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VoxTette and the role within the larger Vox(Tribe) Chamber Choir

Updated: Jul 3

There are four VoxTette within the larger VoxTribe:


"The Fanny Mendelssohn Memorial Singers" (Yellow Team)

The Fanny Mendelssohn Memorial Singers

Named after Fanny Mendelssohn, the renowned female German composer and the sister of Felix Mendelssohn. This team embodies joy, camaraderie, lots of laughter, and brings all this positive energy into the music they perform.


"Die Heilige Hildegard Harmoniste" (Red Team)

Die Heilige Hildegard Harmoniste

Named after Saint Hildegard von Bingen, the remarkable medieval female composer, the Red Team is fiercely competitive. They push each other to achieve excellence, and their harmonies are as intense as their saintly determination.


"Span Anton" (Green Team)

Span Anton

Named after the great Austrian composer, Anton Bruckner, like the composer’s music, this team is anything but subtle! Their nickname in the choir is "SpanTon" and they are always VERY loud! Their powerful voices resonate through the concert hall.


"Team Sebastian in the Sky with Diamonds" (Blue Team)

Team Sebastian in the Sky with Diamonds

Paying homage to Johann Sebastian Bach, the legendary composer of all composers, merged with the legendary Beatles song, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." They’re the magic behind those beautiful melodies and, like their name, bring contrasting worlds together. This team has a delightful tradition called “sousies vir jou.” (Check out their hands).


The VoxTette: Fostering Camaraderie, Competition, and Quality Control

The VoxTette, each a delightful sub-group within the larger VoxTribe, serves as a vibrant vehicle for promoting social interaction, friendly competition, and musical excellence. Here’s how it all comes together:


Social Interaction:

  • The VoxTette bring choristers together, creating bonds beyond the music. Whether during rehearsals, coffee breaks, or special events, members share laughter, stories, and camaraderie.

  • Through shared experiences, friendships blossom, and the joy of singing becomes a communal celebration of musical excellence.

  • It introduces a new Voxie socially into the larger choir more easily.


Friendly Competition:

  • Each VoxTet team - Yellow, Red, Green, and Blue - channels the essence of a renowned composer. They compete playfully, pushing one another to new heights.

  • Whether it’s perfecting harmonies or nailing challenging passages, the teams strive for excellence, spurring healthy rivalry.

  • They all compete in various social competitions, like the Vox Potjiekos Competition, Vox Quiz Nights etc. for the acclaimed “Jano Oberholzer Trophy” for the VoxTet of the Year which is awarded to the highest scoring VoxTet of the year at our annual Vox Ball.


Quality Control and “Know Your Music” Tests:

  • Franco, our conductor, uses the VoxTette as a quality control mechanism. Each team’s performance reflects the overall choir’s standard.

  • Each VoxTet contains members from each of the eight voice groups. This means that each VoxTet is a mini choir on its own and can sing the music that is learned in the same way that a larger choir would do, with all voice groups being represented.

  • Regular “know your music” tests keep choristers on their toes. VoxTet members must master their parts, ensuring polished performances and this ensures that Franco can evaluate whether certain members really know their music and are on the required standard.


Vox Sorting Ceremony:

  • When new choristers join the VoxTribe, they experience a special Vox Sorting Ceremony. It’s like the magical moment when a wand chooses the wizard.

  • Franco assigns them to one of the VoxTet teams based on vocal range, personality, and musical affinity.

  • From that point on, they belong to their VoxTet, sharing rehearsals and the thrill of making music together.


Developing own traditions:

  • Each VoxTet has a Leader who guides their respective houses and assists with general administration.

  • Over time each VoxTet has developed their own traditions unique to that specific VoxTet, assisting with a sense of belonging for each member towards their representative team.


In summary, the VoxTette aren’t just about singing – they are a microcosm of passion, teamwork, and artistic pursuit within the larger VoxTribe family.


Developing Ensemble Singing Techniques: A VoxTette Journey

Focused Ensemble Work:

  • The VoxTette provides a unique space for choristers to hone their ensemble singing skills. While the larger choir focuses on blending voices across sections, the VoxTette dives deeper into the art of unity.

  • Members learn to listen keenly, adjusting their dynamics, phrasing, and vowel shapes to match their teammates. It’s like crafting a musical tapestry where every thread matters.


Precision and Intonation:

  • Ensemble singing demands precision. Rehearsals involve fine-tuning intonation, ensuring that chords resonate perfectly.

  • Choristers work on matching pitch, staying in tune, and creating seamless transitions between notes. The goal? To create spine-tingling harmonies that captivate audiences.


Breath Control and Phrasing:

  • VoxTet members explore breath control techniques. They synchronize inhalations and exhalations, maintaining a steady flow of sound.

  • Phrasing - how a musical line unfolds - is crucial. In the VoxTette, choristers get the opportunity to practice shaping phrases together, emphasizing consonant placement and precision, and focussing on vowel formation to be exact and matched to the rest of their fellow VoxTet members.


Blend and Balance:

  • Achieving vocal blend is an art. The VoxTet experiments with different vocal colours, finding the sweet spot where voices merge beautifully.

  • Balancing individual voices between the sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses creates a rich, unified sound. It’s teamwork at its finest.


Expressive Gestures:

  • Ensemble singing isn’t just about notes; it’s about emotion. The VoxTette explores expressive gestures - subtle movements that convey feeling.

  • A shared breath before a crescendo, a gentle sway during a pianissimo - these nuances elevate the music.


Unity Beyond Words:

  • The “VoxTette” concept has a motto: “One voice, many hearts.” They learn to communicate without speaking, sensing each other’s intentions.

  • When they perform, it’s not just about hitting the right notes; it’s about connecting souls through song and that spills over into the larger choir’s overall performance of a work.


The VoxTette aren’t merely various sub-groups – they are a laboratory for ensemble magic and intense choral training. As they refine their techniques, they weave a sonic fabric that resonates far beyond the concert hall and enhances the choir sound and performance in general.


Co-authored:

Andries Brümmer (Bass, Manager & Vox Rex)

Hanni Beyers (First Soprano & Vox Regina)

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