With only a few weeks until we open the BBC Proms Event in Hyde Park the excitement is most definitely mounting in the team but also in the online activity of the Rockies with comments and conversations as they focus on their travel-planning and logistics! The last time we came together like this was to celebrate 10 years of Rock Choir at the NEC Genting Arena in 2015. To date, in my opinion, this NEC event has been the most successful and life-affirming allowing the entire membership and team to come together under one roof to be 1 choir together.
Rock Choir was always meant to be one choir. Even though we are spread out across the country rehearsing in our local towns, the culture behind it is that we are one choir, one team, one family! The reason the NEC event was so successful in its production was because it allowed me to bring together all the successful elements from the previous arena events we had staged at Wembley, The London O2 and The Liverpool Arena, and pull them into 1 extraordinary performance that ticked all the boxes. No more issues or mistakes – just a superb professional emotional event for the Rockies to experience and the biggest sing we had ever staged.
A 90’ cat-walk leading to a 2nd stage allowed us to be closer to the Rockies and to feel much more connected than previous events. The Leaders were able to communicate and conduct at a much closer range and they as musicians were able to create a live band together to accompany the harmonies and also perform as vocalists with some new material for the members to enjoy. We brought in legendary artists such as Kiki Dee, Kim Wilde and Chesney Hawkes to have some fun singing with us and they were just as overwhelmed with the energy and love in the room as we were with them being there.
To be invited by the BBC to open their legendary Proms in the Park event this September is superb and a representation of how we are now viewed and related to by other British media and entertainment brands. The music industry has already recognised us for ‘changing the British musical landscape’ and the BBC stated firmly this year that they recognise Rock Choir to be the “epitome of British contemporary singing” and that if we can’t get the audience on their feet singing, then no-one can. We also have a terrific history of working with the BBC and a reputation of being professional, fast, calm and logistically well-organised behind the scenes allowing the BBC to remain on-agenda without dealing with hundreds of potential challenges that having such a large number of people at their events could, in other circumstances, create. The Rockies are part of this successful reputation of course. Their positive energy, patience, loyalty and commitment and impeccable behaviour at these high-profile events all contribute towards the reputation Rock Choir now has and I love them and thank them for that. It shows yet again that we are 1 team and 1 family and we all need one another to make Rock Choir the success that it is.
The joy and fun that exudes from our performances are infectious and genuine. The Proms experience will without a doubt be the most powerful to date with the very glamorous and talented Rock Choir Leader Team on stage together and an opportunity for me, with their help, to lead the 40,000-strong audience. The audience will feature a very large portion of our 28,000-strong membership who will also be attending and helping us achieve the expectations set by the BBC. The BBC Concert Orchestra will be accompanying us and what an unexpected thrill to perform with them! It will also be the largest live audience we have ever performed to and we are all so excited and grateful for the experience. Who knows how it will go and who knows where it will lead but I know it will be emotional and a life-affirming experience for everyone. Long live Rock Choir! Long live the BBC! And Rule Britannia!