January 31 2015 Latest news:
Monday, March 10, 2014
A Norfolk choir followed in the footsteps of some rock legends when they sang at the world-famous Abbey Road Recording Studios.
Nearly 200 members of Rock Choir groups in Norwich, Beccles, Lowestoft and Wymondham went to London to record a cover of True Colours by Cyndi Lauper.
And choir leader Ian Sainsbury said members were well aware that they were sharing the studios where The Beatles, Queen, and Pink Floyd had recorded songs. “It was everything we hoped it would be,” he said. “It was a really fantastic day and the best thing about it for me was that everyone gave everything and rose to the occasion.
“The choir gave the best performance I’ve heard them give. It’s such an iconic place.
“It was great to soak up the atmosphere and contemplate all the fabulous music that’s been recorded there.”
Norfolk’s Rock Choirs were founded two years ago and now boast more than 250 members.
Professional musician Mr Sainsbury, 45, said that the group aimed to allow people to sing for enjoyment outside of a formal setting. They had raised thousands for different charities since they began, but the trip to Abbey Road was designed to give choir members memories to cherish forever.
A top sound engineer who produced Skyfall, for Adele, worked with them on their recording of True Colours.
“That’s when everyone sat in the tiered seats with their headphones on,” said Mr Sainsbury.
“The magical moment really was when they heard it played back through their headphones for the first time.
“There were quite a few tears – it was a really amazing, special atmosphere and the coach back was very raucous.”
He added that playing the piano the Beatles used to record Lady Madonna was “gorgeous”.
The studio was not big enough to record with the entire choir in one go.
And when Mr Sainsbury went outside to meet the second group, he said the “funniest moment” of the day happened.
“The choir were all behind the railings and there was this big cheer,” he said.
“People came over as they thought it must be someone famous.
“They were taking pictures on their phones.”
The choir’s repertoire favours the modern, with the group having covered I Believe In A Thing Called Love, by Lowestoft rockers The Darkness and Just The Way You Are, by Bruno Mars.
Members range from restaurant owners to hairdressers, NHS staff to solicitors and the age range spans from teenagers through to people in their 80s.
All who went down to London on February 22 will receive a memento CD of their recording to treasure.
“It was such a rewarding experience for everyone,” said Mr Sainsbury.
“We absolutely loved the whole experience and certainly want to go again next year.”
To enquire about joining the Norwich Rock Choir just visit www.rockchoir.com, or telephone 01252 714276.
Are you setting up a choir? Email Norwich Evening News reporter firstname.lastname@example.org