School of Rock, Vancouver-Style: New “Rock Choir” Welcomes Aspiring Singers

Jack Black is not a member of Vancouver's Rock Choir ... but it's still a lot of fun.

Jack Black is not a member of Vancouver’s Rock Choir … but it’s still a lot of fun.

If you love to croon along with the radio, this may be just the thing for you.

A new Vancouver choir is covering a lot more classic rock than classical … and it’s encouraging anyone to join in. The Impromptu Rock Choir focuses exclusively on pop and rock songs, from Arcade Fire to the Rolling Stones. Better still, it’s open to everyone – no prior music experience required.

The drop-in choir meets twice a week – Tuesdays in East Vancouver and Thursdays in West Vancouver – and puts an emphasis on fun, social singing. It’s targeted at singers who may not have a lot of time to commit to a choir but who want to share in the experience of making music with others.  

unnamed15Recent songs covered include an eclectic sampling of greatest hits from the sixties to today: the Lumineers’ Ho Hey, the Beach Boys’ I Get Around, Oasis’ Wonderwall, Bob Marley’s Is this Love and everything in between. All songs are learned together “by ear” – there’s no need to be able to read music. After a little practice, the choir schedules performances in casual settings so you can belt out tunes for friends and family.

The Impromptu Rock Choir is the brainchild of a pair of Vancouver musicians and artists with wildly diverse backgrounds. Matt Smith is a trained vocalist, pianist and music educator with a bachelor’s in jazz from Capilano University. He’s a veteran of Vancouver’s top choral ensembles and has performed at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Meanwhile, Fiona Sizer has no formal music training at all – apart from a hardcore love of UK punk.  She bring energy and enthusiasm to rehearsals and makes sure everyone is having fun.

Photo sourced from

Photo sourced from

Above all, the group – which describes itself as midway between a sing-along and a traditional choir – aims to remove the barriers that keep people from singing and allow anyone to rock out and have a good time. Meetings are Tuesdays from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at the WISE Hall (1882 Adanac St., Vancouver) and Thursdays from 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Silk Purse (1570 Argyle Ave., West Vancouver). The drop-in fee is $10.

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