Revelation rock-gospel choirs are a group of choirs in the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. They are Christian-based, but you don't have to be a Christian - nor indeed be of any religious persuasion - to join. You don't even have to be able to sing, strange though that might sound.
Revelation - or 'Rev', as the choirs are known - was founded in the mid-1990s by a group of university students in London. Revelation choirs can now be found in universities and colleges throughout the UK and the Czech Republic. There are Revelation choirs in 15 universities in the UK.
Aims and Values
Revelation has a set of aims and values it seeks to abide by as an organisation, which are applicable to all choirs within the organisation. It is these aims and values that make Revelation unique and ensure that all members are valued and involved.
To be a Christian-based rock-gospel choir incorporating other performing arts.
To create a choir where people can build friendships, draw out hidden abilities and be accepted for who and what they are.
To develop this concept throughout institutions of higher education worldwide.
Everyone in Revelation has an equal role to play, and is loved and accepted as such.
Performances and concerts are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.
There are no prerequisites for joining Revelation.
Revelation is run by the group, for the group.
Freedom of choice is respected at all times.
We are all beautiful people, loved by God and by each other.
Although it's not a stated aim, all members of Revelation have the opportunity to be 'up front' conducting or singing solos, if they would like to do so.
Because the organisation is Christian-based, the founders chose a passage of the Bible to help them formulate their aims and values, that can be remembered when rehearsals are getting stressful and the basses just won't sing in tune. It is taken from Colossians 3 v 12-14 and is as follows (as written in the New International Version of the Bible):
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
So, who are these Revelation people? Anyone can join Revelation; it really does not matter if you are a trained opera singer or you just like singing in the shower. If there's a Revelation choir near you, go along and say hello and join in if you want to. If there isn't a choir near you, form your own. Most, if not all, of the choirs began with one or two keen people and have gone from strength to strength over the years.
To help people set up and run choirs, National Revelation was established. This is a small committee of current and ex-Revelation members who oversee all the choirs, organise events, make sure everyone has access to resources like music (very important!) and liaise between choirs.
As you might imagine, Revelation choirs do sing a fair amount of traditional gospel music, but they can also be heard performing adaptations of popular songs, folk songs, songs from musicals and more traditional choral numbers. Members of the choirs are encouraged to submit their own arrangements or compositions.
WiM stands for 'Week in March'. This was the name of the first-ever gathering-together of people from different Revelation choirs. It is not known why this name was chosen, although it is assumed that it was because no one could think of anything more interesting. At WiM, everyone forms one huge choir, rehearses most of the day every day for a week, sleeps on floors in a church and performs a concert at the end of the week. There are also splinter groups at WiM, which can include band (to accompany the choir and for band-only items), dance and drama. WiM has taken place every year since 1995, but, confusingly, has not always been held in March. The most memorable name for the week was in 1996, when it was known as WiMwiniA, 'Week in March which is now in April'! WiM is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the UK and to learn new skills. Each year, a different choir hosts WiM. Previous WiMs have been held at Warwick, Edinburgh, Chester and London.
Yet another acronym, RESITS in this context is in no way referring to those dreaded exams. Instead, RESITS in this context stands for 'Revelation in Edinburgh Singing in The Sun'. A smaller event than WiM, this is another opportunity for people from different choirs to gather together, this time to sing at the Edinburgh Festival every August. It is a less intense time than WiM, as there is no big concert, but the choir performs 'busking style' on the streets and in the coffee shops of Edinburgh.
Many of the choirs have their own individual websites, which are run by members of the choirs. There is also a Revelation website, where you can find out about individual choirs, news and events and other useful information.