Updated: Monday, 20th January 2020 @ 2:08pm

Salford gets the Glee-touch with rock choir's return to roots

Salford gets the Glee-touch with rock choir's return to roots

By Helen Le Caplain

A Glee-style national rock choir returned to its Salford roots for a special rehearsal at the university yesterday.

More than 140 local Rock Choir members united to rehearse for ‘Rock Choir Live at Wembley’, a private event for over 7,000 Rock Choir members and special guests from across the UK.

The Wembley event will be the finale of an ITV documentary providing behind-the-scenes access to choir rehearsals.

Rock Choir member, Jenny Hutcheson, 25, attends Rock Choir with her mum Jill.

When asked about go to Wembley she said: "It is an amazing opportunity to go to Wembley, most people that go don't sing there.  

It's incredible to think of the all the famous people that have performed there."

The Salford rehearsal was the first opportunity for local Rock Choir choral director and Salford graduate, Maxine Cherrie, to bring together the Bury, Altrincham and Wilmslow Rock Choirs to rehearse.

Founder and director of Rock Choir, Caroline Redman Lusher, also a Salford graduate, attended the rehearsal.

Both Caroline and Maxine have a special connection with Salford University as they studied Popular Music and Recording.

Maxine said: “I'd studied classical music since I was a child so by the time I finished music college I wanted a change.

I wanted something more creative and Salford offered just what I was looking for.

At the time there weren't any other popular music courses around so Salford was a real forerunner."

Caroline championed a new style of choral singing in the UK, unlike conventional choirs there are no auditions and no need for previous singing experience.

The weekly rehearsals see members young and old belting out a repertoire of upbeat pop, gospel and Motown songs.

Altrincham, Bury and Wilmslow Rock Choirs gave debut performances at the Sale and Wilmslow Christmas lights last year just ten weeks after they began rehearsing.

Rock Choir has not only revolutionised the concept of modern choral singing, but has also invigorated members’ lives.

Bury Rock Choir member, Valerie Booth, 52, said: "Since joining Rock Choir in September, I've been given a whole new lease of life.

I've gone from being a bit of a recluse and not having much confidence to helping out at Bury, Altrincham and Wilmslow Rock Choirs.

"My social life has gone through the roof, to the extent that my neighbours have been worried about me as I'm never at home. I've also lost two stones in weight and all my friends and colleagues now refer to me as 'The New Val'.

“Joining Rock Choir is the best thing that could have happened to me."

If you would like to find out more information about local Rock Choir groups near you go to: www.rockchoir.com or call 01252 714 276.

 

Clip of Rock Choir singing ‘Valerie’ on the Paul O’Grady Show:

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Rock Choir member, Jenny Hutcheson, 25, shares her experiences of Rock Choir.

“I have always loved singing from when I used to sing Annie at the top of my voice on my swing. I was born with dislocated hips which over the last eight or nine years have become progressively worse.

“I have suffered with depression and my self-confidence, a few months into my recovery my mum told me about Rock Choir and signed us up to the taster session in September.

“It's increased my confidence so much that I even auditioned for a solo and got it along with another member. A lot of the fun we have is due to our brilliant leader Kathryn who even when she was ill was still bouncing around full of energy.

“All I really want to do is sing and Rock choir gives me the opportunity to do this every week and perform with my mum and lots of other lovely people in front of my friends and family and complete strangers which I've not been able to do for a long time.
 
“I feel like over the years my disability has chipped away at who I am, stopped me doing so many things I love to do but singing has always been something that makes me feel complete. I'm even happier than when I’m singing and Rock Choir's given me my happiness back even if just for an hour and a half a week.

“Rock Choir has given me something to sing about again.”