Uncategorized

Associate Conductor Opportunities

Salary

£75 per rehearsal, which includes preparation time, with a bonus for concerts.

Job description:

LVM is seeking to appoint experienced, friendly choral conductors, who can provide occasional cover for our choir over the coming years. We are keen to hear from a variety of candidates as we may offer several Associate Conductor positions, in case of deputising opportunities coming in at short notice.

Additionally, whilst our Musical Director is on maternity leave this year, there will also be a longer-term opportunity to deputise regularly for us from mid-October until Christmas 2021 (and potentially also into Spring/Summer 2022). For this maternity cover position, we are keen to employ one principal Associate Conductor who is available to deputise for all our regular rehearsals. 

About Leeds Vocal Movement:

Leeds Vocal Movement (LVM) is an un-auditioned SATB choir based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. 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. We are a fun, educational and social choir of approximately 40 singers, who perform music spanning a range of genres, including contemporary, classical, jazz, sacred and traditional music. Focusing on inclusive musical education, our Musical Director Caitlin Mayall uses the Kodály Method to help our members develop their ability to pitch, sight-read and improve tuning.

The choir rehearses every Wednesday evening during school term time, from 7.15-9.15pm in Leeds City Centre. We usually hold biannual concerts in December and June, as well as taking part in an annual collaborative event with local music groups. Previous collaborations have included concerts with Bradford Festival Choral Society, Phoenix Concert Band, and several choirs at the Left Bank Choir Festival. We also do an annual Christmas busk for charity and have released online videos throughout the pandemic.

Duties and responsibilities: 

  • Plan rehearsals and rehearse the choir on an ad hoc basis
  • Deliver fun, engaging warm-ups at the beginning of each rehearsal
  • Lead sectionals (usually upper or lower voices)
  • Work collaboratively with our piano accompanist
  • Prepare music prior to rehearsal as directed by our Musical Director 
  • Following the rehearsal, liaise with the Musical Director to provide feedback and suggestions for next steps
  • Communicate effectively with the Choir committee

Person specification

LVM is a unique choir in that it is made up of singers of all abilities, from those with very little musical experience, to confident sight-readers with years of professional training. As such, we are seeking to appoint Associate Conductor/s who:

  • Have excellent knowledge of, and passion for, choral music
  • Are trained singers who can model musical phrasing
  • Have experience in conducting choirs and planning rehearsals
  • Can direct our choir in a personable, dynamic, and most importantly fun style
  • Understand how to be inclusive of all our members, by providing support for our less experienced singers whilst seeking an excellent choral sound which challenges even the most able
  • Are highly reliable and good communicators
  • Can confidently use a tuning fork or pitch pipe to give notes
  • Are available on Wednesday evenings and able to travel to/from Leeds city centre

Recruitment Process

If you are interested in joining us as an Associate Conductor please send through a CV outlining your experience relative to the choir and the personal specification with reference and a short statement about why you are interested in Leeds Vocal Movement, via either:

  • A written document – two pages maximum, or;
  • A short video – 5 minutes maximum

Please submit all applications to manager@leedsvocalmovement.co.uk

Please send through applications by Friday 20 August 2021. If you are interested in the maternity cover position, please specify in the application. 

We will let you know by Wednesday 1 September 2021 whether we would like to ask you to attend a mock rehearsal followed by a short interview on Wednesday 22 September 2021.

Uncategorized

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!

leedsvirtualmovement

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!

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”

http://kodaly.org.uk/about-us/kodaly-approach/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0qFMkpXd2o

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.

joining the choir, SATB choir, Uncategorized

My Journey to LVM – Holly Angel

 

29570357_2046195158743815_4056134505179392158_n
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.
joining the choir

How to win friends & influence people (choir edition)

29570357_2046195158743815_4056134505179392158_n

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?