2013 was a big year for the Pink Singers and a very special one at that. It was a year of celebration, both for the choir and also the country. Our landmark 30th year saw our 2nd CD Recording as well as our ‘Singing the Changes’ Exhibition. But we had a very special invitation: to sing at No. 10 Downing Street to celebrate the legalisation of Gay Marriage in the UK.
I remember the day we received an email saying that we had been asked to sing at No.10 but at quite short notice (if I recall it was within a matter of days). We managed to form a small group of us quickly and I was lucky enough to be part of the experience, as my Manager at work allowed me to take an extended lunch break to go and sing at quite a momentous occasion.
We all convened on a hot Summer’s day in July 2013 outside the main gates of Downing Street and excitedly gathered outside the main door. I had imagined a Martine McCutcheon-like person to greet us at the door (just like Love Actually) but obviously it was a little more formal than that!
We were given a rehearsal space in one of the Prime Minister’s rooms they used for dining and John, our accompanist, led a warm up for us. Everyone was so spirited and raring to go. We made our way downstairs into the gardens of No.10 and had the opportunity to network with some of the guests who had been part of local society and were LGBT figures and role models, including Clare Balding!
We sang a 20 minute set that consisted of some of our Summer Repertoire including L-O-V-E and Seasons of Love from our previous Winter Season. It was perfectly apt for the occasion and David Cameron even took the time to introduce himself and thank us for our contribution. What stuck in my mind that day is that it wasn’t about what the current government had managed to do, as Cameron specifically thanked Tony Blair and Labour for ‘starting the process’ of allowing Gay Marriage to be legal.
The afternoon finished with celebrations amongst the guests with some Pimms and Lemonade and general high spirits all round. That day I had never been prouder to be a Pinkie and it’s something I’ll never forget. Once again, the Pink Singers made important history and reinforced how important it is to have such communities like ours in this current time.
Timeline datestamp: 24 July 2013