A first timer’s guide to… Rock Choir

Jamie Glassman on healing his injured spirit one octave at a time
A first timer’s guide to… Rock Choir
June 13, 2016   |    Jamie Glassman


Created by Parisian youths, Parkour is the sport that involves a lot of scrambling over walls and jumping across rooftops. In my day that was what thieves did after they’d just robbed your house. But bear in mind, ‘my day’ was a long time ago. Balance sent this ageing reporter along to a class and I was the oldest by 15 years. OK, 20. So when the teacher said: ‘We won’t bother stretching before class; we’ll just move around a bit instead,’ everyone happily went along and, stupidly, so did I.

Twenty minutes of ‘moving around’ later, I tore my calf muscle. To his credit the teacher did find me some ice before he took the class away. I have no idea where, to be honest – I was too busy dealing with the pain and pity.

A while back, I was working as an events manager in Shoreditch. In the office stationary cupboard I found a pile of old compliments slips, and thought how rubbish they were because they didn’t actually contain any compliments! I often thought positive stuff about work mates (like how Ben always made me laugh, how Kirsty’s marathon running inspired me to start training for a 10K) but I never told them.


As anyone who has spent any time on crutches will testify, you spend a lot of time answering the same question: ‘How did it happen?’ ‘At a Parkour class actually (smug face) …well, during the warm up (less smug face).’ So, unable to tell you what a Parkour class entails, I signed up for Rock Choir, Britain’s biggest amateur singing group, with meetings across the UK rehearsing the same songs. I was young again at Rock Choir and, being male, in the minority. That said, they were a warm and friendly bunch and I got to sing as loudly as I liked.

In 90 minutes we learned the harmonies to Danny Wilson’s Mary’s Prayer. Sounds religious, but it isn’t. It may have been in a church hall, but they insist that God isn’t invited to Rock Choir.

I was still limping, but in the words of Danny Wilson, ‘Everything is wonderful, being here is heavenly’.

What would you like Jamie to try next? Tweet us @BalanceLDN


LEVEL All singing abilities
COST Free taster. £100 per term
TIME 90 minutes

Read more: The first timer’s guide to fencing and foraging

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