Kingston Rock Choir Show: Sold Out and Sang Out

Well, well, well Kingston Rock Choir, what a show! All Saints Church in Kingston Marketplace was packed on Saturday 21st June – the summer solstice and a wonderful sultry night filled with good music. The choir and soloists covered nearly 30 songs in two hours, in three, four, five and six part harmonies, complete with some tricky dance routines, all from memory! Best of all, the audience loved it and were engaged all the way through, joining in and adding to the vibe and joy that singing and listening to Rock Choir brings.

“I really enjoyed the show last night. It was very well put together.”

Kingson Rock Choir Small Group

The choir raised their game for their big show, the small group songs were arresting, and the soloists wiped the floor with their numbers. Jim, his sound man, Will, and other helpers worked exceptionally hard to bring it all together on the night, for which we are all very grateful.

Kingston Rock Choir Solo

“Jim was brilliant in keeping the crowd engaged and involved all the way through.”

A special thanks goes to All Saints, who gave us the venue free, and kindly provided wine and juice at the interval. We are pleased to say the concert raised over £1600 for the ASK renovation campaign.

 

Wimbledon Rock Choir Concert

Wimbledon Rock Choir Concert July 2014 at Wandsworth Town Hall

Wimbledon Rock Choir Wandsworth Town Hall concert is now SOLD OUT!

Wimbledon Rock Choir is proud to announce they will be performing at Wandsworth Town Hall on Thursday 3rd July 2014.

We promise a fun-filled evening of entertainment to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Wandsworth Community Transport (WCT). All profits will go to help this worthy cause and raise funds for a new minibus.

Tickets are just £7, including light refreshments. There are an extremely limited number on sale to this prestigious venue at the heart of vibrant Wandsworth, so don’t miss out!

Wimbledon Rock Choir will be fired up and ready to knock your socks off with their performance! If you cannot make the event (or miss the boat) and would like to donate to WCT please use their fundraising web-page.

Tickets for Wimbledon Rock Choir event are now sold out.

Children and infants are welcome free. We ask that you please take out little ones who are being too noisy (unless they’re involved in audience participation of course!)

You will receive a confirmation email from Paypal and then we will send you an e-ticket to print for the evening to your email address.

Please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions and we look forward to seeing you on the night!

Thank you.

 

Kingston Rock Choir Summer Concert

Saturday 21st June 2014 at 7:30pm

Kingston Rock Choir invites you to join them at the newly rejuvenated All Saints Church, Kingston for their end of year concert.

You will be wowed with the church’s beautiful acoustics and vibrant atmosphere. We promise you a high energy, family friendly and entertaining evening.

This is not one to miss!

ONLINE TICKET SALES ARE NOW CLOSED A limited number of tickets will be available  on the door. There are no seat reservations so please arrive in good time. Doors open 7pm.

All profits go to the All Saints Kingston church renovation, ‘Where England Began‘, and where our Rock Choir rehearses every Tuesday.

Kingston Rock Choir Summer 2014 ConcertChildren and infants are welcome free. We ask that you please take out little ones who are being too noisy.

Please click the ‘Buy now’ button above and select how many tickets you need. Please tell us if you need any special access or seating in the box provided.

You will receive a confirmation email from Paypal and then we will send you an e-ticket to print for the evening to your email address.

Please don’t hesitate to email us with any questions and we look forward to seeing you on the night!

Thank you.

Please feel free to download a poster to share with your friends and family.

Kingston Rock Choir Summer 2014 Concert A4

 

Important information about Jim’s Choir Workshop, Sat 29th March

Jim’s Choir Workshop: Essential information – where, when and what

We are counting down the days now to our big All Singers Saturday and excitement is building! The band has been rehearsing, the arrangements and scores have been written, and our lovely volunteers are ready to help! As of today there are only about seven tickets left, so still chance to buy, if you’re quick. Please share this information with anyone who is coming along to the choir workshop (it has been sent this by email too) and if you like to tweet or post, please use #AllSingersSat to join in the conversation!

 

The venue

St Mark’s Church, St.Mark’s Place, Wimbledon, SW19 7ND.

View Larger Map

The church is in the heart of Wimbledon town centre (not the village) and is easily accessible by public transport.

Transport

Parking can be a challenge, so take advantage of the close proximity of Wimbledon Rail Station and local bus routes, which are no more than 10 minutes walk away. Please plan your journey here.

Parking

You can part at the Centre Court Shopping Centre and there are smaller car parks around, or, if you are lucky, you may find a space in the surrounding side roads, but beware of tricky one-way streets and please double check for any parking restrictions!

Arrival time and registration

Please arrive from 9:45am. Walk to the front entrance of the church and you’ll be greeted by the team who will help you sign in. Help yourself to refreshments available and please make use of the facilities.

Resources

Participants will be e-mailed musical resources on Thursday 27th March, which you can print and bring with you if you wish to have a score on the day. Otherwise Jim will be teaching by rote to bring everyone nicely together!

The choir workshop schedule

10am – Vocal warm up

10:30am – “If I Fell”

11:30am – 10 minute break

11:40am – “Because”

12:40pm – Lunch – please bring your own food or wander through Wimbledon Town Centre as there is a wide variety of places to eat and enjoy lunchtime.

1:40pm – “Easy Feeling”

2:45pm – “Hotel California”

4pm – Performance with our live band

5pm – 6pm – Sing-a-long

6pm – End of day

 

O2 and Echo Arena!

In July I performed on stage at both the O2 and Echo Arenas as part of “Rock Choir Live!”.

Not only that, but I had been commissioned to produce the first 15 minutes of music for the show and after almost 6 months of patient waiting, I finally got to hear my sounds played back through a mega PA installation and in front of an excited crowd! To hear the cheers of excitement of over 15,000 people was phenomenal! The best bit was actually hearing the crowd cheering in all the places I hoped they would from the start of the soundtrack! It was an awesome experience!

UPDATE! This is the video of the show released in Jan 2014 and below is the backing track…

Here’s the first song of the show that I produced (backing track) which came in at around 5 minutes into the introduction sequence:

 

Rock Choir Live at the O2

The Rock Choir Team 2013

Jim sang at the )2

My-team-after-the-show-at-the-O2

 

Abbey Road 2013

Abbey Road Studios 20th-21st April 2013

photo-2It was a thrilling experience and lifetime achievement to record at Abbey Road over the weekend! I took five Rock Choir choirs into Studio 1 to cut their own unique version of “True Colours”. Over 600 singers came through one of the best recording studios in the world and to top it off, we hired the legendary Simon Rhodes as our chief engineer for the weekend.

I learned a great deal from working with Simon and gained such valuable experience from going through this type of recording process. It was intense and exhausting from the nerves and adrenaline, but I loved every second of it and felt completely “at home” by the end of the two sessions. I need to go back!

The Rock Choir choirs are made up of amateur singers with no musical background or training. Singers are not auditioned and attend simply for the joy of singing together. It doesn’t matter that not many have a musical background and don’t read music “dots” because everything is taught and learned by ear – very good training, and in someways, one of the best musical skills to develop in my opinion!

Abbey Road Kingston Rock Choir
Kingston Upon Thames Rock Choir create their Abbey Road moment!

The whole preparation and rehearsal process was deliberately creative with a close eye on detail. I put the choirs through their paces for 10 weeks, they were walking around in circles waving their arms, moving expressively, I had them singing from phonetic lyric sheets, singing in darkness, drawing the melodic and dynamic shapes, learning each other’s harmony part, drilling and drilling the structure of the song and finally connecting with the lyrics to draw out the emotional content. We studied and worked out this song like a Rubix cube puzzle and everything aligned perfectly on the big weekend! Simon actually commented on how well-rehearsed the choirs were and even went so far as to say they sounded professional! High praise and well deserved, we worked very hard for it! I’m a very proud choir leader!

Jim gives instruction amongst some of the 21 mic stands needed on the day
Jim gives instruction amongst some of the 21 mic stands needed on the day

We made five different and compelling versions of True Colours recorded and mixed in Abbey Road Studio 1. [Editor Note, May 2015: unfortunately, Rock Choir has asked us to remove these recordings from the James Hawkins Music site and Soundcloud account now that Jim is no longer a contractor for the company. We suggest, if you are looking to hear these beautiful tracks again, that you contact the Rock Choir office directly, as we passed all the recordings into their hands for their archive. Sorry to disappoint you.]

P.S. Sunday was a bit more of a family occasion as Baby Daniel and Mum joined us for some recordings…

 

O2 and Echo Arena shows (backing track)

I am pleased with the overall effect of this track and instrumental arrangement of the classic Queen song “We Will Rock You”. This forms part of a 15 minute, tension-building, intro-sequence I composed and produced for the Rock Choir. It is due to be performed with live vocals in June and July 2013 as part of a sold-out national event hosted at the Echo and O2 Arenas. MENTAL!!!

Royal Festival Hall Performance 2013

On May 4th I led a 170 strong Rock Choir through a 30 minute set as part of the Chorus Festival held at the Southbank Centre, London. It was organised by the Voice-lab programme and hosted by Mary King.

The choir were fantastic and full of energy; we knew we had to do something extra special bearing in mind our location and the occasion! Mary King introduced us and afterwards was extremely complimentary to our sound and togetherness in performance! Fantastic and reliable feedback from a world renowned vocal teacher and choir director.

I spent most of the day listening to other choirs, meeting fellow directors and observing a variety of conducting styles. The morning vocal warm up with Mary King was brilliant and I learned a few new tricks!

We have even been invited to Dublin to perform with a gospel choir sometime next year! Bring it on!!

Bob Chilcott Workshop February 2013

Bob Chilcott Workshop TeamBob Chilcott is an adorable choral composer, arranger and conductor and if you don’t know of him I highly recommend looking him up! NOW! 🙂

http://www.bobchilcott.com

I found his work through teaching at schools across the country. Pieces such as , “The Lily And The Rose”, “Like A Rainbow”, and “Can You Hear Me?”, simply hit the spot for me and I immediately became a fan! Little did I know that years later I’d be meeting, having lunch with, discussing a mutual enjoyment of the daytime-TV show, “Loose Women”, and working as his accompanist for the day!

In February 2013 Bob hosted a choral workshop in Kingston where he taught “Queen Of The May”, “Thou Knowest, Lord”, “Danny Boy”, and “The Lily And The Rose”, to a mixed-ability group of approximately 200 amateur local singers. He was all that you could have hoped for as a choir leader and many times I had to pinch myself to make sure it wasn’t just a dream!

The workshop whizzed by but I made sure to listen intently and learn as much as I could from this musical giant. It was a real master class in teaching choral music!

One of Bob’s highlights from the day was hearing the Rock Choir sing, “True Colours”. The entire room was moved, some to tears, and a lot gave such beautiful compliments to the Rock Choir singers. Bob was really impressed.

It was an incredible day with an incredible composer/arranger and conductor! A number of his CDs are available on Amazon. I would highly recommend the following choices:

by Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir and Bob Chilcott (2012)


by Laurie Ashworth, Andrew Staples, the Nash Ensemble and Wells Cathedral Choir (2012)


by Gemma Beeson, Will Todd Trio, Wellensian Consort and Bob Chilcott – NB – for those who went to the Missing People Carols Services in St Martin in the Fields in Dec 2013, Will Todd arranged the beautifully unique rendition of ‘Away in a Manger’.


by Bob Chilcott and the Sirens

Or simply check them all out here!

Bob hosts workshops all over the country so please do look him up, I can guarantee you’ll have a wonderful time!

http://www.bobchilcott.com