BBC’s Proms in the Park – the post-show high! - Caroline Redman Lusher

BBC’s Proms in the Park – the post-show high!

On Saturday 8th September 2018 the Rock Choir Vocal Team, over 10,000 Rock Choir Members and I, performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra live on Radio 2 and BBC’s Red Button to an audience of 40,000 at the BBC Proms in the Park concert in Hyde Park, London.

Are we all still on a high? That very special high that only performing in Rock Choir can give us all? That proud and warm status of accomplishment and natural joy that only comes after nailing a performance and knowing that it all worked and we all came together to achieve something remarkable, unique and life-changing?!

My life changed last Saturday. The world looks and feels different now! It changed as soon as we all came off the BBC stage for the first time. I can’t quite put my finger on it but maybe others will understand or agree about this slightly odd and unique feeling that everything has shifted. Colours are brighter, life is more in focus and there’s much more love and hope than ever before! Rock Choir has shifted onto another level. Not only in terms of profile or exposure which of course the BBC have generously given us in droves these last few weeks, but a sense that we, as a team, are even MORE united and stronger than ever before; strength in our friendships, strength in our bonds and strength in our voices. We came together to try and achieve something extraordinary and not only did we accomplish that but we surpassed ALL expectations! Every individual played a part! Everyone was special and important and equal; 1 family, 1 choir! Can I be more in love with the Rockies than I am now? Can I feel more in awe or have more respect for the Leaders and the HQ Team than I feel for them now? And can I thank all of them enough AND the very special BBC Team for giving us the opportunity and platform to FEEL like this. Probably not!

Some of my highlights were:

1 – Pausing in the wings to listen to the roaring of the 40,000 crowd and hearing a swell of noise each time “Rock Choir” was announced! Thrilling and frightening at the same time.

2 – Coming out onto that stage and then seeing the Rockies reveal their STARS at exactly the right time, en-masse, and stretched out in front of us as far as the eye could see. That the Flash Mob had worked and everyone had made it! Amazing!

3 –Performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra; A beautiful and rare experience for all of us. The talent and professionalism was out of this world AND the unique arrangements were created just for us! Walking into Abbey Road to meet them at the rehearsal was equally as amazing!

4 – To spend so much quality time with the Leaders and the HQ Team backstage over those 2 days. Getting to know the new Leaders and feeling so grateful that Rock Choir has attracted such talent and such wonderful personalities but, at the same time, dreadfully missing the Leaders who weren’t able to be there with us

5 – Realising that my stiletto had got caught in the stage-flooring at the beginning of Dancing in the Street and managing to wrench it free JUST in the nick of time as the opening line began! Did anyone notice my forward lunge to the mic? (Reminder – no stilettoes next year!)

6 – Sitting/chatting with Albert Hammond and hearing about his life before Michael Ball arrived with his camera crew! What a guy!

7 – Matt Goss greeting me off-stage, kissing me (!) and congratulating all of us. (I saw Bros at the NEC as a teenager!)

8 – My team cheering me on as Michael Ball and I walked and talked away from the Radio 2 tent and back to the stage. I love my team! Tripping, twice, on the stilettoes walking up the ramp! (2nd reminder – no stilettoes next year!)

9 – Hearing the chanting of “Rock Choir” in time with the opening classical piece of the final set! And it getting stronger and louder each time until the whole team on stage could hear it!? Unbelievable!

10 – Walking away through Hyde Park that night and looking back at the BBC stage wondering what just happened?!!?! But we all know what just happened – ROCK CHOIR just happened!

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