It was at my first official rehearsal back in February with the Pink Singers that I found out about the Lisbon trip and without any hesitation I’d secured my accommodation and flights…I was not going to miss out on this!! By the time it came to June, I could not contain my excitement. The weather in England was pretty dire so a weekend of sun, sea, sangria and singing was exactly what we needed!
Thanks to Tanya, our Choir Liaison, we had a comprehensive pack detailing the itinerary so we were ready to rumble. Thursday night we hit the town seeking out the local gay bar and surprise, surprise, we found some other Pinkies. Friday’s TV performance was cancelled so it was the perfect opportunity to head to the beach. Later that evening most of the choir attended a traditional Portuguese Fado show and meal kindly organised by our Social Secretary Gary.
Saturday was the headline day. We marched in the Pride parade, holding our banner high; singing, dancing and laughing all the way down into the city in the glorious sunshine. Another group meal and a quick change and we headed to the concert venue for a (very) late evening performance. After some vocal warm-ups in the cobbled streets we were ready to perform with the local LGBT choir. It was my first ever performance and I was so excited but despite my nerves I remembered my words and moves, woohoo! The show was a roaring success.
I came away from the trip with some great new friendships, a golden tan and a blooming great smile on my face. Here’s to the next one….
It was warm. The streets were old and welcoming. There was a buzz in the air. We were sitting directly under the magnificent, ancient Acropolis, having dinner at the beginning of our weekend in Athens. The food was amazing. We are the Pink Singers, and we were there to perform in Athens’ 7th Gay Pride Festival.
As it turned out, the weekend couldn’t have gotten much better (or having gone much more smoothly). From the moment we arrived at at the main site for a sound-check on the Saturday afternoon, the organizers were genial, welcoming and inclusive. As we warmed up on stage, the public milled around, smiling and clapping. This was just a sign of things to come. Continue reading →
The Pink Singers had the privilege of being invited to Athens to help celebrate lesbian, gay, bi and trans Pride 2011 with them. We were excited to be going, but little did we know just how thrilling 4 and 5 June would turn out to be. The organizers and the people of Athens made us feel especially welcome, and the thunderstorms quickly gave way to sunshine and the sounds of celebration. Here’s a quick video of that amazing weekend. In keeping with the Athens Pride tagline, “Φίλα Με Παντού”! Continue reading →
Ah Greece! Land of Achilles and Patroclus, of Hercules and Abderus, and the backdrop for Shirley Valentine. So pour the ouzo, play the bouzouki and celebrate Pride through the ages with us.
The Pinkies are honoured to be the guests of Athens Gay Pride this year and will be singing in the streets of Athens and on the main Pride stage on the weekend of 3–4 June. A small but ultra–excited contingent will represent the choir in a country we’ve saved till now to visit. Despite the mecca of Mykonos, gay life in Greece can be pretty quiet, so if you fancy an impromptu city trip for a bit of fun and culture, and want to show the Athenians your support, come along! Continue reading →
LGBT History Month is starting on Tuesday, so now’s a great time to reflect on our past. In 1996, the Pinkies were in Tampa to perform at the GALA choruses festival, and some of them are still singing in the choir today! Janine very kindly shared a whole treasure trove of photos from 1995 to 1997 with us – thank you so very much. The Pink Singers really want to record our history before it is forgotten, so if you have material you’d like to share, either publicly or privately, please do send it our way. Find out more about the Pink Singers archive here.
The World Cup may well be in Rio that year but the real heat will be elsewhere… It is with great pleasure that we can now confirm that the next Various Voices festival will take place in Dublin in 2014, hosted by our friends Glória LGBT choir.
Various Voices is a very important event, allowing gay and lesbian choirs from all over Europe and the world to meet and sing together, promote both musical and queer culture, and have a good time! The Pink Singers have taken part in every single ‘VV’, and this one will be a wonderful occasion to reinforce the ties with our fellow islanders and all our friends from Legato, the association of European gay and lesbian choirs and the organization behind Various Voices.
We expect the mysteries and legends of the emerald isle to meet our fabulous pinkie magic for that clash of colours and blend of sound and smiles we love! Continue reading →
In case you missed it, here’s an 8 minute extract from Philip Rescorla’s hour-long stint as a guest on Rosie Wilby‘s show on Resonance FM the Monday before Pride London 2010.
Pinkie tenor and resident Pink Singers historian, Philip was invited to talk about what it was like to be in the Gay Liberation Front. He discusses the role music plays in the Pride movement, the motivations for the Pink Singers’ trip to Tampa, Florida in 1996, and the meaning behind the song Hand In Hand (excerpt included from the 3:52 mark). Just hit play! Continue reading →
The collaboration between a British gay and lesbian choir and a Maltese Christian choir was always going to raise eyebrows, especially if they met in Malta, where Catholicism holds sway and the Gay Rights Movement is almost non-existent. In July 2009, however, the Pink Singers managed just that, taking their show to Malta to promote social equality through their music. Under the leadership of Andrew Francalanza, a Maltese national, the Pinkies took the first small step towards a brighter future for Malta’s gay community, achieving the seemingly impossible for a minority without a voice.
The Pink Singers, Europe’s oldest gay and lesbian choir, was originally established to sing at London’s Gay Pride march in 1983 and is still the only choir allowed on the Pride’s main stage. Alongside dynamic performances, The Pinkies seek to endorse equality within the community and to help those in need through their frequent concerts and fund raising activities. The choir currently consists of eighty gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender singers who regularly perform in and around Europe, and have a waiting list of a further eighty fans eager to join them. Andrew Francalanza became a Pinkie in 2007, and quickly learnt “how much fun it is to go abroad and sing with another choir”. In his capacity as International Concerts Co-ordinator, Andrew broached the idea of taking the choir to his native Malta.
Saturday 22 July 2000
Philip was recovering from a bad cold and had hardly any voice (a pleasure for me and the rest of the choir). The opening ceremony at 8pm was great fun, with about 6000 choristers and their camels (the people who get involved with the choir without singing – like me). They are called camels because they end up carrying all the singers’ baggage when they are rehearsing! Kate Clinton was hilarious as keynote speaker and Harvey Fierstein was an excellent presenter.
Sunday 23 July 2000
The day of the Pinkies first concert and my first tour of duty on the choir’s merchandising stall. This was next to the Melo’Men from Paris. They had draped the European flag between the stalls thus reuniting the old enemies France and England as only dykes and queens can.
Monday 24 July 2000
This was the day of the Pinkies’ trip to Monterey and Carmel. They hired two camper vans (well, they were camper after we got in), and we crossed the mountains to the coast where we visited the Monterey aquarium. The display of sealife was interestingly set out, especially the jellyfish. The way they kept moving aimlessly but somehow reached their destination was an allegory for the Pink Singers. An evening meal in Carmel involved a lot of walking around in growing gloom and fog, until we eventually went back to the first restaurant we had seen. 8,000 miles to California and we ate in an “English pub”; but the food was good. Continue reading →
“GALA in Montreal in the summer of 2004 was a big event for me. It was the first time that I was heading overseas with the Pink Singers and also the first time I had ever been to a choir festival, let alone a gay one. Even more importantly, it was the first time that Simon and I were going away on holiday together since we had started dating, so there was quite a bit of excitement to the whole trip.
Due to really bad co-ordination on our parts, however, Simon and I ended up flying to Canada separately. He went there directly, while I made a detour via New York in the company of Stephan from the basses. Stephan and I checked into a tiny little hotel room just north of Washington Square with a view of a brick wall and no natural light. But at least it was cheap! Most of our time there was spent shopping and eating, with the odd foray into Chelsea of course. Another friend of mine was in New York at the same time and, on the recommendation of a native he had picked up, we went to a very down-to-earth Venezuelan restaurant in the East Village. It pays to get to know the locals – I now visit religiously whenever I am in Manhattan. Continue reading →