Neil bringing home a new musical concept

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AN ARBROATH musician who has worked in Glasgow for the past 17 years is returning to his home town and is bringing a new concept in music with him.

Neil Thompson is a well known personality in the music community in the burgh having been the youngest person ever to win the Blue Riband at the Arbroath Musical Festival at the tender age of 13.

He graduated from the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1999 with a BA in Musical Studies, and a CPSG in Performance. He is an accomplished musical director, pianist, trumpet player and vocal coach. He is also a music specialist and instructor for the South Ayrshire Region, teaching in 14 different schools.

Neil designed and currently directs the Youth Music ‘Sing-a-Long’ project, developing vocal and performing ability in young children. His rock band supported INXS on their world tour recently and he played alongside Deacon Blue at Glasgow’s Hogmanay street party last year.

Having also spent numerous years as musical director for various theatre companies, Neil and his business partner, Susie, wanted to give everyone an opportunity to sing, regardless of experience, background, or level of ability. Thus POPROCK was born.

POPROCK fuses together pop, rock, gospel, soul, jazz and musical theatre and much more, for a choir experience like no other.

There is no audition process, you do not need to read music and at no time will you be singled out unless you want to be. Neil and Susie have developed an online teaching tool to allow members to practice in the comfort of their own homes and to help them become more confident at learning harmonies.

The choir provides opportunities to form part of a group, meet new friends and enjoy a sense of companionship and belonging.

There are currently choirs across the West of Scotland, but Neil felt passionately about coming back to his roots and bringing POPROCK to Arbroath. The choir will rehearse in blocks of 10 weeks with a showcase performance at the end of each term.

Members are welcomed from ages 18 plus, both male and female. The Arbroath POPROCK Choir will commence on Tuesday, September 27, in the Community Centre, Marketgate, Arbroath, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Neil will be joined by David McMullan as choir master. Aberdeen is also opening at the same time, growing music across the east coast.

For further information about POPROCK and about joining, visit the website at www.poprockchoir.co.uk