When the 100-strong members of Torquay Rock Choir were forced to abandon their weekly rehearsals in Torquay Boys’ Grammar School they determined a mere pandemic wasn’t going to stop them singing!

Torquay Rock Choir leader Richard ToomerTorquay Rock Choir leader Richard Toomer

Under the guidance and tutorship of inspirational leader and professional musician Richard Toomer, members are continuing to learn and rehearse new songs to add to their repertoire normally performed for the residents of Torquay at events such as the Torbay Airshow and also at Cockington Court.

It has not been possible to meet and sing in person so everything is being done virtually.

Richard first produces a tutorial video for each harmony section of the choir for members to learn and rehearse on their own and then he hosts three Zoom sessions a week for members to join and rehearse as a choir.

Coming to grips with the technology has been an achievement on its own but members have taken it all in their stride and love the interaction in the Zoom sessions - to the point that Richard has to make full use of the ‘mute’ button!

The South Devon Rock Choir appearing at the Torbay AirshowThe South Devon Rock Choir appearing at the Torbay Airshow

The social side of any choir is so important and, in addition to tutorials and rehearsals, Richard has put together social online events such as Zoom quizzes and Facebook live singalongs.

The main Rock Choir Facebook page also has a ‘Keep Britain Singing’ event at 3pm every day which is available for the public and not just Rock Choir members.

Richard and his choir members are doing everything they possibly can to carry on in these difficult times but, without exception, they cannot wait for the day when they can return in person to rehearse and perform and continue to raise money for local charities.

Meanwhile, they are very much open for business and are still welcoming new members via the website www.rockchoir.com