as Social Media Officer, Francesca stepped in as Communicator (formerly Social Media Officer) and Emma stepped in as Open Seat (advisory role) with a focus on Events and Activities.

Rosa is stepping down as Manager/Chair and Librarian, and as of yet both roles are still available. In the meantime, committee members will share the duties of both roles, including two Subcommittees: Librarian Subcommittee led by Rosa, with Flo and Jo; and Events Subcommittee led by Emma, with Rosa, Flo and Thomas.

Rosa is staying on committee as a Trustee and as Open Seat: HR, and will still show as the Chair on the Charity Commission website.

  1. Staffing updates

Caitlin will be going on maternity leave in October, and will be returning in the Spring 2022 term. We are holding auditions for her substitute on Wednesday 22nd September, during the first half of the rehearsal. We will be asking you for your feedback on the auditions during the second half. 

  1. Finance report (Sally)

The financial position of LVM at the end of the year is good – we continued to maintain a level of reserves throughout the pandemic due to the pay-as-you-feel donations from members throughout, and managed our costs by focussing on music we already own. We were also successful in gaining a grant from the D’Oyly Carte foundation which will enable us to run three virtual workshops this year (the first of which was yesterday!)

The budget for this year is conservative as we build back up to full rehearsals and performances, and we’re focussing on ensuring we have a good space for rehearsals and expert leaders to help the choir come back to full strength. 

  1. Music (Rosa)

Due to budget constraints, this year we will focus on pieces we already have. This includes music we bought for our virtual rehearsals, music we performed several years ago and music we started but weren’t able to perform at the 2021 Summer Concert. One exception is the green Carols for Choirs books that have been hired for Autumn 2021, which we hope to use for busking opportunities. 

As we have started to give out music that we have bought (And So It Goes, Sussex Carol, O Magnum), we ask you to only write in pencil and take extra care as they are more difficult to buy again. 

We are expecting you to still have your music from Spring 2020, and will be using some of that music in future terms. If you have misplaced your music during the pandemic, please let me, Jo or Flo know via email or Facebook, so we know who will need music we will be singing in Spring/Summer 2022. 

If you haven’t got a black folder and would like one, please send through a deposit of £10 along with your first installment of fees. 

  1. Publicity (Jo)

It’s been great being back for in person rehearsals, but unfortunately we’ve not been able to welcome prospective new members to the choir because of social distancing and us prioritising welcoming back our current members. Due to this and us having a full waiting list, for the moment we’ve taken the decision to close the waiting list. To reflect this, I’ve closed the “I want to sing!” page on the website. We’ll be monitoring the situation closely so if you have friends or family who want to join we won’t be able to welcome them for a while but please get them to keep an eye on our socials and on the website to see when we are next recruiting.

  1. Communications (Fran)

The choir has 30 current members who are attending rehearsals this term. There are a further 21 members who have chosen not to return to choir, who we will be inviting back once we are able to open rehearsals to more people. 

We currently have 42 people on our waiting list who are not currently members, but are interested in joining the choir when a spot opens. When we are able to host our next open rehearsal, we hope to be able to invite a few people to join us.

  1. Fundraising (Thomas)
    1. Project Funding 

Through much of 2020 and early 2021, many funds similar to those that we’ve previously received funding money from understandably tightened their budgets and either stopped giving grants or limited their grants to charities directly affected by or dealing with the pandemic. As a committee we continued to seek funding through this period, and managed to obtain a grant for £1875 from the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, specifically to put towards the running of three online workshops. The first of these workshops took place last night, which was hosted by Caitlin and focused on the basics of sight singing. The other two workshops with take place in the upcoming year – more to be announced closer to the time!

We are starting to see a number of trusts and funds open up their funding again, and derestrict the charities that they’ll fund, so will step up our efforts in the coming months, hopefully focusing on securing some unrestricted funding if possible.

  1. Sponsorship opportunities

We are also starting to actively seek sponsorships. This has been a long term plan, but due to the pandemic we didn’t have an awful lot to offer any company looking to potentially sponsor us in terms of performance opportunities where they can be seen, so put this side of fundraising on hold. Now we are able to meet in person again, both for rehearsals and socials, we’ll begin to seek sponsorship from local businesses again. This could take a number of forms – they could give us money to put their name on our posters and flyers and be visible at any performance opportunities for example, or they might sponsor a social event and give discounted rates to members. If anyone here knows of any good local businesses who may be interested in any form of sponsorship with LVM, please let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch!

  1. Socials (Flo)

Most of this year we have held virtual socials. From October, we began monthly virtual film nights which allowed us to watch a film together, a low effort way to socialise! We also held a virtual Christmas carol concert during a Saturday afternoon in December, followed by a virtual Christmas quiz that evening and exchange of Secret Santa gifts. These were well attended and really enjoyable – especially as a replacement for our usual in person busking and Christmas dinner.

Over the summer we sent out a survey to discern what kinds of socials people might like to do, and pub trips were most popular. We held pub trips most weeks over the summer break, a great way to keep in touch with each other prior to in person rehearsals starting up again.

  1. Events (Emma)
    1. Virtual Workshops

Our first virtual workshop last night proved to be a real success! We’ve had some really lovely, positive feedback and as a committee we are looking forward to planning another virtual workshop in the next few months (there are some exciting possibilities). 

  1. December performance opportunities

We’re hoping to get out there busking and bringing festive cheer once again to the people of Leeds which is so exciting! We hope to go ahead with busking on several dates in December but we will hold off from confirming these as the situation on what we’re able to do could change at any time and with Covid rates still high our priority remains keeping our choir safe. This same thought applies to any potential concert we hold this winter. We will want to see how singers, and our new associate musical director, feel about the idea of a concert after such a short time back and while we are still in the midst of a pandemic. If we do go ahead with the concert this is highly likely to be on the 20th/ 21st December so it may be worth pencilling in the date for now and we will keep you updated very soon with what’s happening.  As our funds are lower than previous years we need to ensure that this is a viable opportunity for the choir so we are currently looking at affordable venues. We’ll keep you all updated over the next couple of Months!

  1. Any other business

Rosa: I enjoyed my time as Manager and Librarian. The choir has grown a lot since taking on the roles and I’m leaving the position with it far more established than when I took the helm. Thanks to committee, Caitlin, Sylvia and for their amazing support and friendship, and choir members for helping to make great music together.


Leeds Vocal Movement – Policies and Procedures

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Safeguarding Policy Statement

Safeguarding Procedures


Preventing abuse

Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse

Designated Safeguarding Officer

Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse

Managing allegations made against member of staff or volunteer

Recording and managing confidential information

Disseminating/Reviewing policy and procedures

Data Protection and Retention Policy

Participant Conduct Agreement

Equality & Inclusion Policy

Policy Statement



Committee & Trustees

How it will work in practice

How to raise a concern

Monitoring and Review

Health & Safety Policy

Policy Statement

Roles & Responsibilities


Non-trustee committee members and staff

Choir participants

Consultation and Communication

Planning and risk control

Expenses Policy

Reserves Policy

Safeguarding Policy Statement

This policy will enable Leeds Vocal Movement to demonstrate its commitment to keeping safe the children and vulnerable adults with whom it works alongside. Leeds Vocal Movement acknowledges its duty to act appropriately to any allegations, reports or suspicions of abuse.

It is important to have the policy and procedures in place so that staff, volunteers, service users and carers, and the management committee can work to prevent abuse and know what to do in the event of abuse.

The Policy Statement and Procedures have been drawn up in order to enable Leeds Vocal Movement to: 

  • promote good practice and work in a way that can prevent harm, abuse and coercion occurring. 
  • to ensure that any allegations of abuse or suspicions are dealt with appropriately and the person experiencing abuse is supported. 
  • and to stop that abuse occurring.

The Policy and Procedures relate to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. Vulnerable adults are defined as:

  • People aged 18 or over
  • Who are receiving or may need community care services because of learning, physical or mental disability, age, or illness
  • Who are or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

The policy applies to all staff, including senior managers, management committee members, trustees, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff, students and anyone working on behalf of Leeds Vocal Movement.

In order to implement the policy the Leeds Vocal Movement will work:

  • to promote the freedom and dignity of the person who has or is experiencing abuse
  • to promote the rights of all people to live free from abuse and coercion
  • to ensure the safety and well being of people who do not have the capacity to decide how they want to respond to abuse that they are experiencing
  • to manage services in a way which promotes safety and prevents abuse
  • recruit staff and volunteers safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made
  • provide effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training (where appropriate)

Leeds Vocal Movement

  • will ensure that all management committee members, trustees, staff, volunteers, service users, and carers/families are familiar with this policy and procedures
  • will nominate a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for children and young people
  • will adopt child protection and safeguarding practices through a code of conduct for staff and volunteers
  • will act within it’s confidentiality policy and will usually gain permission from service users before sharing information about them with another agency
  • will pass information to Adult and Culture Services when more than one person is at risk. For example: if the concern relates to a worker, volunteer or organisation who provides a service to vulnerable adults or children
  • will inform service users that where a person is in danger, a child is at risk or a crime has been committed then a decision may be taken to pass information to another agency without the service user’s consent
  • will ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Officer understands their responsibility to refer incidents of abuse to the relevant statutory agencies (Police/Adult and Culture Services Directorate)

The Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) in Leeds Vocal Movement is Sally Stephens (Trustee)

Safeguarding Procedures 

  1. Introduction

Leeds Vocal Movement is a cultural arts organisation working with volunteer participants. These procedures have been designed to ensure the welfare and protection of any adult who accesses services provided by Leeds Vocal Movement. The procedures recognise that adult abuse can be a difficult subject for workers to deal with. Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to the belief that the protection of vulnerable adults from harm and abuse is everybody’s responsibility and the aim of these procedures is to ensure that all managers, trustees of the organisation, management committee members, staff and volunteers act appropriately in response to any concern around adult abuse.

  1. Preventing abuse

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to putting in place safeguards and measures to reduce the likelihood of abuse taking place within the services it offers and that all those involved within Leeds Vocal Movement will be treated with respect. 

Therefore this policy needs to be read in conjunction with the following policies:

  • Volunteer Conduct Policy
  • Data Protection
  • Any other policies which are relevant that the organisation has in place 

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to safer recruitment policies and practices for paid staff, trustees and volunteers. This may include DBS disclosures for staff and volunteers, ensuring references are taken up and adequate training on Safeguarding is provided where appropriate.

  1. Recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse

Abuse includes: 

  • physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, punching, burning, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint
  • sexual abuse: including rape, indecent assault, inappropriate touching, exposure to pornographic material
  • psychological or emotional abuse: including belittling, name calling, threats of harm, intimidation, isolation
  • financial or material abuse: including stealing, selling assets, fraud, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • neglect and acts of omission: including withholding the necessities of life such as medication, food or warmth, ignoring medical or physical care needs
  • discriminatory abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment
  • institutional or organisational: including regimented routines and cultures, unsafe practices, lack of person-centred care or treatment

Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly. Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts.

People who behave abusively come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They may be doctors, nurses, social workers, advocates, staff members, volunteers or others in a position of trust. They may also be relatives, friends, neighbours or people who use the same services as the person experiencing abuse.

  1. Designated Safeguarding Officer

Leeds Vocal Movement has an appointed individual who is responsible for dealing with any Safeguarding concerns. In their absence, a deputy will be available for workers to consult with. The Designated Safeguarding Officer within Leeds Vocal Movement is:

Designated Safeguarding Officer – Sally Stephens

Work Telephone number – 0113 3801 301

Mobile Number – 07503 910610

Emergency Contact Number – 07503 910610

Name of deputy person – Rosena Stevens

Work telephone number – 0113 343 7971 

Mobile number – 07722256374

Emergency contact number – 07722256374

The roles and responsibilities of the named person(s) are:

  • to ensure that all staff including volunteers and trustees are aware of what they should do and who they should go to if they have concerns that a child or vulnerable adult is experiencing or has experienced abuse or neglect.
  • to ensure that concerns are acted on, clearly recorded and referred to the appropriate support organisations as necessary
  1. Responding to people who have experienced or are experiencing abuse

Leeds Vocal Movement recognises that it has a duty to act on reports, or suspicions of abuse or neglect. It also acknowledges that taking action in cases of adult abuse is never easy. 

How to respond if you receive an allegation:

  • Reassure the person concerned
  • Listen to what they are saying
  • Record what you have been told/witnessed as soon as possible
  • Remain calm and do not show shock or disbelief
  • Tell them that the information will be treated seriously
  • Don’t start to investigate or ask detailed or probing questions
  • Don’t promise to keep it a secret

If you witness abuse or abuse has just taken place the priorities will be:

  • To call an ambulance if required
  • To call the police if a crime has been committed
  • To preserve evidence
  • To keep yourself, staff, volunteers and service users safe
  • To inform the Designated Safeguarding Officer in your organisation
  • To record what happened in a Safeguarding Concerns log
  1. Managing allegations made against member of staff or volunteer

Leeds Vocal Movement will ensure that any allegations made against members or a member of staff will be dealt with swiftly.

Where a member of staff/volunteer is thought to have committed a criminal offence the police will be informed. If a crime has been witnessed the police should be contacted immediately.

  1. Recording and managing confidential information

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information around Safeguarding issues should be shared only with those who need to know. For further information, please see Leeds Vocal Movement’s conduct policies.

All allegations/concerns should be recorded in the Safeguarding Concerns log. The information should be factual and not based on opinions, record what the person tells you, what you have seen and witnesses if appropriate.

The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with data protection.

  1. Disseminating/Reviewing policy and procedures

This Safeguarding Policy and Procedure will be clearly communicated to staff, trustees, volunteers, service users, parents and carers. The Designated Safeguarding Officer will be responsible for ensuring that this is done.

The Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures will be reviewed annually by the board of trustees. It may be appropriate to involve service users in the review and service users and parents/carers need to be informed of any significant changes.

Data Protection and Retention Policy

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information. 

Leeds Vocal Movement holds data for direct marketing purposes only, obtained by consent of the data subject. Leeds Vocal Movement does not share data with any third-party organisations.

Where data is held on participants, this is gathered on the lawful base of consent, and may be retained on the base of legitimate interest or vital interest throughout the course of a participant’s registration with Leeds Vocal Movement. Data held on participants will not be retained beyond the term of any project, and participants will be invited to subscribe for marketing contact should they wish to continue receiving information from Leeds Vocal Movement. 

Where data is held on prospective participants, this is gathered on the lawful base of consent and this data is used for direct marketing communications only. 

Data subject requests should be submitted in writing to committe@leedsvocalmovement.co.uk and will be complied with in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (2018). 

Participant Conduct Agreement

Leeds Vocal Movement values our participants and wants to work alongside them to create the best experience possible. To do this, we agree to:

  • to provide a full introduction to Leeds Vocal Movement rehearsal process and expectations
  • to treat participants in line with our policies and procedures
  • to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses (as appropriate, in line with the expenses policy)
  • to provide insurance cover for participants
  • to implement good health and safety practices

We ask that all participants agree to:

  • follow policies and procedures
  • meet mutually agreed expectations around rehearsal attendance
  • treat all participants with respect
  • promote Leeds Vocal Movement during their time participating in a Leeds Vocal Movement project or with Leeds Vocal Movement choir

Leeds Vocal Movement reserves the right to limit participation for individuals who are unable to adhere to the above conduct agreement. This limitation may include (but is not limited to) –

  • Removing a participant from Leeds Vocal Movement
  • Refusing entry to a Leeds Vocal Movement show or event
  • Refusing a participant the right to apply for further Leeds Vocal Movement roles

Equality & Inclusion Policy

Policy Statement

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to ensuring all our activity is accessible and inclusive of all our participants, staff, and other stakeholders. This policy details how we enact that in practice. Equality is fairness between all people. It means recognising and removing the barriers that prevent every member of a community from getting what they need and creating fair opportunity for everyone to get what they want.

LVM strives to ensure individuals are not discriminated against on any of the following grounds; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, gender and sexual orientation. This list is not however exhaustive and LVM will take appropriate actions to address any claims of discrimination.

At LVM, this means proactively seeking to address all discrimination, recognising and removing any barriers our participants, staff, and other stakeholders may face to professional, personal and social opportunity. Inclusion is the idea that everyone has the opportunity to access and experience what we offer at LVM. Inclusion means feeling that you are a valued part of the LVM community and you are given the highest level of support so that you can achieve your best.

We recognise that our charitable objects require a focus towards people in the 18-35 age range, and we commit our activity towards that group. However, we use this policy to ensure that no age-based discriminatory activity takes place predicated upon our charitable objects.

Equality and inclusion shall be manifest within all we do, including:

·   Rehearsals & core choir activities

·   Social events

·   Our events, products, communications and services

Equality and inclusion will be maintained in our:

·   Employment practices

·   Governance

·   Management and planning


We are all responsible for ensuring that our commitment to equality and inclusion becomes a reality.


·   Your voice will be heard, listened to and respected

·   You will have full access to our rehearsals, events, and social activity

·   Respect all other participants and staff

·   Act if something’s not right; reporting incidents and getting support

Committee & Trustees

·   Lead a positive culture

·   Be open and responsive to participant and staff concerns

·   Respect all other participants and staff

How it will work in practice

It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to ensure this policy is enacted and regularly monitored. Relevant action plans will be created where appropriate to underpin this policy and ensure it is embedded; these will be maintained by the relevant trustees.

This policy will be communicated clearly on the LVM website.

How to raise a concern

LVM is committed to ensuring the principles of this policy are upheld, and that no participant or staff member should face discrimination, harassment or victimisation. If you see or experience actions or behaviour clearly not in line with this policy please report them to a member of the committee. 

Monitoring and Review

The Board of Trustees are responsible for ensuring this policy is kept up-to-date.

Health & Safety Policy

Policy Statement

Leeds Vocal Movement is committed to ensuring that all participants in our activity, including our members, volunteers, paid staff and event attendees are kept safe and supported by our structures. 

We work with organisations we are confident can provide the safety standards we expect for our staff and beneficiaries, and we are invested in ensuring that everything we do puts the health & safety of those involved first. 

As an organisation, we understand that for this policy to be effective it requires commitment from all staff, volunteers and members. We believe that everyone can play an active role in ensuring that health & safety is at the highest possible standard, and we aim to integrate our commitment to health & safety into all of our activities, regardless of participants, location, or activity type. 

Roles & Responsibilities


  • Maintain the health & safety policy
  • Ensure all activity complies with required health & safety standards and legislation
  • Record and report any health & safety incidents appropriately
  • Work with related organisations including venues to adhere to local health & safety requirements
  • Risk assess all key activity to ensure health & safety risks are mitigated

Non-trustee committee members and staff

  • Support the trustee board in maintaining health & safety through effective risk assessment and collaboration with related organisations
  • Role-model best practice in health & safety 
  • Record and report any health & safety incidents appropriately

Choir participants

  • Adhere to the health & safety policy
  • Adhere to any health & safety policies or regulations shared by related organisations
  • Report any health & safety incidents to a member of the committee

Consultation and Communication

This policy shall be made available on the LVM website.

Participants are encouraged to share best practice for inclusion in this policy and any associated procedures to ensure that Leeds Vocal Movement maintains the highest standards in health & safety. 

Planning and risk control

Events and activity shall be risk assessed, taking into account relevant health & safety legislation and guidelines, and in line with any policies and procedures held by related organisations, most commonly performance and rehearsal venues, and workshop venues. All paid staff and service providers will be expected to adhere to risk assessments, and provide their own where necessary and reasonable.

Expenses Policy

Leeds Vocal Movement will pay reasonable expenses to participants, staff, and other individuals associated with the group for activity which supports or benefits Leeds Vocal Movement operations. 

Expenses must be accompanied by a completed ‘Expense Reclaim’ form, detailing the date of expenditure, reason for expenditure, and with supporting receipts. Expenses must all have prior authorisation by a Trustee, and no exceptions will be made to this rule. Expenses will be issued to the claimant within 5 working days of receipt of a completed and authorised form, and will be issued by bank transfer from the Leeds Vocal Movement account.

Reserves Policy

Policy Statement

Leeds Vocal Movement will hold sufficient reserves to enable the long-term sustainability of the charity. The reserves held will cover one term of standard operating costs, to enable the choir to continue in the event of a loss of external funding or other major financial event impacting on the ability of participants to contribute their fees.  

This policy will be reviewed annually in line with the budgeting and planning process to ensure that the reserves policy does not restrict the ability of Leeds Vocal Movement to grow or to enhance operations. 

Current reserve levels

LVM will maintain the following level of funds in reserve – 

  • 15 weeks of wages for paid leaders of the choir
  • 15 weeks of venue hire costs

Reserves will not include provision for performance opportunities. Performance opportunities should be arranged with a view to creating sufficient income as to cover the costs of the opportunity.
On the basis of current operating costs, Leeds Vocal Movement will maintain a reserve of £2,500 to be used for the purposes outlined above.


Virtual Workshops : Artist Brief

Leeds Vocal Movement are looking for talented musical professionals to work alongside our choir and create engaging virtual workshops which give our community the opportunity to learn more about choral music. 

This year we have funding available to create three bespoke virtual workshops. 

What are we looking for?

We love working with anyone who is as passionate about choral music (of any genre) as we are! We welcome proposals for any type of workshop you would like to run, as long as it fits into our model:

  • A live session of between one and two hours, led on a virtual platform, allowing our members and the public to learn directly from you. This session should be structured to include some content which we can record and retain to share with our members in the future.
  • Creation of any supporting materials for your workshop, including any recordings or backing tracks (we have excellent contacts who can collaborate on this area)

While we are open to any suggestion, we are particularly keen to host a workshop on music-reading for singing, and any genre-specific workshops. 

What will you get out of it?

It’s a paid gig, and we have provisionally set aside £350 for the creation and delivery of the session, with an additional £200 for post-production. We can negotiate within these bounds if you are interested in both delivering and editing the session yourself. 

We have a budget set aside for marketing and promotion, and you will be referenced on all our outreach materials as well as our website. We have a membership of over 50 paying members, and typically advertise to between 300 and 500 young musicians in the Leeds area.

You also get a lot of support when working with Leeds Vocal Movement, both from our dedicated committee and from our network of local professionals. If you haven’t led a workshop session of this type before, don’t be put off getting in touch – there is a lot we give back to our collaborators!

Who are we?

Leeds Vocal Movement is an unauditioned choir that aims to offer high quality musical opportunities for adults between 18 and 35; by targeting this age group, we bridge the gap between youth choirs and choral societies.

Our objectives are to advance the musical education of people aged between 18 and 35, and to advance and improve public engagement of choral music. These objectives are reflected in our activities; we provide musical education to our members through weekly rehearsals, in which we teach musicianship through a range of techniques, including the Kodaly method. Our projects are also aimed at improving musical education; we hold regular workshops in sight-reading and choral techniques, and our internship programme provides skills to early-career musicians, and improves the choir’s training. We have improved our public engagement through concerts, public performances and collaborations with the local arts scene, and free open rehearsals and choral workshops. 

Who’ve we worked with before?

Our workshops have included Neil Balfour (Sing for Pleasure Master Conductor), on vocal techniques and applying them to music, Katy Cooper (Chapel Music Director, Glasgow University) on choral conducting, and Anna Weister Andersson (choral expert) on the genre of gospel music.

All sounds great…how do I apply?

If you like what you’re reading and think you have a workshop that is right for Leeds Vocal Movement, then please get in touch with us by emailing your proposal to manager@leedsvocalmovement.co.uk. In your proposal please include:

  • A short personal introduction, including any qualifications and relevant experience
  • An overview of your proposed session
  • Any supporting materials you intend to create or have created for the session

Please limit proposals to a maximum of two pages.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Tuesday 31st August at 11:59PM

We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Seal Lullaby – Eric Whitacre

Leeds Virtual Movement’s rendition of Eric Whitacre’s “Seal Lullaby”


Let it Free – Leeds Virtual Movement

During lock-down we have been unable to meet in person and make music together, so we decided to use the power of the internet and meet virtually instead. We present to you, Leeds Virtual Movement singing “Let it Free”. Enjoy!


In-Person Rehearsals Update (Last Updated 27th August 2021)

Good news! From September 2021 we hope to finally kick start our in-person rehearsals again!

It’s been a long hard year but with things starting to open up again we are optimistic we’ll soon be able to welcome you all back to in-person rehearsals.

Unfortunately due to limited capacity in our rehearsal space and in line with social distancing guidelines we are unable to invite new prospective members to our next open rehearsal and have had to close our waiting list for now. Please keep an eye here or on our social media accounts to keep up to date when we’ll next be recruiting. Our next open rehearsal is likely to be in January 2022.

If you’re a current or returning member, watch this space or keep an eye on your emails for more information about what we’re planning.

It’s going to be amazing getting back into the swing of things and we’re looking forward to welcoming you all back again soon!

joining the choir, Uncategorized

What is Kodaly anyway?

Information in this blog post has been taken from the official Kodaly Academy website. To find out more about the Kodaly Approach, please visit www.kodaly.org.uk

Kodály training develops musicianship through singing. The student engages in the most direct of musical responses without the technical demands of an instrument. This practical approach combined with a clear progression from the simple to the complex facilitates the development of excellent musicianship skills such as sight singing and keen pitch discrimination, as well as high levels of musical literacy. Kodály training is suitable for all ages and stages and can be applied to all kinds of music from classical to world music and jazz.

“Music belongs to everybody”

The educational work of Zoltán Kodály was driven by his overriding belief that “music belongs to everybody”; that active participation in music-making develops a person on all levels and that best approach is through the instrument accessible to all – the human voice.

His ideas evolved into a philosophy of music education based on the way that children learn most naturally: through singing games, fun and play. Through his vitality and research, and the work of his colleagues and students, a sequential and progressive approach to teaching music was implemented in schools throughout Hungary based on an integration of the best practices observed throughout Europe.

Kodály believed that music education should begin as early as possible, that highly trained teachers were essential, especially in the early years, and that the rhymes and songs used should be of the best quality starting with familiar children’s songs and simple mother-tongue folk songs.

The 21st century sees Kodály’s principles at the heart of music education in many countries throughout the world, adapted whilst remaining true to the core tenets of the concept. It is a complete and comprehensive approach that covers every requirement of the music curriculum – and so much more!

“A well-trained ear, a well-trained mind, a well trained heart and well-trained fingers”


This video comes from the channel L – tiz on YouTube and gives us an insight into how Kodaly can be used to teach music to a group.

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Katie McKinnon – Apprentice Conductor 2018/19

Katie was our apprentice conductor for 2018/2019. It was so nice to have her in the LVM community; she has a big personality and puts a lot of herself into the music she conducts. When she left she wrote us a letter highlighting her favourite parts of the year which you can read below. It was an absolute pleasure to have her on board and we wish her all the best in the future!

Dear Leeds Vocal Movement, 

I want to let you know how much I appreciated the opportunity to be your apprentice conductor last year through this wee blog post, and let you know some of my favourite things about LVM.

My favourite musical moment in LVM was conducting Northern Lights by Ola Gjello in the Christmas Concert 2018. I never saw myself as a “classical” conductor because most of my conducting experience before LVM was with popular, music theatre or a capella music. However when Caitlin asked me to choose which pieces I would like to conduct for the Christmas concert I was drawn to Northern Lights. The piece was inspired by Aurora Borealis (the northern lights) and is performed in Norwegian. Conducting this piece was difficult in terms of my conducting technique, there are several time signature changes and pauses and lots of dynamics, but by working with Caitlin in individual lessons and the choir member’s excellent musicality we pulled it off magnificently. I had lots of wonderful feedback from audience members. Northern Lights sounds like winter without sounding like Christmas and I appreciated the contrast with the other piece I conducted – Let it Snow – which sounds wonderfully like roast reindeer with a side of mistletoe. 

One of the biggest highlights of being a member of Leeds Vocal Movement is the social side – I was greeted with open arms by LVM and have made life-long friends (they helped me discover ale – I’m now a big fan). There are so many interesting people to meet out there, and us millennials can feel lonely and find it difficult to meet new people and make friends, but with LVM everyone is accepted and has a place. For example: I broke my ankle in January and only missed two rehearsals because choir members helped me get in and around Leeds in my wheelchair/crutches (big shout out to Dan – you are so kind and I miss our car chats! #folkislife). 

I was sad to leave LVM this year because of all the connections I had made and how much my artistry had grown and blossomed, but I got a dream job, so I moved to Essex. I am now the Learning and Participation Coordinator for a large concert hall called Saffron Hall. We have so many interesting musicians that visit, including Britten Sinfonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Sixteen just to name a few.  LVM set me in good stead for full-time work, through things like: regular meetings with Rosa, having to manage my own schedule, a formal but friendly application and interview process, and learning to communicate with lots of different people. I really enjoyed my time with LVM and learning new skills from Caitlin and although I’m not conducting at the moment, I am still singing, I have a job that I love, and I’m pretty proud of myself. 

Thanks for the laughs, miss you all.

Katie XOXO