Hundreds filled Kingsley School last weekend as an ‘inspiring’ teacher and student choir dropped the textbooks to launch their debut album.

The Teachers Rock choirs perform at their debut album launch in Kingsley School, Bideford. Picture: Graham HobbsThe Teachers Rock choirs perform at their debut album launch in Kingsley School, Bideford. Picture: Graham Hobbs

More than 300 teachers, parents and the community packed out Kingsley School Theatre as the Teachers Rock adult and youth choirs sang in harmony last Saturday.

This Is What We Started sees nearly 200 teachers and students from local schools cover 12 songs from Coldplay’s Fix You to the classic True Colours.

Speaking to the Gazette, Debbie Kent, founder of Teachers Rock, said: “The album launch went really well, it was a great success.

“The parents hadn’t had an opportunity to see their kids perform so it was about inspiring and empowering them, giving them opportunities that they wouldn’t get otherwise.”

The Teachers Rock choirs perform at their debut album launch in Kingsley School, Bideford. Picture: Graham HobbsThe Teachers Rock choirs perform at their debut album launch in Kingsley School, Bideford. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Months in the making, the founder of London Gospel Choir Bazil Meade helped record the album at Filleigh Village Hall in April.

Tash Summerville, a teacher at Sticklepath School and member of the choir, said: “I was so proud of the enthusiasm the children showed in the whole project.

“After each event the children have been rushing up to me and talking all about it, they have been teaching the songs and dances to other children at playtime.”

Ines, 10, and one of Ms Summerville’s pupils, said: “I loved performing in a real theatre. My Mum and dad just kept saying we were brilliant all the way home.”

The choirs have rocketed across the South West since Ms Kent, from Torrington, founded the Teachers Rock brand 18 months ago.

Initially only an adult choir, it has multiplied into a youth choir and now nestles across the region from Exeter to Torbay, and Somerset to Plymouth.

Looking back on the rise of the choirs, she said: “When I started I only had a couple of choirs and it’s just exploded in terms of popularity, impacting schools, raising aspirations and standards in schools but it’s also about teacher wellbeing, mental health, and self-esteem.”

Ms Summerville added, “From a personal point of view Teachers Rock has empowered me to lead children in a choir, something that I never imagined I would be able to do a year ago.

The choirs are now working towards their autumn term extravaganza at Exeter Cathedral.

Visit the Teachers Rock website www.teachersrock.co.uk for more details about the album, now fully released, and the group’s upcoming events.