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Brussels 2024 Leadership College
and Various Voices Rendezvous
Your Timetable 
Thursday 13 June 2024  
Afternoon
Arrive in Brussels 
Evening
College Registration /Food & Social tbc
19:00 - 22:30
Rainbow House, Rue du Marché au Charbon, 42 1000 
 
Friday 14 June 2024
Day
Meet & Greet, College sessions, Mix n share 09:00 - 17:15
Grands Carmes Street 20 - 22, 1000 Brussels
Evening
Rendezvous Registration, Food & Socialise 18:30 - 22:30 
Rainbow House, Rue du Marché au Charbon, 42 1000 
Saturday 15 June 2024
Day
Venue Visits 10:00 - 12:30
Lunch - Various Voices Brussels 12:30 - 14:30
Rainbow House, Rue du Marché au Charbon, 42 1000 
Queer Walking Tour with Marian in English 15:00 - 16:30
 
Evening
Dinner at your leisure with friends
Various Voices Rising - Three Choirs concert 20:00 - 22:00
Sing Out Brussels! (Brussels)
DynamiQ Voices (Utrecht)
Voces Gaudii (Warsaw)
Centre culturel d’Uccle, Rue Rouge 47, 1180, Uccle 
 
BUY TICKETS:  https://www.billetweb.fr/various-voices-rising
After-Concert Party!
 
Sunday 16 June 2024
 
Day
Possible extra Queer Walking Tour option
with Marian Lens (English) 10:00 - 11:30
Brunch with open “question time” 12:00 - 14:30
Leadership College Graduate Awards
Farewells 14:30
Hotel Options

Visit Brussels has provided options at four hotels for you to consider at preferential rates including breakfast, cancellable, and secured with a credit card. You can add your arrival and departure dates and search. Choose your hotel, room type, number of occupants, and credit card to secure your room.

 

The Alma Grand Place Hotel and sister hotel Aris Grand Place Hotel are closest to the Leadership College venue Grands Carmes and Rainbow House. 

The Legato Team will be staying at the Alma Grand Place Hotel, where there is seating to meet and chat in the reception.

Pillows City Hotel Brussels and 9Hotel Central Brussels may be more convenient for Centre for Fine Arts "Bozar".

 

Book Hotel here: https://secure.hotel.visitbrussels.be/event/various-voices/congress/search

 

Plan your stay: https://various-voices.be/stay/
 
Queer Brussels: https://www.visit.brussels/en/visitors/what-to-do/lgbtqia
The Leadership College Sessions
The session leaders bring knowledge and experience to share with you and offer 3 educational strands. You can change strands in between sessions. Each session lasts two hours so you can choose three sessions during the day.
 
It's all about the music - for musicians, music makers, choir music directors, and music committee people.
  • Choral conducting for beginnersv
  • How do our values affect our work as MDs?
  • The intelligent choir 
 
Get Organised -  for choir managers, directors, and management committee/team members of choirs to grow and expand knowledge 
  • Do you know who you are, what you want, and how you are going to get there - no really?
  • Helping your choir's audience and membership to thrive
  • Finding the sweet spot between your choir and your community
 
Let’s Talk Choirs - will be an interactive session with an open agenda. This may suit younger choirs or choirs facing growth, to talk about obstacles to change and how to find strategies for problem-solving organisations and people challenges. 
  • Health checkup for choirs
  • Singing the rainbow: equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in choirs
  • Make a dream come true 
 
We will meet up on Thursday evening to say hello and eat. During the breaks and at the final session we will share about our learning, the effectiveness of the sessions, and how LEGATO can better serve our community and help to shape the scope of future leadership colleges. 
LEGATO is committed to its Singing for Equality vision and this first leadership college is a step towards achieving our goal. 
Leadership College registration is for a minimum donation of €50 per person*
 
Rendezvous Brussels is free for all registered LEGATO Members.
*Includes: 3 facilitated focused 2-hour sessions plus 1-day refreshments and the opportunities to learn, meet, and share with choir leaders from across Europe
Does not include: Travel, Accommodation, Food, Concert, or Tour. 
Bursaries: apply during registration.
Help is available in line with the LEGATO policy on support for member choirs and will depend on where your choir is located. A bursary is restricted to two registrations per choir, to be one Music Director and one President/Chair or equivalent for each choir.
The closing date for bursary applications is 1st May 2024. Applications will be dealt with on a first-come, first served basis, and you will be notified quickly of the outcome and if your plans change please let us know before the 1st of June 2024 as non-attending bursary recipients may be invoiced for the bursary costs. 
 
Group 3 Qualifying Countries (Turkey, Montenegro, Russia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan)
Group 3 Bursary will cover: Leadership College registration at €50
One night sharing a hotel room with breakfast €150
Group 2 Qualifying Countries (Estonia, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Portugal, Latvia, Andorra, Croatia, San Marino, Slovakia, Hungary)
Group 2 Bursary will cover: Leadership College registration at €50
Plan your stay: https://various-voices.be/stay/
Queer Brussels: https://www.visit.brussels/en/visitors/what-to-do/lgbtqia
 
Your Leadership College Prospectus 
Session Leaders
 
José Mena Polo
Master in Music with a specialization in Orchestral Conducting, graduated from Simón Bolívar University in Caracas, Venezuela with a Bachelor’s degree in music with a focus on Choral Conducting, Composition, and Singing. He has completed specialization courses in Choral Conducting, as well as workshops on Gregorian Chant, Contemporary Choral Composition, Popular Orchestration, 20th-century Music, and the Interpretation of German Romantic, Renaissance Music, and Slovak Music.
José has delivered workshops on composition, arrangement, conducting, and interpretation at various festivals and gatherings. He serves as the Musical Director of ConSonante Choir, Donne en Música, Choir of the Sociedad Coral de Madrid, and CHOIR+ Madrid, as well as the Chamber Female Choir “Noialtre”. He is the Principal of the Madrid Choral School.
Misza Czerniak
Is a human rights advocate, translator, and musician born in Moscow, Russia, and living in Warsaw, Poland, since 2011. He holds MSc and MA, being professionally trained in linguistics, IT and choral conducting. His thesis at the Poznan Academy of Music was focused on the experience of singers transgressing traditional gender boundaries in choral settings. Misza has been involved in various levels of project management and international cooperation facilitation, particularly in the area of human rights. In 2014, he founded Voces Gaudii, the first LGBT+friends choir in Poland. Misza is a former LEGATO Board member.
Helga Margrét Marzellíusardóttir (she/her)
Helga Margrét Marzellíusardóttir is the musical director of Hinsegin kórinn in Reykjavík, Iceland. She has a dual bachelor's degree in singing and choir conducting from the Iceland University of the Arts and a master's degree in innovative rhythmical choir leading from the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark.

Helga Margrét is a prolific composer and arranger for choirs and musicians across all skill levels and styles. She leads courses and workshops in, for example, methods and techniques behind vocal compositions and arrangements, choir conducting techniques, vocal painting and creative composition, and leading groups and conductors in music and lyric creation. She is frequently brought in as a guest conductor for choirs both in Iceland and abroad, on rhythm, groove, intonation, sound, interpretation, and stage presence.

Recently, Helga Margrét received a grant from the Icelandic government to record her newly composed choral music. The release of this is due this coming fall. For more information, visit her website, www.helgamarz.com
Dr. Hsien Chew MBE (he/they)
Has been a member of the Pink Singers, London’s LGBT+ community choir, since 2002, founded and sings with the queer a capella group Barberfellas and is the founder and coordinator of Proud Voices LGBT choir networks, two regional queer choral networks based in the UK & Ireland and Asia. Born in Singapore, he came to the U.K. for tertiary studies and graduated from Oxford University with degrees in immunology and medicine. His true loves, however, are singing and traveling, and he is forever grateful for the realisation that putting together queer choral festivals in different parts of the globe scratches both itches. When he is not working on his “choir-self” you can often find him relaxing with his “wine-self”. Hsien is a Legato Board Member and, until this year, was the representative for the Asia region on the Global Alliance of Queer Choirs.
Simon White (he/they)
Is a queer, proud singer who has over twenty years of experience managing and developing queer choirs and theatre groups across Europe. Most recently he co-chaired The Pink Singers. For more than thirty years he has campaigned and promoted queer rights, life and history, including co-founding the Queer Theory Forum at the University of Oxford. 
Dan Jarvis (he/him)
Has worked in marketing and audience roles for Arts & Culture organisations for 15 years (including theatres, museums, galleries, arts centres, and of course, choirs) and is currently North West Audiences & Engagement lead for Arts Council England (England's national arts funding body). A member of The Sunday Boys in Manchester, Dan is passionate about inclusivity and equity in the arts and its audiences.
Martin Brophy MBE (he/him)
President of Legato, former Board member & President of Gala Choruses, Executive Chair of the London Gay Men’s Chorus and Fruitvox, as well founder of the European Queer Choir, founding partner in Integra Planner & Brophies, an events catering company. Martin has over 35 years of comprehensive experience in the international queer choral movement and is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about music festivals, big and small. He was a founding director of the Global Alliance of Queer Choirs and is a passionate advocate to help everyone across the globe to connect with their voice and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of singing in a group or in the shower.
The Sessions 
 “It's all about the music” 
  • Choral conducting for beginners
  • How do our values affect our work as MDs?
  • Conducting Toolbox
Choral conducting for beginners.
José Mena Polo
The seminar on choral conducting for beginners offers an intensive immersion into the basic principles of choral conducting. This seminar is designed to provide participants with a fundamental understanding of choral conducting and to develop practical skills for leading beginner-level choirs.
How do our values affect our work as MDs?
Misza Czerniak 
We, the MDs of queer ensembles, operate at a particular intersection. We are in charge of music, but we also work for social change. Furthermore, we deal with a marginalised community coming together to express its hopes, dreams, and sometimes anger, to support each other and stand with each other in solidarity, but also to just have fun and make beautiful music. How does this background, and how do the values that bring us here, affect our work? Let’s explore together the connection between what we believe in and how we work as MDs.
The intelligent choir - innovative ways to conduct your choir.
Helga Margrét Marzellíusardóttir
Should Choirs be conducted?  If yes, then why, when, and how?
How can we train our choir to be an Intelligent choir, to develop their musical skills and ability to focus on the structure of the music; Rhythm, intonation, sound, expression, and performance?
We take a look at the New Piece Methodology, Rotated Leadership, and Vocal Painting - different ways of combining conducting technique and effective ways of interacting with your choir members.
“Get Organised”
  • Do you know who you are, what you want, and how you are going to get there - no really?
  • “There’s a Place For Us”: Growing your choir’s audience and membership so you can thrive
  • Finding the sweet spot between your choir and your community
Do you really know who you are? what you want and how you are going to get there - no really? Martin Brophy & Simon White
To get where you want to go you need a good roadmap to get there. Is your choir dysfunctional, not sure who they are, confused about what you do? The starting point is your Vision, Mission, and Values. Discuss and create your own 10-point plan to create and review your choir's road map to success.
“There’s a Place For Us”: Growing your choir’s audience and membership so you can thrive.
Dan Jarvis
In this session, LEGATO Trustee Dan Jarvis will talk through how to be strategic in developing a plan to develop and grow your choir's audiences and membership so it can thrive, whilst staying true to who you are.
The workshop will cover:
  • Identifying who your target audiences are (and who do you want them to be)
  • Understanding your mission, vision & values to inform your key messages
  • How your programme and audience plan can (and should) work together
  • How to tell the story of your choir
  • Attracting and retaining new members
  • Practical tips and ways to plan a marketing campaign
The session is aimed at intermediate and advanced choirs.
 
Finding the sweet spot between your choir and community.
Simon White 
Queer choirs around the world provide an amazing, nourishing, and safe space for all to thrive and grow, as singers, as individuals, and as a chosen family. At the same time, they can have an important and valuable impact on the wider community. This session explores: (i) the role and impact a choir can have on both its members and the community around it; (ii) real life examples of how different queer choirs around the world think and work with these two communities; and (iii) how to promote debate and resolve conflict within your choir as to how your group wants to find the sweet-spot between choir and community.
“Let’s Talk Choirs”
  • Health checkup for choirs
  • Singing the rainbow: equity, diversity inclusion and belonging in choirs
  • Make a dream come true 
 
Health Check for Choirs - Creating and sharing choir strategies.
Singing the Rainbow: equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in choirs.
Hsien Chew
In our increasingly polarised world, there is an urgent need for LGBTQ choirs to discuss diversity. We have a long tradition of counteracting division by building communities, questioning barriers, and celebrating difference through song, but having our choirs reflect the makeup of society remains a challenge for all of us. Drawing on their own experience of migration and queerness, Hsien will take you on a journey of empathy to understand why embedding diversity in our choirs is vital for all of us, look at why we sometimes struggle to achieve this and examine various strategies some choirs have taken to be the change. 
 
Make your dreams come true.
Martin Brophy
How to get a choir started; make a festival; Singing for equality or Connecting with choirs around the globe. 
 "If you build it, they will come." "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." 
“The two quotes that have inspired me the most, come and share what inspires you”.
Let's talk about what inspires you and begin that journey together, to surprise yourself, to inspire others and make your dreams come true - and that begins with a strong vision. 
Hotel: We are working with Visit Brussels to recommend a Queer friendly hotel with a special price, a central convenient location, we will announce this soon, and we hope that you will all join us, so we can all be together to have fun and share a bit of ourselves. Detail/pricing TBC 
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