Wokingham Times February 12th 2010 'How Rock Choir™ unwinds for success'


Members of Wokingham Rock Choir™ have shared their unique way of unwinding at the end of a hard day’s work.

Rehearsing the singing and performing style of the Rock Choir™ is a sure-fire way of clearing any stress in a fun and feel-good fashion, according to member Jane Tomlins.

She and a group of friends decided to join Wokingham Rock Choir™ for its inaugural rehearsal last year in September at Wokingham Town Hall in Market Place after reading about it in The Wokingham Times.

Mrs Tomlins, 49, an IT consultant from Tilehurst, said: “The reason we wanted to do it so much was we didn’t have to audition – that was a big plus.

“It is a very different thing from yelling your head off at karaoke. You have to plan it in a very different way.

“When we were doing our very first planning we couldn’t understand how a song was going to sound, because we were all just learning our particular lines and parts.

“It wasn’t until the end of the session we found out when it all came together and it was magical.”

getwokingham reported how Rock Choir™, which was founded in 2005 in Surrey and now has more than 60 groups in the south of England, has been signed by record label Universal for a four-album deal.

Rock Choir's album to rock the world

The first record is due out later this year and Wokingham Rock Choir™ has been invited to record a track for the next album.

The group performs tunes from a variety of genres, such as rock, pop, gospel and motown. At its latest rehearsal on Monday evening, members were singing Mamma Mia by Abba.

Choir director Glen Harvey, from Farnham, has been with Wokingham Rock Choir™ since it launched last year.

Mr Harvey, 24, reached the final 15 of the ITV singing talent show Pop Idol in 2003, when Michelle McManus went on to win.

His passion for music continued after the show’s auditions and he now runs a series of Rock Choirs across Berkshire and Hampshire.

Wokingham Rock Choir™ has a busy scheduled lined up for the next year, with performances at the Marvellous Festivals event at Wellington Country Park in Riseley in July.

Mr Harvey said: “I have quite a lot of gigs lined up for them and they all get really excited about that. There is a really great group atmosphere.”

Rehearsals begin with a 10-minute warm up, which Mr Harvey says has been given a Rock Choir™ makeover – it now includes more exciting scales featuring different combinations of numbers, letters and phrases, such as “red lorry, yellow lorry”.

Following this, the group will either start learning a new song or rehearse previous tunes.

Many songs are well-known and can have up to five different harmonies for the choir members to learn.

Mr Harvey said: “They do not have to read music. I sing a line at a time and they sing it back to me.

“We go through rhythms and pronunciations and put the sound together as a choir by the end.”

Wokingham residents can get a taste of what the choir has to offer at the Wokingham Food and Drink Festival later this year.