joining the choir, SATB choir, Uncategorized

My Journey to LVM – Holly Angel

 

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Leeds Vocal Movement hard at work!

I have always loved to sing. When I was in primary school, Friday assemblies where everyone sang together were my favourite thing. I once got moved to the front of the group while rehearsing for a school play because I was singing so enthusiastically. I jumped at the chance to join my high school choir, and at sixteen I fell in love with Glee and Gareth Malone. When I joined university I couldn’t wait to join the choir. I was really surprised to be the only non-music student there. I had joined as an “enthusiastic amateur”, the person who loves something without understanding it. I couldn’t have told you what the musical terms meant (I’m a little better now) and if you asked me to sing you a G sharp I’d have no idea (still don’t!) but it was there that I first fell in love with choral music. It was divine, passionate, emotive, and utterly moving. I loved it.

When I graduated university in 2013 and moved back to my home city, Leeds, I was looking for a new choir. I did some googling of Leeds choirs and was disappointed but not surprised to find so many choirs were either up to the age of 18 or didn’t have a specific age but consisted of people who were in their 50s, 60s, 70s…where was the choir for young adults? Luckily, I happened to find one that fit the bill – Leeds Vocal Movement.
Leeds Vocal Movement would generally be considered a small choir – I think the most we’ve ever boasted is roughly 35 members. But what has never been small is the passion! While my university choir introduced me to the wonders of choral music – Handel, Faure, Britten – this choir has introduced me to a much wider range since then – folk songs, contemporary covers, traditional pieces and modern choral music (Eric Whitacre is a choir staple!). It’s hard to pick one favourite piece because there have been so many great ones, but a standout piece for me is one called “Name That Tune” by Grayston Ives. It’s a mashup of multiple classical pieces – Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss. It took the choir a good six months to perfect it, and there were so many laughs along the way as we fluffed different parts. We really made it our own, and that’s one of the most special things about being in a choir to me – taking a piece, adding unique touches to it and having a lot of fun along the way!
I was asked to manage social media not long after I joined the choir and it was a really fun challenge thinking about different ways to sum up rehearsals with pictures, videos and tweets. It’s no easy feat trying to raise the choir’s profile without the money for a marketing campaign but over the five years I’ve been working on it I think our name is gradually becoming more known through Leeds and hopefully will continue to do so.
During my time in the choir we’ve worked hard to give something special to our audiences, whether that’s creating a Christmassy atmosphere and bringing a smile to passers by as we carol to raise money for different charities, or our own concerts that we strive to fill with a variety of musical styles so that there will be something for everyone to enjoy. As much as we get out of performing for others, we also gain so much ourselves, from learning different musical techniques (such as Kodaly) from our conductor, to understanding more about what we really love to sing as a choir and as individuals. So much of the fun is that you never stop learning and growing!
Leeds Vocal Movement has been a wonderfully unique choir to be part of – relatively new (less than ten years old), young adult, secular and unauditioned – brimming with people of different skill levels and musical experience but all bursting with the same musical passion. I’m proud to have watched it grow and change over the years and I hope it will long continue to provide a place for young people in Leeds who love to sing with somewhere to go and express themselves and share the joy of music with others, both members and an audience.
Librarian's corner, SATB choir

Librarian’s Corner: Locus Iste

About Librarian’s Corner:

Leeds Vocal Movement loves to sing music from a wide range of genres, and my aim is to better understand what we are singing. This blog adds some context and analysis to the notes on the page, for the benefit of members and listeners alike!

Locus Iste – Anton Bruckner (1895)

Josef Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) was an Austrian composer and accomplished organist during the Romantic era.[1] Bruckner was heavily influenced by the works of his German contemporaries, in particular Richard Wagner; however, he also studied Baroque and Renaissance composers, including J.S. Bach and Palestrina.[2] Bruckner’s sacred works often depict this mixture of Romantic and early music influences, and his motet Locus Iste is no exception.

The influence of early music

Bruckner wrote many sacred works, including over thirty motets. Motets are defined simply as “a sacred choral piece, usually unaccompanied, in several parts”,[3] to allow for the diverse range of pieces associated with the form. Composers between the 13th century and the present day wrote motets, but they were most common in the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Typical features of Renaissance sacred works include the use of modes,[4] Latin text, and polyphonic textures.[5] These characteristics are found in the motets of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina,[6] who was a particular influence on Bruckner’s works.

Three hundred years on, motets became popular with Romantic composers like Brahms and Bruckner, despite its progressive musical developments.[7] The Romantic era was defined by a step away from the “rules” of earlier musical styles; composers rejected the musical “boundaries” that were prominent in the Classical era, while celebrating and emulating the composers that popularised them. This included a conscious movement towards adding emotion and meaning into compositions, through techniques like the use of dynamics, a lack of strict musical forms and variations of traditional harmonic progressions.[8] Alongside this was the revival and adaptation of early music traditions; the Catholic Church particularly encouraged the use of polyphony and Gregorian chant in 19th century sacred music.[9] As a devout Catholic, the influences of both early music and of the Catholic Church can be spotted within Bruckner’s Romantic motets.

A blend of eras

Locus Iste is a clear example the Romantic era’s revival of early music. This motet was written as the dedication of the Votive Chapel of the newly built Linz cathedral, which is made clear from the title ‘Locus Iste’, meaning ‘this place [was made by God]’. The piece is the setting of a Latin gradual:

Locus / iste / a / Deo / factus / est

place / this / by / God / maded / was (This place was made by God,)

inaestimabile / sacramentum;

priceless / mystery (it is a priceless mystery,)

irreprehensibilis / est.

without reproof /  it is (it is beyond reproach.)[10]

Bruckner’s motets consistently depict influences of early sacred music; along with the Latin text, hints of polyphony are found among the otherwise homophonic[11] texture, such as the varied rhythms of the four parts in the penultimate phrase. The long, slow vocal lines throughout the piece and the use of modal chords are particularly reminiscent of Renaissance Gregorian chant.[12]

Another early music influence is Bruckner’s use of the melody to emphasise parts of the text, known as word painting. This is most obvious in the bass line; scholars have highlighted “the isolation of the bass part at structurally important points”[13] as evidence of word painting, for example initiating the ‘a Deo’ phrases in the first and third sections, and prompting the climactic rises at ‘inaestimabile sacramentum’.

However, the Romantic characteristics in Locus Iste cannot be ignored. Bruckner’s use of dynamic contrast is a clear step away from early music; there are very few gradual dynamic changes, and the sharp piano and forte contrasts between the sections provide the high level of passion that defined the Romantic era. [14]

This passion can also be found in the use of harmony,[15] such as the use of accidentals and chromatic progression at ‘irreprehensibilis est’. This diversion from the more traditional harmonic progression in the first two sections shows a similar movement towards the Romantic style; here, we find the harmonic freedom allowed by Romanticism, embedded in the slow, majestic vocal lines of Gregorian chant.

Bruckner in present day

Today, Bruckner is better known for his symphonies than his motets; his 4th, 7th and 9th symphonies have stood the test of time particularly well.[16] However, Locus Iste remains one of Bruckner’s most famous motets, and among his most popular sacred works.[17] It has continued to be a favourite within choirs and choral societies, and will no doubt be filling churches with its Renaissance and Romantic blend for years to come.

Written by Rosa Stevens – Choir Manager and Librarian

Reference list

[1] http://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/periods-genres/romantic/

[2] http://www.jamescsliu.com/classical/bruckner_motets.html

[3] http://www.classical-music.com/article/what-motet

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(music)

[5] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polyphony

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-qWPOjzGYU

[7] Miller, Ronald L. The Motets of Anton Bruckner. The Choral Journal, 37(2), pp. 19-25 (p. 19). Available from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23551779

[8] https://courses.lumenlearning.com/musicapp-medieval-modern/chapter/romantic-era-explored/

[9] Miller, Ronald L. p. 19. Available from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23551779

[10] http://www.jamescsliu.com/classical/bruckner_motets.html

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophony

[12] http://www.jamescsliu.com/classical/bruckner_motets.html

[13] Carver, A. (2005). Bruckner and the Phrygian Mode. Music & Letters, 86(1), 74-99 (p. 88). Available from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3526032

[14] https://study.com/academy/lesson/characteristics-of-romantic-era-music-emotion-dynamic-contrast.html

[15] http://blogs.bu.edu/guidedhistory/moderneurope/erwin-wang/

[16] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gljRZ-3BlcM

[17] https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/bruckner-sacred-choral-works-2

Feature image source: https://bit.ly/2r8m4ME  

Uncategorized

LVM is a charity – and here’s why

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.

Our Objectives

The Charity Commission recognises the following objectives for the choir:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. To run high-quality choral workshops from visiting conductors and vocal leaders
  2. To develop the Kodály Method music training programme for LVM members and the wider choral community in Leeds
  3. 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.

joining the choir

How to win friends & influence people (choir edition)

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Picture this. I’m 27, and I’ve lived in this city for almost 10 years. I’m settled, with a job, a flat, and a fairly active social life.

Then, Something Happens (a life event) which causes me to take a good look at everything I’m doing. And what do I realise? To my abject horror, I realise that I don’t really know many people in this city, or certainly not ones who share my interests.

What do you do in a situation like that?

It can be hard when you’re an adult to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Inevitable parts of being an adult like paying your council tax and doing the hoovering can become a bit all-encompassing – when will you ever have the time to commit to new friends, new skills, new hobbies? It’s easy to build up lots of reasons to not try the new thing.

Well, I’m here to tell you that joining Leeds Vocal Movement is a wonderful new thing to try.

I arrived at the open rehearsal hesitant, even though I knew people in the choir. I’d not sung actively for a few years, and prior to that I’d been shaky at best. But I needn’t have worried that I’d be judged, or that I’d struggle to fit in. LVM is unauditioned, and allows for people of all skill levels. I don’t read music but that doesn’t necessarily hold me back, and our musical director Caitlin is not only patient, but also uses a diverse range of teaching methods which really enable everyone to learn whatever their preferred style.

After rehearsals we tend to pop to the pub for a drink, though we also hold non-alcohol socials too (our recent trip to Tropical World and Roundhay Park being a personal highlight). Joining LVM has made me feel like part of a community – I’d taken on the mindset that I didn’t need any more friends, but LVM has proven to me that going out and making new friends can be fun, even as an adult.

So that’s how stepping out of my comfort zone and joining the choir helped me win friends.

..and as for influencing people, if you like the sound of what you’ve just read, maybe you’d be interested in joining us?

Uncategorized

Librarian’s Corner: Vuelie

About Librarian’s Corner:

Leeds Vocal Movement loves to sing music from a wide range of genres, and my aim is to better understand what we are singing. This blog adds some context and analysis to the notes on the page, for the benefit of members and listeners alike!

Vuelie – Frode Fjellheim (2015)

 

This entry contains mentions of the songs and events in the film Frozen.

Frode Fjellheim’s ‘Vuelie’ first grabbed listeners’ attention in 2015, as the opening song of Disney’s Frozen. Both the film and its soundtrack are recognised world-wide, and ‘Vuelie’ has gained particular attention due to its tribe-like sounds of Scandinavian origin.

The Song of the Earth

‘Vuelie’ is adapted from the piece ‘Eatnemen Vuelie’,[1] translated as ‘Song of the Earth’. This piece is known as a yoik or vuelie, traditionally sung by the Sami people.[2] Yoik music is written to replicate the sounds of nature, as Ursula Länsman explains:

“A yoik is not merely a description; it attempts to capture its subject in its entirety: it’s like a holographic, multi-dimensional living image, a replica, not just a flat photograph or simple visual memory. It is not about something, it is that something.”[3]

In ‘Eatnemen Vuelie’, the sounds of the Earth are expressed through pure vocals in the upper voices, and homogenous chanting in the lower voices. Norwegian composer Frode Fjellheim[4] also added lyrics of the hymn ‘Fairest Lord Jesus’ to the original yoik, which describes Jesus as the “ruler of all nature”.

After being approached by Disney to include the piece in Frozen, Fjellheim adapted ‘Eatnemen Vuelie’ with film composer Christophe Beck, by shortening the piece and removing the lyrics. However, the the yoik melody and indigenous sound is carefully preserved in the film.[5]

The yoik in Frozen

‘Vuelie’[6] is the very first experience in the film Frozen, its opening bars heard against a blank screen before accompanying the opening credits.[7] After it finishes, the men of Arendelle sing about their work on the glaciers in ‘Heart’.[8]  The two opening songs, including the indigenous sounds of Scandinavia that ‘Vuelie’ provides, give the audience an initial understanding of the film’s setting, community and cultural associations. This technique is well practiced by Disney composers; similar songs can be heard in the opening scenes of such films as Pocahontas,[9] Lilo and Stitch[10] and The Lion King.[11]

Much like The Lion King, Frozen uses a reprise of its opening song to celebrate the return of normality to the community. In ‘Vuelie’s reprise, ‘The Great Thaw’,[12] string, brass and woodwind instruments are slowly introduced to the vocals, and the piece increases in texture and volume to signify the restoration of Arendelle. Both pieces show the importance of ‘Vuelie’, not only as the spirit of Arendelle, but the sound of familiarity, safety and contentment within the film.

The sound of Norway

‘Vuelie’ has maintained its cultural relevance outside of its Disney narrative, by Norwegian female choir Cantus. The choir originally recorded ‘Eatnemen Vuelie’ for their 2011 album, ‘Norwegian Voices’,[13] and later recorded ‘Vuelie’ and ‘The Great Thaw’ for the original Frozen soundtrack.

The choir have been celebrated as depicting the hidden voices of Norway, with a pure vocal sound that complements traditional Nordic singing; Kristin Asdal describes Cantus’ sound as “heavenly voices…with steady chanting reminiscent of repetitive rain or snow, mimicking the sounds of nature”.[14] The choir have solidified this legacy through their album ‘Northern Lights’, released in 2017, with ‘Vuelie’ as the lead track.

Whether recognised as a traditional yoik or the opening song in Frozen, ‘Vuelie’ is still celebrated years after its release by listeners worldwide.

Written by Rosa Stevens – Choir Manager and Librarian

Reference list

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=114&v=LTNQAL4nV5A

[2] http://www.boosey.com/teaching/news/New-arrangements-of-Eatnemen-Vuelie-from-Disney-s-Frozen/100627

[3] https://www.laits.utexas.edu/sami/diehtu/giella/music/yoiksunna.htm

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frode_Fjellheim

[5] http://animatedviews.com/2014/composer-frode-fjellheim-on-frozens-native-spirit/

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zldOELlIXI4

[7] http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Vuelie

[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t-cd4vMq6E

[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v7m1XSrj6Q

[10] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtsV4bWPHsY

[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwSKkKrUzUk

[12] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKe7ORhHMPo

[13] http://www.norwegianamerican.com/arts/29183/

[14] http://norwegianarts.org.uk/frozens-norwegian-choir-cantus-releases-new-album/

Feature image source: https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Christophe-Beck-Cantus-Frode-Fjellheim/Vuelie

Uncategorized

Caitlin Mayall: How I got into choral conducting and what LVM means to me!

I wasn’t always into choral music – I grew up loving jazz and spent a lot of time listening to Ella Fitzgerald in our family kitchen. I also started composing when I was 12, because I didn’t like practising scales on the piano and I used to turn them into different motifs and write lyrics to them. My mum encouraged me to join Stockport Youth Orchestra, where I messed around a lot because I didn’t like the screechy sound I made on the violin – but I met a friend there who convinced me to audition for the Hallé Youth Choir in Manchester which was where it all started.

Going to the Hallé was like getting an overdose injection of the musical bug. We were regular performers at the Bridgewater Hall and sang everything from Poulenc’s stunning ‘Gloria’ to Elgar part-songs to Mahler’s 2nd symphony. I remember sight-reading Bruckner’s ‘Locus Iste’ at Ampleforth College surrounded by friends, breaking into Lambert’s ‘The Rio Grande’ at regular intervals on a tour bus to Italy and marching through the streets of York singing a swingle singers arrangement of ‘I’ll Be There For You’ at the top of our lungs. Jamie Burton was our wonderfully eccentric and hugely inspiring director, who taught us to read music using Solfege sign language and who intrigued us with his knowledge of the composers whose works we were performing.

It’s because of this exposure to so much gorgeous, life-changing music as a teenager that now as an adult I feel determined to bring the same experiences to others. I found myself volunteering to direct LUUMS Chorus whilst at Leeds University and now I devote my time to teaching Kodály music in schools and leading children’s and youth choirs. As my personal experiences of music have been of high quality but also highly social, I believe choirs should be joyful and create community – whether they are amateur or semi-professional, young or old, sacred or secular – because that’s what lasts. Leeds Vocal Movement does just that, and it’s becoming part of a choral music revolution in our up-and-coming city which I want to help fuel.

Music, and the friends I’ve made through music, has been there for me in some form throughout the best and darkest moments of my life. There is a big difference though between experiencing music by listening to CD or going to a concert and actually being the music itself. It is far superior to share music with others and we can create much more variety as singers in a choir than alone. On that note, if you want to be part of a vibrant musical community which sings for pleasure and experiences a range of music from all genres, styles and periods, come along and sing with us on a Wednesday evening!

Uncategorized

Christmas concerts

We are very excited to announce our two upcoming Christmas concerts this year!

7.30pm, Saturday 16th December, Oxford Place Centre, Leeds

Come along to hear our exciting, jazzy Christmas repertoire including Follow That Star, Bethlehem Down, Coventry Carol, Away in a Manger, and some non-Christmas classics like Goodnight Sweetheart, Red Red Rose and many more!

You can buy tickets here or on the door – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lvm-christmas-concert-tickets-40033736985 

7.30pm, Monday 18th December, Left Bank, Leeds

We’re very excited to be joining Left Bank Vocal Collective in a joint concert and singing in this gorgeous building which began life as a church. We will be singing a variety of Christmassy and non-Christmassy songs.

You can find out more about Left Bank here – http://leftbankleeds.org.uk/

 

joining the choir, Uncategorized

FAQ

Here are a few of our frequently asked questions. If you have a question that isn’t listed here, please contact us!

How do I join?

Just pop over to our joining page and fill in your details. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can!

When and where do you rehearse?

We rehearse every Wednesday 7.15-9.15pm during term-time in Leeds City Centre. For more details on our rehearsals, please visit our Contact page.

What does membership get me?

At LVM, as well as having an amazing time singing with like-minded people and making friends, you’ll have:

Quality professional singing coaching from our amazing and experienced Musical Director Caitlin.

The opportunity to sing a varied repertoire of music, from classical right through to popular music!

The opportunity to perform in concerts and at competitions in Leeds and further afield.

Access to Highnotes magazine as part of our group subscription to MakingMusic.org

Regular updates from our Facebook Group and via email – we’ll pass on any musical opportunities we are informed about!

Do I have to audition?

No, we don’t audition any of our singers – just turn up and join in!  If you’re not sure what part you are, our Musical Director will ask you to join a part and listen to see how you are doing.  After hearing how comfortable you are with the range, she may move you – but don’t be offended if this happens!  She’s just making sure you are in a place where you can shine!

Do I need experience in singing or music?

Not at all! We welcome anyone and everyone who wants to sing! Just register your interest and then turn up ready to make some noise!

What if I can’t read music?

Whilst an ability to read music will help, our Musical Director adjusts her teaching style to fit the range of abilities within the choir, and we learn using several techniques alongside reading music to improve sight-reading ability – after a few months you will have developed a new skill!

I can’t sing!

At LVM we firmly believe everyone has some innate ability to sing, and we aim to nurture that and bring your unique voice out! Who knows – maybe after a few months you’ll be braving the karaoke!

How much does it cost?

Fees for 2017/18 are £15 per month (£10 for students or benefits) during term-time only.

If you feel you would struggle to pay membership fees, but you still want to join, or if you are a current member and your circumstances have changed, please get in touch and have a confidential conversation with our Treasurer, Sally.

What are our term dates?

Autumn 2019: 4th September – 14th December

Spring 2020: 8th January – 8th April

Summer 2020: 29th Apr – 1st July

What do my fees pay for?

LVM is run not-for-profit and our committee members are volunteers.  Your fees are put back into making the choir the best it can be. We pay for lots of things including our rehearsal venue, competition fees, insurance, sheet music, musical tuition and our website. You can help ensure the choir can continue to run by sharing our GoFundMe page, inviting as many of your friends and family to concerts as possible, and by paying fees on time!

How do I pay?

You can pay in one of two ways:

Bank Transfer (preferred):

Sort Code: 09-01-29

Account Number: 25132863

Paypal:

Click on the appropriate link below to be taken to the Paypal payment page. This will set up a monthly recurring payment for 3 months, you will need to re-subscribe for the next term. The below amounts are for PayPal only due to the small extra charge from them. Please only send £15 or £10 if you are paying by bank transfer.

Standard LVM Monthly Fee: £15.75

Students/Benefits: £10.55

You can also pay by cheque by making it out to Ms S V Stephens for the appropriate amount. However this should be as a last resort, as we do not often have access to a branch to pay in cheques, and therefore the cheque could clear when you are not expecting it.

How often do I need to attend rehearsals?

Regular attendance is important:

We want to make sure everyone is getting the most out of LVM that they can, and consequently we take attendance very seriously. We take attendance on a weekly basis so that:

  • You get the most out of your time – missing multiple rehearsals will mean you may not learn the pieces as quickly as others, and we want to ensure everyone is confident for performances and their own personal progression
  • You get the most out of your money – fees are the same price no matter how many rehearsals you miss
  • The choir can progress with its repertoire – as we are still recruiting, missing members makes some pieces impossible to rehearse or perform

Our attendance policy is as follows: we allow a maximum of three absences per term, including last-minute emergencies, after which the committee will contact a member regarding their membership. This is to touch base with the member, to make sure everyone is still satisfied with and progressing well in the choir.

We want to make sure we are being as fair as possible to our members, so if you have any questions about attendance, please contact us. Similarly, if know you will be unavailable for some Wednesday evenings, or have extenuating circumstances, including shift or evening work, please let the committee know as soon as possible.

Can I get a discount if I only attend half of the month?

Technically the membership fee is a termly fee, as we expect all members to commit to one term of rehearsals and performances; however last year we found that a lot of members struggled to pay in one lump sum, or forgot, resulting in a lot of late payments.  This meant it was very difficult to plan and pay for the rehearsal venue, competition entries and other costs such as insurance.  This is why this year we have changed it to a monthly fee, over 9 months of the year (during term-time only).

There are benefits that will be available to you even if you miss a rehearsal, such as membership, news and updates in our members-only Facebook group, your own folder of sheet music to practice at home, and access to our group membership of Making Music where you can search resources, find information and apply for solo competitions. So there are no discounts for missed rehearsals.  The payment is due at the end of the month and the payment months are: September, October and November; January, February and March; May, June and July.

If you have any questions regarding payment, please get in touch!

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Meet our new Musical Director

caitlin_mayall_MD_LVM_2We proud to introduce our new Musical Director, Caitlin Mayall. Caitlin comes to us with years of experience, and is excited to be joining us to push our choir forward into the future!

Caitlin has directed Leeds University Chorus, Darlington Youth Choir and the Leeds University Ensemble Choir Project among others and her teaching style is perfect for an unauditioned choir of mixed musical background and ability.  You can find out more about Caitlin on her website.

Caitlin joins us for the new term on Wednesday 13th September 2017.  If you’ve always wanted to sing in a choir, head to our joining page to register your interest and we’ll get back to you very soon!

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I want to sing!

We are always interested in hearing from anyone who wants to join the choir. Please ask us about our open rehearsals, these let you see what it would be like to join!

For term dates and membership fees, please have a look at our FAQs.

Please fill in the form below to register your interest, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

NB: please DO NOT PRESS ENTER in the message box below until you have completed your message, as it will automatically send an email to us before you are finished!