Students’ hard work will payoff at Mock Rock

Friday night’s Mock Rock performances will be a culmination of student’s hours of practicing.


Freshman Zack Brisson leads the S.O.S. Mock Rock team during their practice in Mayers Auditorium. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

Jenna Schmidt, Writer

"The Imagineers" practices their Mock Rock routine late into the night during the final week before the actual event on April 11. Mock Rock teams usually average around 50 to 60 people each, which makes it difficult to find places large enough for practices. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES


Over 400 students have dedicated weeks upon weeks to prop design, brainstorming and practicing in the parking structure until all-hours of the morning, all for this one night when thousands of people will pack into Chase Gymnasium for the competition.

As April 11 draws nearer, the atmosphere on campus is practically crackling with excitement as students prepare for one of the biggest annual traditions. This spring event combines lip-syncing, props and choreography into the high-powered competition known as Mock Rock.

However, it is not all about the final performance.

“The bigger picture for us is what Mock Rock is like the whole time leading up to the competition,” said sophomore psychology major Leanne Bergey, who leads the Mock Rock group Toopoc. “Of course it’s busy and difficult, but it’s been really great because of the people we have in our group. We’re so blessed to have such solid people in our Mock Rock crew.”

Although many groups officially begin practicing in February, ideas for Mock Rock are tossed around over Interterm and even at the end of the fall semester. Once the practices begin, participants begin to understand just how much preparation goes into the dynamics of this competition.

“This week and last week, practices have been from about 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night,” said junior psychology major Matt Vasile, who has helped choreograph for a group called the Imagineers. “It’s probably been around 30 hours a week for the last two weeks.”

Remembering the details

Choreography is not the only aspect that must be organized for the big night. Groups devote time and energy to designing elaborate props, visual effects and seamless audio to accompany their performances.

“As leaders, we’ve put in a significant amount of time for this,” said senior business management major AJ McKay, who is co-leading the group It’s Chill. “Right now, we’re running about 10 hours a week, which could be more this week depending on the fact that we have the performance. We’ve easily put 150 hours into this. It basically is our life.”

Mock Rock teams usually average around 50 to 60 people each, which makes it difficult to find places large enough for practices. Although there are limited rooms available during the late hours of practice, the groups always manage to find a space.

“We’ve come from White, to Myers, to English and back to White. We’ve mostly been in the elementary buildings,” Bergey said. “We’ll be doing some stuff in the parking structure later this week. While the classrooms are good, they’re a little small.”

Freshman Zack Brisson leads the S.O.S. Mock Rock team during their practice in Mayers Auditorium. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES


Every student plays a part

Each participant, no matter their major or Mock Rock experience, helps prepare for the competition. The leaders try to play to the individual strengths of each group member to produce the most creative, unique and dynamic performance.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a business major or an art major, you’re going to be needed in the team at some point,” Vasile said. “Being a psychology major, it’s been great to talk with people one-on-one. It’s been awesome to see what people’s visions are and express that to the group from a voice of leadership.”

Most participants competing this spring have never been involved in a Mock Rock before, but that doesn’t deter them from contributing creatively.

“We have a lot of new people who have not done Mock Rock before,” said junior communication studies major Jenna Lucas, who co-leads It’s Chill alongside McKay. “As people who’ve done it before, it’s exciting watching them go through it for the first time.”

Forming a community

While these Mock Rock groups devote hours and hours of their time and energy to preparing and practicing for the performance, they also find themselves enjoying the friendships formed during this time.

“As far as time goes, you spend it with friends, so it’s hard to gauge how much time you’re actually spending,” McKay said. “It’s more of a hangout time, and because it’s been that kind of atmosphere, we’ve been able to spread it out to everyone else in our Mock Rock, so now we’re all pretty much friends. That’s something Mock Rock is great for.”

As they share ideas, goals and time during the weeks of practice, both leaders and participants find the days leading up to the performance the most valuable part of the experience for them.

“One of the things our team is really big on is just doing it for the community,” Bergey said. “Mock Rock is about meeting new people and creating something beautiful for the glory of God and doing it together in community.”

Efforts rewarded on stage

Friday night will be the culmination of all of the hard work that these students have devoted to creating a high-powered Mock Rock experience. After hundreds of hours of preparation and practice, they will be able to reveal the results of their tireless efforts.

As for the students in the audience?

“When you watch it, try not to blink,” Vasile said. “It goes by so fast, and if you blink, you might miss something. Appreciate Biola’s culture, and enjoy that. It’s a huge part of the spring, it’s a huge part of this week. Everyone is talking about it. When you watch it for the first time, try not to blink.”

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