One of the things that I never thought I would be doing in my wildest dreams in London is recording a song inside Abbey Road Studios. I like The Beatles but wouldn’t really consider myself a fan. We do kind of live in the area, so I figured it would be at least neat to take a tour at some point.

Surprisingly they’re not actually open to the public except once a year. In late April and early May they host a series of talks called “The Sound of Abbey Road Studios”, and for £90 ($150 USD) you can spend an hour inside the famous Studio 2 where great bands like The Beatles and Pink Floyd recorded, take pictures, and chat with authors and sound engineers.

So how did I get in, you ask? Pure coincidence…being at the right place at the right time. I like to sing, and I really haven’t done much as far as community involvement goes since we started a family. I was in choir in high school, a church choir as an adult, and played the keyboard in an all-girl band and sang in an a capella choir in Antarctica.

Once we were settled in London, I started looking for choirs. There were a few local church choirs, but I didn’t really want to commit to three days/nights a week for some of them. And that’s when I found Rock Choir.

Rock Choir started in the UK and is apparently the world’s largest contemporary choir with almost 200 chapters throughout the region. It’s incredibly popular because you don’t have to audition, read music or have any prior singing experience. You just have to want to sing. It’s also a great way for me to get out and kind of have a girl’s night since the majority of the choir is female.

I started at the end of January, just in time to discover that our chapter was going to be recording two songs at Abbey Road Studios for the humble price of £28.50 ($48 USD) per person. So I paid my fee, practiced my part as an upper soprano, and arrived promptly at 9:30am last Sunday morning in front of the studio.

There were about 150 of us, and we all arrived in our Rock Choir t-shirts and posed for some fun group photos before we got started. We were then escorted inside and down the stairs to Studio 2 where we dropped off our coats and bags and admired some of the historic equipment…like the mixing board that was used for Dark Side of the Moon and the piano that was played in “Let It Be.”

We then went across the hall to Studio 1, which was about twice the size and set up with chairs and risers. We had tall boom microphones and a grand piano for another Rock Choir director who accompanied us.

Simon Rhodes was our sound engineer from the studio. Simon has recorded over 100 film scores including Skyfall, Avatar and Harry Potter 1 & 2. In 2008 he was invited to Beijing, to record the music for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. And he was really great to work with. He was very friendly and professional, and the recordings sounded beautiful when he was done.

We spent about three hours at the studio all together with two dedicated hours of recording time. Our songs were “Someone Like You” by Adele and “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. It was a wonderful experience and an all around fun way to spend your morning. How amazing it must be to be a professional singer and be able to record your own songs on a regular basis.

Me inside Studio 2.

The interior of Studio 2.

The mixing board used on Pink Floyd’s album, The Dark Side of the Moon.

The Beatles’ favorite piano.

Our choir all set to record in Studio 1.

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