Sense of Sound Choir 1

Voices Festival – The Countdown Begins

Three Day Festival Celebrating A Cappella Singing
Set to Wow City of Liverpool This Weekend

The countdown to Liverpool’s biggest a cappella celebration, the Voices Festival, has begun – This weekend (Friday 16 March to Sunday 18 March) the city of Liverpool will be filled with the sound of singing in all its forms. From the uplifting and powerful sound of choral singing, to the incredible talent of a world-renowned beat-boxer, Voices Festival will wow audiences of all ages at the Black-E and Bluecoat arts venues.

Voices Festival is presented by Sense of Sound and, the Black-E. Sense of Sound is one of the most unique and inspirational companies in the UK today. Led by four female directors; Jennifer John, Saphena Aziz, Juliet Russell – recently a voice coach for BBC One’s upcoming talent show ‘The Voice’ –  and Perri Alleyne-Hughes, the organisation aims to create and produce amazing ways to celebrate singing and the Voices Festival is no exception

.

The festival kicks off on Friday 16 March with a National Conference for Singing and Health featuring a number of presentations from key UK vocal experts. The conference will discuss the positive links between singing and physical and mental health and wellbeing and will provide an opportunity to share best practice and discover the latest breakthroughs.

The conference is the perfect event for health educators and researchers, speech therapists, vocal coaches, singers and anyone with an interest in singing or health.

Featuring presentations from Nordoff Robbins Speech Therapist, Phoene Cave, Victoria Hume – Arts Manager at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, Dane Chalfin – A Director of the British Voice Association and one of the UK’s leading professional vocal coaches and voice rehabilitation experts and Trish Vella-Burrows , Assistant Director  of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Music, Arts & Health.

Friday evening will then see Voices Festival start the weekend in style with a stunning concert celebrating the legendary artist, Joni Mitchell. The concert will feature special guest star, Connie Lush, and the fantastic Sense of Sound Singers. Described as one of the most influential recording artists of the 20th Century, Joni Mitchell’s music has touched millions of people the world over. This poignant concert performance will offer an opportunity to see why, as Mitchell’s unforgettable songs including ‘Big Yellow Taxi,’ ‘Both Sides Now’ and ‘A Case of You’ are performed in  unique a cappella arrangements.

Saturday 17 March has an exciting day of performances and interactive events for singing enthusiasts, starting with a series of performances from choirs across the region. Merseyside choirs have been invited to perform in the Bluecoat Hub venue, and is a free event offering the opportunity to enjoy the musical diversity of a cappella singing. Members of the public are able to come along, enjoy the music and take part.

Choirs that will perform on the day include The Raucus Caucus Recovery Chorus; Vox Voices; Singing Our Socks Off; Liverpool Community Choir; Liverpool Harmonic Gospel Choir; Indigo Vibe.

The tempo of the day is then ramped up as the world-renowned Olympic beat-boxer, Shlomo, takes to the stage at the Black-E arts venue. Possessing vocal skills that have to be heard to be believed, Shlomo has performed on a world stage with Icelandic artist, Björk, at the Athens Olympic opening ceremony to 4.5 billion viewers across the globe. His fans range from Jools Holland to Jarvis Cocker and he has worked with the likes of Martha Wainwright and Damon Albarn to name a few. This exciting and astonishing talent will wow a lucky Liverpool audience for one night only.

Shlomo is also in Liverpool to work alongside the Voices Festival to provide a workshop for local youth workers to learn more about his skill and how it can connect and inspire the young people of the city.

A FREE day of family fun will take place at the Bluecoat on Sunday 18 March. With interactive activities for all ages taking place throughout the day, this is any budding singer’s opportunity to take part in workshops covering many musical genres, with an a cappella twist.

The festival will end with a massive ‘Big Sing’, which will take place in the Bluecoat Hub on the afternoon of Sunday 18th. Everyone is invited to come along and join in the fun!

Sense of Sound Co-Director, Saphena Aziz, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to present Voices Festival to the city of Liverpool this year. The festival incorporates everything from interactive events, incredible performances and access to learning more about the benefits of singing. We hope to showcase the diversity of a cappella singing over the course of the festival, and look forward to the many spectacular performances we have lined up.”

Sense of Sound Co-Director, Juliet Russell, said: “March is an exciting month for Sense of Sound with the Voices a cappella festival and the launch of the new BBC series The Voice. I was one of the vocal coaches on the show and it gave me the opportunity to do what Sense of Sound is passionate about; developing and showcasing fantastic singers, as part of what promises to be a groundbreaking television singing competition.

“We have an inspiring line up for this year’s festival. Joni Mitchell is one of my all time favourite singers and songwriters and this celebration of her work and life feels very special to be involved with. This show is for anyone who loves Joni and her music or who loves to listen to contemporary choral music. Shlomo is someone who has turned beat-boxing into an art-form. What he can do with his voice is incredible, so musical and entertaining. Don’t miss it!’’

The Voices Festival is produced by Sense of Sound and the Black-E, more information can be found at www.senseofsound.net

FESTIVAL INFORMATION
Voices Festival
Friday 16 – Sunday 18 March
The Bluecoat & The Black-E
www.senseofsound.net