About The Organisation
…a unique artist-led community organisation run by Michelle Wegwart and Tim Lole, VoiceChoice's purpose is to open up opportunities for people from all backgrounds to develop singing and performance skills in ways that encourages creativity, self-expression and self belief and to encourage appreciation and understanding of music and singing in the community through first-class performances in venues accessible to all.
Established in Nottingham in 1989 by international voice teacher Michelle Wegwart, VoiceChoice has demonstrated that the techniques employed in singing and performance can act as a highly effective model for learning and personal development. This unique approach has applications, professional as well as personal, for both individuals and organisations.
The principle of Opera Start is that workshops are run in schools and communities, based around a particular opera and involving the participants in a whole range of creative activities (composing music, designing costumes and props, improvising dance, singing and acting) which culminate in a public performance.
VoiceChoice's students are people of all abilities and from every possible background who enjoy the experience of making music together and at the same time aspire to achieve the highest possible musical standards, individually and collectively.
Until more recently, students regularly performed together as the VoiceChoice Chorus. However now, as a result of cuts, public performances are limited to student concerts and occasional events when the opportunity arises to re-create the VoiceChoice magic!
In everything that VoiceChoice does, the emphasis is on training and personal development - for the VoiceChoice students, for the participants in Opera Start workshops, for teachers and community leaders involved, and for other organisations, public and private, who appreciate the benefits of the unique VoiceChoice approach in terms of team development, confidence building, unlocking potential and raising aspirations.
VoiceChoice has a Europe-wide network of semi-professional and professional associates - voice coaches and singers - many of whom participate in Opera Start workshops and other VoiceChoice events. Additionally led by VoiceChoice's Director Michelle Wegwart, they benefit from on-going, one to one professional development and attend an annual Train the Trainers programme, designed to consolidate technical knowledge and build on existing coaching skills.
2013 sees VoiceChoice continue to sustain the Opera Start links we have made over the years, but also developing new partnerships. We have created a partnership with Nottingham Music Hub which has taken us into 2 new schools, Hadden Park High School and The Nottingham Emmanuel School and we are currently liaising with Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Music Hubs regarding possible project opportunities.
With funding through Youth Music and Ashfield District Council, we have established the Ashfield Young Music Leaders project which aims to give the opportunity for talented young people to receive dedicated Music Leadership Training from experienced professional artists and then go on to use their new found skills to participate as trainee workshop leaders, alongside the professional workshop team, on community based music workshops.