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On 6th April, Lincolnshire Showground will be the venue for “Elemental” – a world-first multi-sensory choir concert produced by local choir BeVox. BeVox’s musical director, Timothy Allen, gives a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes preparations for this unique event.
Elemental is the most ambitious event we’ve ever undertaken. We’ll be engaging all five of the audience’s senses, with a concert themed around the four elements. Planning for the event began early last year, but now we’re just at the point where rehearsals are about to start – it’s really exciting!
We run BeVox as an open-access contemporary adult choir – that means anyone aged 16 or over can join us. There are no auditions to take part, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you read music – you’re welcome! We’ve been running on this model in Lincoln since 2014, and in that time we’ve grown from a small group of around 30 to nearly a hundred singers. We’ve also been running in Nottingham and Sheffield since 2010, and when the whole choir come together, there are around 300 singers – and they make an incredible sound.
The last year has seen a real surge ahead in the choir’s development. A little over a year ago, we produced “Rock The Engine Shed” – a charity concert that raised around £3,000 for St Barnabas Hospice. In early 2018, we started planning for Elemental, but that didn’t stop us doing other big events too – we did a 60s-themed concert with a live rock band in March, took the choir on a “Musical Mystery Tour” to Liverpool in the summer (including a concert and banquet at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral), and we’ve just done a sold-out Christmas concert in Nottingham’s Albert Hall.
This week, we begin rehearsals for Elemental. The musical arrangements are written (pop and rock classics from the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Queen and Bob Dylan), the rehearsal tracks are recorded, the venues are booked and we’re raring to go! In between rehearsals, my co-director Toni and I are working on creating the video projections that will accompany the concert, liaising with the chocolatier that is creating the bespoke truffles for the audience, and having regular meetings with our staging and effects supplier. There can’t be too many choir directors who spend time testing wind machines to see if they create the right effect in the auditorium, or sampling the aromas we’ll be pumping around the Showground! It’s a very exciting time for the choir, and we can’t wait to put the whole thing together. It’s going to be very special indeed.
To find out more about BeVox or to book a taster session to join the choir, visit www.bevox.co.uk/elemental. Tickets for the event will go on sale in the second half of January.