Boulder’s Face Vocal Band played a holiday show at Denver’s Paramount Theatre in December and brought along some friends — around 100 or so members of Face Academy of Music, including some from Rock Choir Colorado.
“It was sold out,” says tenor Cody Qualls. “We’ve never done that before. To have our singers from our school back there with us, no longer was it just Face up there. These people can come and be a part of it with us.”
Face Vocal Band is looking for more people to join the Rock Choir Colorado, a ten-week, audition-free program that allows people of all experience levels to sing in a choir setting. The program, which started last year, is a part of the larger Face Academy of Music that offers, among other instruction, private vocal lessons and songwriting classes.
Rock Colorado Choir is currently open to anyone sixteen years old or older. The program costs $167 and includes ten rehearsals, a dress rehearsal and then an end-of-term concert later this year.
“We bring everyone together for a massive 150-person show,” Qualls says. “We bring in a band and we sing pop and rock songs from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s and today.”
Qualls says there are three ten-week terms per year, followed by a lengthy break between each one so people don’t get overwhelmed. The choirs meet once a week for a couple of hours to practice, and members include professionals as well as people who have never sung in public.
“It’s meant to enrich people’s lives with music,” he says. “It’s meant to have a solid place in their lives as far as time, but it's not there to take over people’s lives.”
Rehearsal sites are currently located in Arvada, Aurora, Broomfield, Boulder, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland and Thornton. Additional locations are planned for Colorado Springs as well as Golden, Parker and Evergreen. Last year, some of the choirs in different cities had as many as fifty members, while some only had fifteen or so.
“We’ve been hearing that people really love the intimacy of the smaller groups,” Qualls says.
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Sometimes, Qualls says, choir members will get additional opportunities to do stuff like sing the national anthem at Rockies games and other concerts the group puts on. The group is planning an opening performance for an upcoming Harlem Globetrotters game in February at the Pepsi Center. Face Vocal Band is also taking some choir members for its highly anticipated first gig at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, and choir members joined Face on stage at its show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre last year.
Working with local schools to raise money for music programs has always been important to members of Face Vocal Band. They raised more than $20,000 last year for Colorado school music programs to buy much-needed supplies. They see Rock Choir Colorado as another way to do good in the community.
“This last term, we did a fundraiser with Westminster High School,” Qualls says. “Their kids came out and sang, and we raised close to $3,000 for Westminster school music programs. Not only are we doing this cool thing as a community, but people are also able to take to stages they never thought they’d be able to.”
Go to coloradorockchoir.com for information on how to register for Rock Choir Colorado. Classes for locations in Arvada, Aurora, Broomfield, Boulder, Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland and Thornton start January 13, and the registration cutoff is February 1. Classes for Castle Rock and Colorado Springs begin February 3, and the cutoff for registration is February 22.