The Nanaimo Rock Choir is a brand new project by Nick La Riviere, one of Victoria’s busiest multi-instrumentalists; creator of The Victoria Rock Choir.

This choir features accompaniment (and rockin’ solos) by piano, bass, guitar, and drums. Performing music by bands like Van Halen, Journey, Neil Young, and other fun classic rockers, with arrangements by Nick La Riviere.  This is a choir where you can really belt it out!

This is a non-auditioned choir, and we believe that everyone has what it takes to rock with us! Not a musician or a notation reader? No problem, we’ve got you covered. Choir members can use the free online music editor Compose by SmartMusic to play back their parts (see the video below to see how it works).  It’s fun, easy, and will also help people learn to read the music. For anyone without a computer or tablet (required for the Compose app), audio demos are also available.

The choir rehearses Wednesdays at the Saint Paul’s Anglican Church at 100 Chapel St from 6:30 to 8:30. Rehearsals begin October 11th.  There will be a break during the month of December, then we’ll resume on January 3rd.  We’ll wrap up the season of rehearsals with a performance in April, fundraising for charity – Nanaimo Foodshare.  See below to find out more about what they do.

Want to join us? Email now to register!

about Nick

Choir director and arranger Nick La Riviere is a professional freelance musician. He tours across Canada, the USA, Mexico, and Europe with various bands including the Juno winning band, The Paperboys. His main instrument is trombone, but he also loves to sing, play bass, piano, conch shells (yes, for real), and is always working on figuring something out on a new instrument.  On the video demo below you hear him playing bass, guitar, piano, and singing. He loves playing all styles of music and has performed with iconic rock band 54-40, as well as composed horn charts for their show.  

Check out Nick’s gig schedule here

Other bands he plays in include The Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra (Klezmer), Cities (pop/rock covers), Pretzel Logic (Steely Dan covers), and Locarno (original and traditional Mexican/latin music).  He also leads his own band, Best Laid Plans, which performs originals and covers depending on what’s right for the gig.

In addition to all this performing, Nick runs 4 other community groups:
•The Victoria Rock Choir
•The Jive Big Band
•Soul Source (a 20 piece R&B band performing arrangements by Nick)
•The Blue Bosses Jazz Combo

Check out some videos those bands made during the pandemic here!

VIDEOS

Not sure if you’re a Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass? This should help… and also inspire you with our super fun arrangement of Don’t Stop Believin’! (this is probably about the most complicated arrangement we’ll try by the way!)

Want to skip to the song? Click here!

Check out our system to make it super easy for you to practice your part at home whether you’re a music reader or not!

Q&A

Will there be opportunities for solo singing, or is it all choral?
YES! Some of the arrangements will include solos where one person can take the lead, backed by the choir.

I’m not sure I have what it takes to sing in a choir, can I try it out before I commit?
YES! Come join us for a rehearsal before committing to the season. We’re sure you’ll have a great time.

Are voice roles (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) gender specific?
NO! Anyone is welcome to whatever part suits their vocal range.

For those who can’t read notation, how will rehearsals works?
Whenever possible notation reading members will stand between non-reading members at rehearsal.  Also, the music will be given out ahead of the first rehearsal, both in notation and in the online playback system (see the video above) so you’ve got a chance to start getting comfortable with it before singing with the group.

About the charity we support

Established in 1997 and registered as a charity in 2000, Nanaimo Foodshare Society connects the community with resources, skills, and knowledge to create change that increases healthy food for everyone.

Check out Nanaimo Foodshare’s website here

Specifically, they:

  • Work with community partners to address hunger in the community
  • Build food skills
  • Bring the community together to share resources
  • Build community capacity to provide healthy foods to everyone.
  • Through our programs, we support local sustainable food, help build food policy and develop coordinated community strategies to improve food security.
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