Are You Musically Inclined? Three Local Ways to Let Your Talent Shine

rocky mount open mic night


The hills may be alive with the sound of music, but in Rocky Mount, the distant echoes of the Falls of the Tar are alive with the sound of jazz, blues and some wonderful opportunities to express yourself musically. It should be no surprise that the birthplace of Thelonious Monk is a wonderful background for beautiful music. If, like many Rocky Mount, NC residents, you are musically inclined, don’t keep your talent to yourself! We've outlined three ways you can share your talent with the community.

The Tar River Orchestra and Chorus 

The Tar River Orchestra and Chorus is well-known for presenting fabulous concerts, including the annual holiday favorites. Established in 1986, this group gives performances on the same caliber as what is found in much larger audiences.

The organization is divided into five main groups, each of which presents a unique facet of musicianship, talent and style. This includes:

  • The Tar River Philharmonic Orchestra
  • The Tar River Chorus
  • The Tar River Children’s Chorus
  • The Tar River Strings
  • The Tar River Swing Band

Each of these groups has an extensive repertoire, ensuring that there is something for all musical tastes. Not only does the organization provide a wonderful opportunity for both professional and amateur musicians, but it also helps area youth improve their singing skills and introduces them to stringed instruments.

Interested in auditioning? You can get in touch with the groups’ organizers on the website.

The Community Theatre at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Science

If you want to add a dose of acting to your abilities, consider auditioning for one of the many musicals slated for the theatre’s 2019 season. Upcoming shows will include the musicals Annie and The Last Five Years.

Auditions for Community Theatre productions take place throughout the year, approximately 6 to 8 weeks before performance dates. Audition information may be obtained by calling the theatre office at 252-972-1156.

If you’re not comfortable with acting and would like to stick to the music, there are plenty of opportunities to be a member of the background chorus.

Open Mic Nights

Perhaps you prefer a more intimate experience where it’s just you and the audience. There are also open mic nights throughout the area.

While dates and times change from year to year, you may wish to check out information from the Koi Pond Brewing Company at Rocky Mount Mills, which occasionally hosts this kind of event.

October through May, you can take advantage of the First Friday No Shame Open Mic Nights at the Imperial Centre.

If you know of any other open mic nights we didn’t mention please let us know by sharing them on our Facebook page.

A Little Nervous About Performing?

That’s understandable, particularly if you’ve never participated in an open mic night before. We’ve compiled some useful tips from Making Music online magazine.

Bring the Right Kind of Equipment

Do you need your acoustic guitar or will you need an amp? It’s best to check out the venue or attend an open mic night there before you sign up.

Be Comfortable with Your Material

In general, open mic nights aren’t looking for an extensive repertoire of tunes. Be familiar with your music enough that you can perform it easily in front of a crowd.

Be Sure to Ask if You Have Questions

Those hosting the open mic night will have the information you need about the space, the sound system, and what type of microphones or amplification is needed. If you feel something is off---whether the vocals are too loud or your instrument isn’t projecting enough, be sure to let them know.

Take Advantage of Your Time to Network with Other Musicians

Remember that you are there to support others and to enjoy their support. This is a perfect place to meet fellow music lovers who may be looking for a new member for their band or who may be willing to give you some useful advice.

Have Fun!

This is perhaps the most important thing to realize about any performance, whether it’s with a choir or an open mic night.

There Are Many More Opportunities

Whether you join the choir at your local church or you have a son or daughter interested in the high school marching band, explore the musical side of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

We're looking forward to the live performances coming up in Rocky Mount this year, and whether you're a member of the audience or on the stage, we hope you get to enjoy some of this year's live shows, too.

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