What To Expect?
Members are cared for and nurtured throughout their journey in Rock Choir. From the moment they book their taster session they are communicated with and are then met at the door at their first rehearsal by the Rock Choir Prefects who are expecting them.
The Rock Choir ethos and culture is all about accessibility and inclusivity allowing anyone and everyone to take part no matter what their musical experience is. Friendships and bonds are quickly made and there is a strong sense of support for every individual. The safe and friendly environment of each choir rehearsal allows anyone who may be anxious to fit in quickly without any pressure.
Vocally, each Member develops more and more throughout their journey and both their listening skills and understanding of music develops confidentially. Members can sit in which ever harmony part they prefer. The vocal range is not too vast and Members will realise in the group vocal warm ups that they can probably sing comfortably in any of the three main harmony sections. Men are welcome to sit in any section too and try out their vocal range an octave lower if that works.
The Choir Leader is on hand to help.
Each rehearsal lasts approximately 90 minutes, sometimes longer in the lead up to a performance. There are a minimum of 10 rehearsals each academic term as well as extra workshops and experiences on offer either locally, regionally or nationally.
Three to four songs are taught each term building an annual repertoire of approximately 12 new songs. Favourite songs from previous years are recapped and brought back to feature in longer performances.
New Members are given extra opportunities to catch up with key favourites allowing everyone to take part in all or part of the performances. Some songs feature a solo lead and all Members are invited to try out the lead in front of the choir before a decision is made as to who’s voice and style is most appropriate.
This approach allows more confident Members to take a challenge and extend their experience as an amateur performer.
Performances and events are planned and communicated in advance and Members can choose to attend or not depending on their own personal diaries.
Social events are constantly organised and are varied, often to support charities, offering the Members lots of different opportunities to make friends and experience new activities.
Each choir has a prefect or team of prefects who help organise each event and support the Choir Leader.
On occasion there are National events where the entire Membership is invited to attend. Previous events include Wembley Arena, Liverpool Arena, the o2, the NEC and BBC’s Proms in the Park.
These types of events allow Rock Choir to come together as one choir and celebrate singing en masse. These are usually highly emotional life-affirming experiences.
During each rehearsal the Rock Choir Leader teaches, re-caps and conducts each song leading from the piano.
Teaching by rote is how each song is communicated with no musical scores needed by the Members. As each rehearsal and song progresses, the harmonies develop and Members start to hear how beautiful the new vocal version of the song will be.
Each song can take up to 3-4 weeks to develop but some songs are designed to be quick and easy taking only 1 rehearsal to complete which especially helps new Members to leave their first rehearsal with a huge sense of achievement.
Rock Choir is a performance choir and therefore attention is given to the visual aspects of the choir including the uniform and the slick professional quality we like to introduce to help wow audiences.
Most of the Rock Choir repertoire consists of up-beat songs and impossible to stand still to. So, similar to the movement you might see in a gospel style performance, Members are introduced to some basic movement which includes swaying, clicking, clapping and other basic steps or actions that fit well with the rhythms and structure of the song.
These are carefully planned out and taught in conjunction with the harmonies to allow the brain to combine these two elements as one in each song.
Visual resources are created to help Members recap after the song is taught. The teaching of the repertoire is mixed up to allow for songs with some movement to be taught between those without movement so that everyone’s abilities are catered for and no one is overwhelmed.
Watching Rock Choir move in a streamlined way on stage creates a fantastic visual performance combined with the beautiful harmonies. The Leader conducts and cues every movement so Members are able to focus entirely on them and take their lead.
By introducing movement into the educational aspect of the Member Experience, it forces the brain to work much harder and keeps everyone sharp and focussed; healthier and alert!
Musical Resources to help learning. Members have access to the lyrics before each song rehearsal starts via the private download area on the Rock Choir website.
As the teaching of each song is completed and the song is re-capped, Members can then access the audio resources of their own harmony part and how the full choir version of the song sounds. This allows Members to continue listening and reinforcing each song in their own time after the Leader has completed the teaching.
It is important for the success and end result that each choir learns the song in the rehearsal environment led by the Leader instead of attempting to learn the song solely from the audio resources and without any direction from the Leader. (A lot of detail would be missed otherwise and the educational process lost from the Member Experience).