This is me all ready to go out and sing with Rock Choir this weekend. We performed a flash mob in the centre of Derby at the Market Place and then we walked up the road to Derby Cathedral and sang outside there too.
It was a bit cold but what you can't see in this picture is the layers underneath my jacket. You have to go prepared for all weathers when you're a Rockie especially with the outdoor performances We certainly Don't Stop Believin' and Can't Stop The Feeling of wanting to sing.....ha ha see what I did there?
We did actually sing Can't Stop The Feeling, yes it's a new one but we managed to get all those lyrics wrapped around our tongues and I think they came out in the right order and sounded ok. Funnily enough I worried about that song the most as it has so many lyrics to remember but it was actually All I Want For Christmas that was the one I felt a bit stuck with.
When I'm having my moment with Mariah in the kitchen while listening on the radio I could just fuddle through but now I've got to really remember if I want snow or not and whether I've sent my list to the North Pole for St Nick......oh heck. I sing bass in choir so at least I don't have to go full on Mariah, I can stay low....phew. My hat goes off to the sopranos on some of the songs we sing, I would need lemon and honey on a constant drip to prevent with my vocal pipes from bursting.
Not only did we do those two performances on Saturday but we were back in Derby at Markeaton Craft Village for more on the Sunday. It didn't seem so cold on this day and the rain stayed away which was nice. In fact the sun shone quite a bit and I truly believe that may have been due to us, ya welcome Derby folk! A lovely lunchtime singing session and I really enjoyed it. There is something about singing Christmas songs, I feel I may be getting into the mood now. It always takes me a while.
So what did we sing over the weekend, well I'll tell you......
First Noel/Silent Night
Merry Christmas Everyone
Can't Stop The Feeling and....
All I Want For Christmas
Great eh? I do smile when singing Silent Night as I have to remember not to sing sleep in heavenly peas instead of peace, I mean I've never heard of heavenly peas and definitely never thought of the garden variety being particularly heavenly but hey it makes me smile. I also have to smile at Jennie our choir leader who does everything to mouth and mime the lyrics to us so we remember. You would never beat this girl at a game of charades let me tell you. I bet she suggests a game at Christmas and everyone goes 'nooooooo' ya too good, not a chance........oh go on then......it's a film, one word.........two syllables........FOOTLOOSE!!!
There is one thing for sure Rock Choir is so much fun so keep an eye out around your area for your local choir and go and support them if you can. You may be shopping and not notice them if they are in flash mob disguise so be aware.........there may just be a Rock Choir singing somewhere.
Thanks for reading today, please come back tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now you take care.
I bet you thought it was an earthquake eh Nottingham? Well no it was actually Rock Choir Live in concert at The Albert Hall Conference Centre and what a concert!!
This was the scene we were greeted with when we first walked into the Main Hall, yes confronted with a huge big organ (so many jokes, so little time), our stage for the evening. The Derbyshire Choirs performed on Saturday (14th) and the Nottinghamshire Rockies performed last night (15th). Two years ago we all performed on one night at The Royal Concert Hall but this was so much better, a little less hectic shall we say.
We were not just randomly chucked into our places here, oh no there was a plan. Time was taken to get us all in our harmony parts and in a position we could all see our choir leader and be seen by our audience. That's important, we need to show off our beautiful singing faces and show off our moves we've worked so hard to perfect. After all this was done there was a chance to soundcheck a few songs, get the levels right you know.....oh get me - I am not just a gal talking about tea, I'm now a performer (who loves tea).
Next came the rehearsal of everyone coming off stage and then everyone leading back onto the stage. We had this fabulous walking on routine, singing as we go which just worked with perfection (well done Jennie). What a way to enter.....this was just getting so exciting beyond belief. An hour to go until we needed to get back into position so now was airtime to eat our tea and then get into our Rock Choir uniform ready for the big show.
Now I'm not going to tell you that we had a bit of a panic before we lined up because that would be daft, no one in the audience knew so why mention it, well I fear if I don't tell you my friend Lesley will. When we rehearsed this line up thing we got used to the person in front of us and who was behind but then when everyone changed into their uniform they all looked the same. So there was a bit of a ka'fuffle about where in the line me and Lesley were, well after a dash panic up and down the stairs we settled in the right place but for a moment I had visions of having to sit on someones knee, completely ruining the logistics of all this carefully choreographed routine because I had got in the wrong line up. Phew it was ok in the end........we laugh now.
Boom the lights went down and off we went. My heart nearly pounding out my chest but once we got going it felt just awesome to be on that stage doing everything we had learnt, practiced and put together. With added extras from choir leaders Jennie and Kat, the solos from the very brave Rockies who stepped up to that challenge and the magnificent poem read out by two of our members it was night to be so proud to be a part of Rock Choir.
We were also joined by two volunteer representatives from The Alzheimer's Society who talked about the charity and how it helps people with the condition. There were also collection buckets there to raise very valuable funds.
I can't tell you how great it felt to take part in this show. To some it may seem no big deal but for me and a lot of others it is. Rock Choir is not just a bunch of people turning up to sing every week, we have become great friends. We socialise together, we help each other out when times are tough and I suppose you could say we have become one big family. To get up on stage and sing these songs for some takes a huge amount courage and confidence and we had a lot of members who were taking part for the first time and guess what? We were all there to help the newbies pop their performance cherries .......as it were.
I would like to thank my fellow members because you mean so much to me. I would like to say a big thank you also to Jennie our choir leader who is just amazing, without her we would never have done this. She gives us confidence but keeps us relaxed to believe we can do great things. Jennie's mum Sue is lovely and her organisation makes us look as good as we did that night. Just don't tell her I lost my place!!! Jennie's dad takes photos for us which we all appreciate when we have all calmed down and able to look back on our time here and also choir leader Kat who gave us beautiful piano accompaniment to some of our songs.
I still need to come down from this experience and will do eventually but I will, like most other Rockies look back on this as just one of the best experiences ever........what World Cup? Who won Wimbledon? Who blooming cares now............we are Rock Choir and definitely ROCKED!!!!
If you would like to join in the fun then why don't you come along for a free taster session in September? Go to www.rockchoir.com for more information and to find your local session. We also have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rockchoirderbyshireandnottinghamshire/ so if you want to see what we actually got up this weekend then do feel free to take a look. Take a look at some of my Music Monday posts as they do feature Rock Choir a lot. I do try to give to an idea of what goes on and a taste of life as a Rockie.
Thanks for reading today, please join me again tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now......
After my post last week about our Summer Concert with Rock Choir that is getting quite near now I thought I might follow it up with a survival guide. Why you ask do we need a survival guide?
Well I know how some of our Rockies may be feeling at the moment. Maybe you’re thinking that you’d like to take part but you either don’t feel confident, a little nervous of a bigger show. Maybe you feel you just won’t remember those lyrics or the moves.
Take a deep breath because I’m going to talk to through it. I took part in my first big performance a couple of years ago which took part at The Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham. I hadn’t been with Rock Choir that long so I wondered whether I had done the right thing by volunteering to perform. There were a lot of songs to perform, more than we had sang at the smaller performances and the venue was huge so that meant the audience was going to be huge too.
I remember Jennie our choir leader posting a picture on Facebook of the view from the stage looking out to the auditorium and that was it…..I was nervous but at the same time I felt really excited. As soon as we all got together for the rehearsal I started to feel a bit more relaxed. I wasn’t on my own and I felt it was all going to be ok. The lights went up and it started, my heart was pounding but as soon as we got into our first song I was there in the moment and it felt great. I had suddenly forgotten all my worries.
That first round of applause after the first song puts you at ease and it’s like………ok let’s do the next one….I’m in the zone now. It’s a great experience and a chance to put all your hard work into something wonderful. So go for it!
Here are a few of my top tips for a big performance.
Lyrics - listen to your downloads as much as possible leading up to the show. While doing the dishes, housework, in the car, walking the dog - whenever possible so those lyrics start to sink in. The supermarket is ok but be prepared for a few looks particularly if you 'salsa' or 'sway' too close to the Chilli Con Carne there is enough spice in those moves eh?
Moves - if you can watch You Tube videos on the moves they help but don’t worry too much, concentrate on the singing first and the moves will follow. Yes they will - BELIEVE!!!
Newbies/First Timers - talk to other Rockies, we are all here to help each other. Grab as much information as possible about what usually happens and say if you are nervous and then someone can buddy with you to make you feel at ease. Everyone has been there so don’t worry.
Rehearsal - attend the rehearsals, this will give you a picture of how things are going to pan out and it also gives you chance to ask any questions you may have.
TRUST - trust your choir leader!! They are there to give you lyrics, the moves and your harmony parts. When you think about it you are trying to concentrate on one part but think about them, they have learnt all of them so imagine what is going through their heads but they remain cool don’t they? Watch them and follow their instructions. Everything you need is right there in front of you so make use of them.
Mistakes - Yes you may fluff up somewhere it’s only natural but if you do just act as if nothing as happened. You will notice the mistake but the audience won’t. They don’t know the harmonies or the moves so mistakes will usually go unnoticed. If you make a mistake, forget it and move on.
SMILE - probably the most important one. We all have those concentration faces especially when thinking about lyrics and the moves. It is a bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head some of the time but a smile will get you through help you relax and show the audience you are having fun.
Enjoy it!! - you will be so surprised at how quick these performances go. The time zooms by and before you know it it’s the last song and it’s all done. Have fun, we are taking part for our own enjoyment and that’s what it should be all about. You can do this and the sense of achievement at the end is a great feeling. Before you know it you’ll be asking when you can do it again.
I hope that all helps. Please leave a comment below if you are a Rockie and feel a bit unsure about performing or feel nervous and I’m more than happy to help. I’ll let you into a secret though, I get nervous too but I just think it’s normal and ok to feel like that…..it shows how much it means and that you care. So forget that pressure and just go and sing your hearts out.
Have fun Rockies.
Thanks for reading today. Please join me again tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now……
That must be one of the best titles for my blogs so far. I love the name Knickerbocker Glorious and it is a great way to describe this event which takes place in Derby every month. Now Derby is taking a bit of a battering at the moment regarding it's image and how it compares to other cities in the UK. Well one thing it does very well at is celebrate the Arts and promote talent within the city.
On selected Saturdays between 11am and 3pm just by the waterfall on the Market Place in Derby you will see a mixture of music, poetry, comedy and performing arts all available for you and your family to enjoy. Just like a Knickerbocker Glory you get to enjoy all these talented people layered up just for you, so stop, take a break from the shopping and take it all in.
I was there on Saturday with Derby and Nottinghamshire Rock Choir and we had a great time singing in our santa hats, it looked and sounded very festive. We performed 'Let it Snow', 'Mary's Prayer' and 'Halo' and it was good to blow all the chilly winter blues away. I really enjoy this event, it gets me really set up for Christmas and I get so much from performing with the choir, it's my happy place.
What made me giggle is that there were so many of us and we had to move from the Market Place for another performance just up the road at St Peters Quarter. Well I was towards the back and it just put a massive smile on my face when I saw a sea of Rock Choir Members walking up in their Santa hats, a great sight. I suppose you could say we took over Derby on Saturday. See, there is more to Derby than a disappointed overprotected Christmas tree!
Our second performance was just as enjoyable if not more as those new songs got let loose on the public. We performed 'Don't Stop Believin', 'Hallelujah', 'The First Noel/Silent Night' and 'Let it Snow'. So good to have learnt and practised those newbies and have got to performed them, an emotional moment mainly as they are really nice emotional songs.
I walked away happy and very proud to be a Rockie. Thanks to everyone who came out to watch us, all those who organise this great event and of course Jennie and Sue who keep us in order (well as much as possible).
Please continue to support Knickerbocker Glorious, if you need any information go to www.derbycathedralquarter.co.uk/CQGlorious and Furthest From the Sea who organise the event have a Facebook page so you can keep updated on future dates too at:
Thanks for reading today, please join me tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday but for now take care.
Well it's our last song to learn for this year and it's going ok so far. Taking it nice and steady as it's a bit tricky one with it's five part harmonies. Oh get me! I sound like a professional musey person but I think this is going to sound fabulous when finished.
It is of course U2's 'With or Without You' taken from one of their best albums ever, The Joshua Tree. Way back from 1987 and a class tune me thinks. Ah I was only 17 years old when this was released, yes 30 years ago!! Where did that go, only seems yesterday I was playing this on my hi fi in my bedroom. I even had the poster from this album on my wall as well. Memories!!
I'm looking forward to performing all these new songs, it's always a bit nerve racking at first but when we have sung them a few times it just becomes second nature. We performed one of our new songs on Sunday, yes 'Don't Stop Believin' got an airing at Pride Park in Derby for the 10 Mile Run. Airing???? More like a freezin'. Us Rockies looked like we belonged in Blue Planet 2, I half expected David Attenborough to sneak up behind us with his commentary. It was a little cold on the corner of Pride Park Stadium but it was a great honour to be able to cheer on the runners to the finish line and give them a sing song too.
I can't remember feeling that chilly but blimey I have never wished for the moves that go with our Rock Choir Songs, normally we can take them or leave them but I was taking them and doing them like never before. It's only a bit of swaying, clapping and diva arms now and again but we so needed to keep the blood pumping around our bodies. Well done to everyone who took part, congratulations to everyone who took part in the run and a huge thank you to Jennie our choir leader who sees us through, whatever the weather.
It's so much fun and I'm going to say it again as there will be a new term in the new year. A good time to join us, That's when I started, fresh year, a New Years resolution maybe, it will be two years for me in January so if you fancy a free taster go to www.rockchoir.com you'll have so much fun.
Keep an eye out for a Rock Choir performing near you and go and support them, take them warm drinks and mince pies!!! They will love you forever but mostly just have fun listening.
Thanks for reading today, why don't you join me again tomorrow for Teapot Tuesday, for now though......
Today is about anything to do with my love of music, whether it be reviews of concerts and gigs or shouting out my favourite tunes and my experiences at Rock Choir!