Bursts of drum roll, guitar and a powerful female voice rocking Tina Turner’s River Deep, Mountain High is seeping out of the soundproof room at the Rehearsal Factory.
The voice belongs to 52-year-old Mary Ann Weber, mother of two. It’s Wednesday night, which means it’s Weber’s opportunity to let loose and indulge in her one passion.
“I was at a point in my life where I was very busy with my kids and working full-time in pharmaceutical sales, I didn’t have any outside interests other than just working and raising my kids,” said Weber. “I don’t have that kind of frivolous life normally, so this is my night out.”
Singing at the top of her lungs while strutting and dancing around in performance mode, she jams with her band as part of a 10-week program at the League of Rock, where anyone who can sing or play an instrument gets a chance to find their inner rockstar, learn from the pros and record a CD.
“There’s this buzz of not knowing who’s in the band and really working through that challenge,” said League of Rock founder Terry Moshenberg. “But it’s not just a jam session, it’s a very creatively charged social experience.”
It’s only been three weeks since Weber first met her band, but they already have a routine going. The atmosphere is vibrant, fun and relaxed, says Weber. The night usually starts off with small chit-chats and jokes thrown around before they start rehearsing the three songs they’ve chosen to play in the live showcase concert at the end of the program.
“Singing is just a fantastic release. The added benefit here is that it’s more intimate,” said Weber. “It gives me a chance to meet people I would never meet, people who are musically talented and have a pretty high skill level.”
While still a little nervous whenever one of the professional musicians comes around to coach them, Weber says it pushes her to perform at her best.
“The performance aspect, that is totally what I want to learn,” she said. “I’m not pretending to be a rockstar, I’m not going on the road next week, I’m not quitting my day job, but this is an experience that I want to have and I want to do it to the fullest.”