The Rock Choir bought some fun to the city centre last month when they performed at the Cross to a large crowd. I first spotted them performing in the amphitheatre in October 2014 during the March on Cancer, waving glow sticks in the air as they encouraged the charity walkers with a rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer.” Having been a fan of their work for some time I contacted the choir leader Kathryn Davies who was kind enough to answer a few questions.
How did the Chester Branch begin and what is your role ?
“Rock Choir started down in Farnham, Surrey in 2005 with 70 people by Caroline Redman Lusher. It is the UK’s most popular Contemporary Choir and now has 20,000 members across the UK
“When I joined 6 years ago I was one of the first people to bring Rock Choir above the Watford Gap. So it really was a new phenomenon. It was around the time when Gareth Malone was just starting out, so choirs were beginning to become popular again. I started in Chester in 2010 and 6 years on haven’t looked back. I run the choir, I teach them the songs, play and conduct as well as organising exciting events and opportunities for them. I now manage the North West and Yorkshire Choir Leaders too. I trained as an actor at Mountview and worked in the business for 10 years before starting with Rock Choir”
How many members does the Choir have and how often do you meet ?
“In Chester I have just under 200 members. We meet on a Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza City Centre 7:15-8:45pm and a Thursday Morning 10-11:30am Forum Studio Theatre. I have 4 other choirs in 3 areas Knutsford Warrington and Sandbach and overall see just over 500 people a week who just love to sing.”
How do you select songs, and how hard is it to adapt sings for the Choir ?
“All of the songs are arranged for us by Caroline, we have a range of Pop, contemporary and Motown. Some songs work so well with just the choir but others need a soloist for them to work. They are all great but my absolute favourite has to be Mr Blue Sky by ELO. The more modern songs are harder to adapt, however we do have a couple of Jess Glynne songs in our repertoire now, they are brilliant too.”
What events do you perform at , and what events are coming up ?
We perform at all sorts of events, from Summer fetes, to coffee mornings, Bridgewater Hall, City Centres for Charities, fundraiser evenings. The most important thing is to give the members different experiences. 300 of us travelled down to London to record at Abbey Road Studios last year. It was truly amazing. I can’t believe I have conducted from the same podium as so many incredible musicians. Last year we were very fortunate to sing with Kerry Ellis, Russell Watson and G4 on their National Tours. We have two dates at Chester Cathedral booked for July 8th & 9th this year. Tickets will be going on sale soon for ‘The Choir That Rocks Live’ ”
How do people get involved in the Choir ?
“One of the best things about Rock Choir is that it is an inclusive choir, there are no auditions and you don’t have to read music just have a love for singing. Whether that is in the shower, driving your car or because you just want to be singing again as it was a huge passion when you were younger. So many people have made life long friends from joining our choir too. As we are a national company we do get lots of lovely performance opportunities but the best thing is the coming together every week to just sing! If people are interested in Rock Choir they can sign up for a free taster session at www.rockchoir.com ”
Thank you to Kathryn Davies! @KathRockChoir