Meet music maestro Jonathan Grosberg
PUBLISHED: 19:31 26 September 2014 | UPDATED: 19:31 26 September 2014
Manu Palomeque 07977074797
October’s Bright Young Thing on Canterbury, the Rock Choir and his West End ambitions
Tell us about yourself
My name is Jonathan Grosberg and I am a 23-year-old music teacher, choir conductor and composer living in Canterbury. I graduated last year from the University of Kent, studying English Literature and Drama with a year abroad studying Theatre at the Pennsylvania State University in the USA. My family is mostly based in the north but I’m surrounded by great friends here, so I feel very blessed.
What are you doing now?
Most of what I do is for Rock Choir, the most popular contemporary choir in the UK with more than 16,000 members across the country. I love this job because there are no auditions and no need to read music, which means anyone who loves to sing can come along. The sound we make when we are all together is phenomenal.
It is very important for me to be involved with a choir that is completely and utterly accepting of anyone, regardless of how much experience they may or may not have. Right now we are preparing for a string of Christmas concerts around Kent and we are entering our 10th anniversary year, so I have lots of exciting plans ahead for my members.
After graduating, I wasn’t quite sure what to do, but now I’m very busy and have six choirs across East Kent.
I’ve led more than 200 rehearsals so far, conducted numerous concerts and helped to raise thousands of pounds for local charities. I also teach music in schools and compose for theatre productions.
What are your future ambitions?
I really want to see my choirs grow bigger and better, and offer my members even more exciting opportunities.
We have performed at lots of events over the last few months, including singing live on BBC’s The One Show, at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury, the Folkestone Air Show and outside The Salutation in Sandwich (to name a few) and next year I will be taking my members to perform at the NEC Arena in Birmingham.
I also really want to develop my understanding of the voice, so will be entering into more training to do this. Finally, my dream is to write a musical and have it debut in the West End by the time I’m 40 (never say never!)
Where will you be in five years?
Hopefully, I’ll be carrying on what I am doing now, but with more song writing and composing. I feel very lucky to be earning a living through music, and if I am doing the same in five years time I shall be a very happy man indeed.
Even though I consider myself quite new to Kent, I don’t foresee myself moving from the area any time soon.
People are so welcoming here and it’s always great to know that if I need to nip into London it’s only less than an hour away on the train!
What’s best about living in Kent?
I grew up in Nottingham but didn’t come to Kent until 2009 when I started university, but I love it here. I enjoy living in the heart of Canterbury because it’s a historically fascinating and cultured, vibrant city with great shopping and cosy little pubs.
But I also like visiting the coast in the beautiful towns of Whitstable and Broadstairs. As well as two choirs in Canterbury, I run Rock Choir rehearsals in Folkestone, Deal, Thanet and Ashford, and really appreciate each location’s unique character. So I guess to answer succinctly, the thing I like best of all about Kent is its great variety!
Any other hobbies and interests?
Unsurprisingly, a lot of my hobbies revolve around composing and playing music. I could easily sit in a room with a piano and just play it for hours. But I also love reading, watching films and walking around the city with my friends.
What’s your favourite piece of music?
My favourite orchestral piece is George Gershwin’s charming Rhapsody in Blue. It fuses classical music with jazz in the smoothest way.
My popular music choice would have to be Porcelain by Moby, a bit of an unconventional choice I must admit, but it always makes me feel relaxed. n
If you want to experience a free taster session with Jonathan and Rock Choir, you can book online now at www.rockchoir.com