A leading Yorkshire community choir is preparing to celebrate its 10th anniversary – and is growing its ranks at the same time.
Rock Up and Sing! has expanded significantly since it was founded in 2009 and now has more than 400 members across its four adult and one youth choir.
As its 10th birthday approaches, the family of choirs is opening its doors to new members.
Choir director Rhiannon Gayle is looking forward to bringing the community together and marking a decade of progress in 2019:
When I organised the first rehearsal for a new community choir in 2009, I just hoped enough people would turn up so we could form a small choir.
I could never have predicted that more than 80 would walk through the door – and I certainly didn’t expect any of the things we’ve achieved in the years since.
In the last 10 years, members of Rock Up and Sing! have performed at venues in New York, Prague and Budapest, as well as recording at the legendary Abbey Road three times. They even recorded a version of On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘At with Lesley Garrett and Brian Blessed, filming a video on the famous landmark itself.
At the same time, the choirs have supported numerous good causes through fundraising concerts and other events. Their contributions over the last 10 years now total more than £34,000.
Over the coming months, the choirs will be performing numerous concerts across the Harrogate district, as well as travelling to Barcelona for four days to wow Spanish audiences. This year will culminate in a special festive performance at the Royal Hall with international classical harpist Claire Jones, her composer husband Chris Marshall and her orchestra, on Sunday, December 23.
Meanwhile, preparations are already being made to ensure the 10th anniversary is marked in style.
It has been such a memorable 10 years with so many highlights, it’s hard to know where to start with marking the milestone.
We’ve been working on plans for some time and can promise some unique and exciting opportunities in 2019 for choir members and audiences. We’ll be revisiting some of our favourite Rock Up songs from over the years as well as trying our hands at a few new challenges.
Whether people have been singing with us for years or are just thinking of joining us now, this is a great time to be part of the Rock Up family and enjoy making lots of new memories with us.
Rock Up and Sing! holds rehearsals at King James’s School in Knaresborough and Skipton Girls’ High School. There are no auditions for the adult choirs and no experience or ability to read music needed.
As well as learning the songs and how to sing together, the choirs train in performance skills and are known for their professional performances.
Taster sessions will be held in the first two weeks of September for anyone interested in finding out more about joining the choirs. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.