On Saturday we did something very rare in our book – we actually blocked out a Saturday in July not to shoot a wedding. This is never a decision we make lightly as we love our work so much, but when I got the opportunity to sing at the O2, I couldn’t pass it up!
For the last two years I’ve been a member of Cambridge Rock Choir led by the superb Carrie Rawlings. When I first heard about Rock Choir a few years ago from the ITV documentary, I’d been searching for a choir ever since I moved to Cambridge in 2008. There are lots of choirs in Cambridge, but many are, well, quite serious, and although I had been classically and contemporary trained in my youth, as well as doing my stint in amateur musicals, what I wanted was a community choir where I could turn up, belt out a few songs and get that endorphin rush for pleasure. I was gutted to see that there was no Rock Choir here – there was even one in my old home town of Dunstable! Thankfully, barely a few months later, I saw an ad in the paper announcing some introductory workshops for a new Rock Choir in Cambridge – yay!
I went to the workshop and instantly warmed to our leader-to-be Carrie Rawlings, she was full of energy and went at a good pace. Importantly, she had talent! There is always a danger you’d end up with a ‘couldn’t make it in the industry’ type – this may sound harsh but I used to work in a musical theatre agency so have met them all! – yet Carrie has a cracking voice and still works professionally on stage alongside Rock Choir. Fairly soon in the workshop I felt my singing voice leap back into action after laying dormant for very many years. I signed up, and am happy to be starting ‘year 3’ with Carrie and all my lovely choir friends (including my best bud Aimee!) in September.
Singing with Rock Choir is my Monday night release for all the stresses that come with running a business. This year we also welcomed one of my brides, the lovely Becs, which is great because I have got to know her even better now and it’s like she has always been a friend. I’ve had my ups and downs with my own voice, after finding it again and becoming a soloist fairly early on in year 1, I then had a crisis of confidence about my sound and am slowly trying to get back into it, but more importantly it’s lots of fun and we get a chance to experience various performances. However, the mother of all performances came on Saturday, we got to sing at the O2 as part of Rock Choir Live!
I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I absolutely loved it, 16,000 people singing together with a host of hugely talented leaders was quite the euphoric experience (although enjoying a few cocktails helped too!) Couple that with travelling over in the amazing weather and well it was a super day all round! It was emotional at times with representatives from the two Rock Choir charities Missing People and Refuge speaking after all the fundraising events we do, and well it makes it all worth while.
One of the best decisions I made was to take my camera! Shooting 1.4 on a 35mm lens I was able to avoid getting the flash out and retain the atmosphere, and I am so pleased I was able to capture it, as well as shooting some songs in HD video too! Here are some of my shots, and if you are interested in joining us there are some summer workshops happening in August before we start again in September. Visit www.RockChoir.com to put in your postcode and find a group near you. That sounds like an advert I know, but if you love singing then do it!
With the lovely Becs & Aimee
Fellow Cambridge members show Carrie their support!
Founder of Rock Choir Caroline Redman-Lusher leads in the opening
Carrie takes a solo on Disco Inferno
The Rock Choir Teens – Wow. The quality of the soloists were incredible and they get get to do some great pop songs! I’m only 5″ tall, surely I could sneak in as a teen??
Some 500 or so male members get their moment on stage
I love the weave effect that the movement creates here!
Time to head home…
Until next time!