A rock band with 25 singers

A score of voices sing in unison Rock and roll all night of Kiss on the first floor of the historic building of the Cooperativa Obrera. The room is lively: women and men sing the lyrics while they dance and even do a little choreography. Music is heard in the street. It's Wednesday, at 8:00 p.m. The weekly rehearsal of the Tarragona Rock Choir begins, an atypical choir, made up of 25 amateur vocalists, which premiered last month under the baton of the musician and journalist from Tarragona Uri Mas and the collaboration of L'Estudi de Música. It has nothing to do with the classical choirs that sing gospel in church and wear robes, its image is informal and its repertoire includes songs by Bruce Springsteen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chuck Berry, Nirvana, Grace Potter or 4 Non Blondes.

"It's like a rock band in which the singer is 25 people," explains Mas. At the concerts they will be accompanied by live musicians. At the moment he has two performances closed: on December 21 at the L'Estudi carol cantata in Plaça Corsini and on February 4 at a festival of rock choirs at the Sants Teatre in Barcelona. There are only three more formations like this in a national network of choirs that Mas formed in 2018 in Barcelona and which was later added in Sant Cugat and Granada. “I felt there was a void when it came to choirs specializing in rock music. It seems that when you leave the classic you only have the option of singing gospel, although with the oh happy day –TV3 vocal group contest– the ban was opened to do more modern things”, says Mas.

«A choir like this was missing in Tarragona, with a different style, which is exciting many people. As a school we like to expand our scope of action”, adds Elisabet Abelló, director of L'Estudi.

The average age of the members of the Tarragona Rock Choir goes from thirty onwards. There is not limit. You don't have to be a musical scholar or have experience as a singer, either. The only requirement is to want to have fun. «Not knowing how to read a sheet music or not having gone to music theory classes does not mean that a person does not know music. Actually we know much more music than we think because we are constantly listening to music from the moment we are born. In the conservatories it is as if they taught you to read and write, but, in reality, we already know how to speak before reading and writing. The same thing happens with music. In the choir we have people of all levels: there are those who are close to retiring, others who sang at university but left when they became parents...», explains Mas.

María José Pérez, from Cambrils, had never sung in her life until she joined the first rock choir of Mas in Barcelona. "She took the train in Vila-seca on Mondays at five in the afternoon, rehearsed in Barcelona and returned home at eleven at night," she recalls. She did not hesitate for a second to join the one in Tarragona when she found out that it was going to be created. «I really like singing in a group and doing voices. I feel very happy when I do it, it is very good therapy. It's different from the typical choirs, it's more powerful, more dynamic... I really enjoy it», she comments.

Next to him is Cristina Pérez. She plays bass in a Permanent Paralysis tribute band and is a rocker. «I saw the ad by chance on the street and wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. The experience is being very good and it is helping me to educate my voice, "she says.

The Tarragona Rock Choir is open on the last Wednesday of each month to anyone who wants to try it for free – to take part you have to pay a monthly fee of 30 euros to basically cover expenses. Above all, there is a lack of men, there are only five. «We still live in a society in which artistic issues are considered to be related to feeling and vulnerability, aspects that are sadly associated with the female gender. For this reason, although men like rock a lot and go to concerts by AC/DC or The Cure at Sant Jordi, it is difficult for them to dare to join a choir”, points out Mas. And he defines this musical genre, not as something inbred and closed, but as a “style that has moved millions of people and is related to the life experiences of many people. We try to flee from the darker aesthetics of rock, which exists and nothing happens, our political commitment is to show that rock seeks to break patterns and not create new ones.

The choir's wardrobe at concerts is inspired by the album cover born in the USA Bruce Springsteen: white T-shirt, jeans and a red cap in the back pocket. «Each one assembles his props as he likes. There are people who come with a torn jean jacket, others without sleeves, with a scarf, with red suspenders. It's very cool," concludes Mas.

It is one of only four formations of this type that exist in a network

at the national level

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go up