Vox In Frox Blog
Vox In Frox: Who Are We And What Do We Do?
In the heart of the West Country, a few miles south of the city of Bristol, is a small but vibrant area called the Chew Valley. Much as we hate to contradict the wonderful Julie Andrews, it’s not only the hills, but also this valley that is “alive with the sound of music”. Four years ago, Caroline Lowe, an accomplished music teacher and conductor, was asked to form a small choir to sing at a private function. Drawing on her knowledge of local singers and talented friends, she gathered together a group of women, chose a relatively simple repertoire of songs and put on a small concert. This was so successful (and so much fun) that she decided to take the group forward, and lo, Vox in Frox was born.
From its small and humble beginning, the choir has steadily grown and developed, and is now a popular act, performing not only in the Chew Valley, but further afield. We have even gone international (well, we drove over the Severn Bridge and performed in Wales!).
So, who are Vox in Frox? We are a small Women’s Chamber Choir (now with 26 members), made up of women of various ages and from all walks of life. Some of our singers are musically trained, but most of us aren’t; what we all share is an absolute passion and love of singing; and all kinds of music. We love to be versatile, and challenge ourselves (or rather Caroline challenges us!) by singing from several genres of music: sacred, gospel, folk, pop, modern, musicals and even a bit of country and Western! We work very hard under Caroline’s expert guidance, and this has not only led to the quality of our performance improving year on year, but has also led to our becoming a very close-knit group of friends. In fact, many of our audience members remark on how cohesive we are as a group and how much we appear to be enjoying ourselves when we perform; and it’s not just an act, it’s true!
Rehearsals are hard work. We meet on average once a week, and are always expanding our repertoire and preparing to perform. Having said that, we always make time during rehearsals for a break and a chat, usually with cake and prosecco thrown in! We pride ourselves on being able to sing nearly all our songs from memory, no mean feat when you think that we now have almost one hundred songs in our repertoire! Add to that the fact that Caroline likes to choose some songs with an element of body percussion (stamps, claps, clicks and movements), and you may begin to realise what a commitment it is to be a member of our choir (and pity any new members coming in who have to start from scratch!).
We have been asked to perform in all sorts of venues, and we are beginning to spread our reach beyond the immediate area. We have sung at our local Arts Festival (the Mid-Somerset Festival), at Music for Miniatures (a venue specialising in introducing babies and young children to live music); we’ve sung at weddings, celebrations, sporting events, as part of larger concerts with Male Voice Choirs and we’ve even hit the heady heights of singing on our local radio station! It really doesn’t take much to get us going; we have even been known to break into spontaneous song on the bus or in the pool at the local spa!
This year has already been very busy. We competed in the Midsomerset Festival in March, and were thrilled to be awarded an outstanding mark in two of our classes. We welcomed six new members to our ranks in April (who are just beginning to lose that ‘rabbit in the headlights‘ look!) and we have already performed in several venues to great acclaim, including the Cheese and Cider Fayre in Compton Martin and a concert, ‘Vox and Friends’, at St Bernadette’s Church in Whitchurch, Bristol.
So, where do we go from here? Our new website has just gone live (as you’ll know if you’re reading this), which hopefully will reflect our group and individual personalities, and give you some idea of what we look and sound like (in case you haven’t already been to one of our concerts – where’ve you been?!). This month sees us crossing the Bristol Channel again to sing as guests of the Chepstow Male Voice Choir, and we have several more concerts and appearances lined up for the rest of this year (check out the Events page on the website for details).
We are very excited to see what else the future has in store for us; today the Chew Valley, next week, the world!