What and why we sing

Rising Voices is a new contemporary singing group created for people who just want to
  • sing for fun
  • build confidence 
  • unwind in a friendly group. 
We sing a Cappella – without any accompaniment – the songs are taught in two, three or four harmony parts so the rich sound is made entirely by voices! We don’t expect you to know which part you’ll sing, just see what you feel comfortable with and then swap if you need to. 

Rising Voices sing
We start with a warm up and sometimes a simple song or round, then learn a new song and if we've got time sing something we've learnt before. 

We learn the songs by rote, so Victoria sings a phrase, you sing it back a few times and try to remember it. We then put all the parts together and make beautiful music (or sometimes it just results in general hilarity!). 

The songs could be almost anything.  Pop, folk, rock, musical theatre, gospel, African, East European, oh and we are partial to a sea shanty too!  Songs that are not too hard, not too easy, sound good and are fulfilling to sing.

We don't use sheet music so everyone learns at the same pace. Just bring a bottle of water and a sense of humour! 

Choir leader 

Victoria Stead was an enthusiastic amateur 'chorister'  at school and uni but as work and commuting got in the way she yearned for a creative outlet and a way to build new connections. She discovered the Natural Voice Practitioners' Network in 2011 and, inspired by its ethos, she set up a workplace singing group in 2011 and established Rising Voices in 2017.  She is a Natural Voice Practitioner. 

Natural Voice Practitioners' Network

Natural Voice Network logo

Philosophy and Working Principles from www.naturalvoice.net
As Natural Voice practitioners we believe that singing is our birthright. For thousands of years all over the world people have sung - to express joy, celebration and grief, to accompany work and devotion, to aid healing -without worrying about having a "good" voice or "getting it right". Song has been a part of life, a way of binding the community together. We aim to recreate the sense that vocalising, singing and singing together is natural and open to all.

We believe that vocalising, creativity and song should be accessible to all regardless of previous musical ability or experience. Therefore, creating a sense of an accepting community is an essential element of our approach in working with groups.

These underlying principles inform our work practice in the following ways: 
(a) we provide a range of opportunities for people to explore their voices and enjoy song including running voice and song workshops, offering training, short courses and creative projects and by running community choirs. Within each context we work according to our guiding principles. 
(b) we work at a pace and using an approach which recognises the needs of the less experienced and slower learners 
(c) we use demystifying and accessible language and strive to avoid technical language and jargon 
(d) the majority of music in the world comes from the oral tradition and we aim to teach songs as far as possible by ear recognising that this is the most accessible and effective way for the majority of people to learn and retain songs in the longer term 
(e) vocal and physical warm ups are an essential element of our work. They ensure healthy vocal use by anchoring the voice in the body and breath and generally prepare the voice for action. They also allow opportunities for increasing creativity, practising listening to others and creating a sense of community 
(f) we are concerned with the enjoyment of singing and accessibility and so in our work the main focus is on the process of coming together to sing whilst at the same time developing people's vocal skills and, within the context of performance, aiming for the highest standards 
(g) respect for individuals, traditions and creativity is essential to our work -therefore we take care wherever possible to acknowledge sources and song writers and set songs in the context of their history and culture.