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Ex-Portsmouth Dance coach is singing success


Rachael Rose O’Brien: dancer, singer, songwriter and ex-University of Portsmouth Dance Coach has had an incredible year after hitting centre stage in ITV’s The Choir That Rocks.

Rachel O’Brien graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2011 with a degree in photography. In her time at Portsmouth, she was not only president for the University of Portsmouth Dance Club: in the absence of the club’s coaches, she stepped in to become main choreographer for the squad’s performances and the Wednesday club.

But Rachel had many other talents to offer outside of Dance Club. It was during University that Rachel developed her love for singing and performing and being part of Rock Choir in Farnham gave Rachel a fantastic opportunity to be on prime time TV.

Rachel was part of ITV’s documentary The Choir That Rocks, shown in June and again in September 2011. It was filmed between January and May 2011 and followed Caroline Redman, her team and the members as they lead up to the biggest performance of their lives at Wembley Arena.

Rachel truly shone when she was chosen to be lead vocalist for the teen choir’s rendition of ‘You’ve Got the Love’; to Rachel it was a “completely mad and surreal experience”.

Rock Choir has caught the attention of the national media, being described as “a national phenomenon” and has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Daily Express, The BBC Breakfast Show, The Paul O’Grady Show as well as various other magazines and publications supporting the heart-warming documentary.

The show has given Rachel the exposure she deserves and a platform into reaching her goals of recording her own music. Rachel says, “I am continuously writing songs and have been working with different producers getting tracks together. I have performed at Portsmouth Gradball, The O2 Arena, Hammersmith Apollo and a private function in Venice in the last few months thanks to the amazing Luke Thomas Betts and a family friend/musical hero of mine Ben Waters.”

Rachel aims to be as busy as possible recording and writing her own songs whilst still continuing to perform with the Rock Choir. She has various sessions lined up with producers and musicians and has professionally filmed song covers on her own YouTube channel. Her fan base has grown since the show which Rachel expresses she is “extremely grateful for”.

She says, “the events that happened during the documentary (Abbey Road and Wembley) just made it clear to me that singing was what I was born to do.” Rachel is aiming to have an EP released by March 2012, which will be launched at a showcase night. “I will achieve this with hard work and determination”, she said, “my life isn’t meant to go any other way”.