LEISURE

Bella Voce shares the joy of music

The Scripps Ranch-based women’s ensemble group Bella Voce has 10 members, but would like to expand and diversify. (courtesy of Bella Voce)

Bella Voce shares the joy of music

Taking her first piano lesson at six years old, Dawn Yocom developed a love of music early. She majored in music performance, earning a teaching credential in music and education. Yocom currently owns a private studio where she teaches piano and voice, and has sung in musical theater, choirs and various groups throughout the years.

So, it only makes sense that she took on the director role for a local women’s singing group when the need arose. She sang with the Scripps A Cappella Singers, formerly known as the Scripps Ranch Madrigal Singers. Over the years, directors came and went, and soon there was a need for someone to step into the director role.

“In order for the group to survive, I took over the job of directing it and singing with it,” Yocom said.

Eventually, that singing group came to an end, but not for everyone.

“When that disbanded after about 35 years of singing together, many of the women wanted to invite other friends in and continue singing,” Yocom said.

In response to continuing the joy of singing as a group, the Scripps Ranch-based acapella women’s ensemble group, Bella Voce emerged. The name is Italian for “beautiful voice” and was established about two and a half years ago.

The group sings a vast range of music, including Renaissance, contemporary, sacred, folk, spirituals and holiday-themed songs. It also performs at a variety of locations, including community events, churches, parties, retirement residences and libraries.

“We’re always looking out for opportunities to sing,” Yocom said. “We don’t need to get paid, necessarily. We’re looking for volunteer opportunities as well to highlight peoples’ lives with music.”

Bella Voce’s goal is to cultivate friendship while sharing the love of music with others.

“It’s a joy in our lives, and it brings such joy to others as well,” Yocom said.

The group currently comprises 10 members and they are eagerly aiming to expand.

“We’re not as diverse as we would like to be,” Yocom said.

Although members range in age from their late 40s to 70s, they welcome younger women, hoping to bring in members who share their joy of singing.

“We’re looking for people who like to sing to come out,” Yocom explained. “We’re a
very friendly group and we do social events among
ourselves.”

As the director, Yocom runs the weekly to bi-weekly rehearsals – the cadence depends on whether they have an upcoming gig. The women gather at each other’s homes in San Diego to practice. Yocom said she teaches the music, but many of the women are knowledgeable in music reading, so they also help each other learn.

Upcoming shows include a performance during the Scripps Ranch Old Pros’ Fourth of July 2-Mile Fun Run, where the group will sing the National Anthem, and a performance at the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library in September.

Those interested in joining Bella Voce, or having the group sing for an event, can contact Bella Voce through the website capric19.wixsite.com/bella-voce.

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