Our ‘Party’ Concert Day – a personal story

Photo credit: Jessica Rowbottom

On Saturday 21st January we performed in our 40th anniversary concert “Party”. The concert on this momentous occasion is considered as one of our best ever!  Check out this review from Robert Hugil, our former Musical Director and now a music critic.

Will at Cadogan Hall
Will at the stage door!

Will, a new member of the Pinkies, takes us through the day below. 

Over to Will…

“Just think, six months ago, neither of us had met any of the Pinkies and now we are going on stage with them.” I mused whilst unpacking my show outfits.

“It’s not even that.” said Max (a fellow bass newbie). “I haven’t even passed my probation at work yet.” Remembering that Max had joined the Pink Singers the same week as he moved down to London to start a new job, a nervous wonderment came over me. All the hours of rehearsals, the songs round the camp fire at the weekend away, and the additional dance rehearsal which left us all aching. So much life had been crammed into a few months. For myself it has also been impossible to recognise myself from the person that walked into the first rehearsal in Pimlico. So much has changed; choir members have become chosen family, found a healing common ground in the shared experiences, and I’ve found more of my own queer identify through seeing all different shades of the queer spectrum. 

Photo credit: Jessica Rowbottom

One thing is the same as that first rehearsal, I am a bag full of nerves! At 10.30am on the day of the concert we amassed in the stalls. Our Musical and Artistic Directors both gave us a run down of what the day would look like. The morning would be taken up with a step by step walk through of the show Including getting on and off stage and the transitions between numbers. Next would be a full run, adding in strings, percussion, and the wonderful performance from Queer Tango London, with lunch acting as the interval. As the day progressed, thankfully the nerves started the fall away. There were two reasons for this: firstly, I got used to the stage, focusing on the job I had to do; secondly, all of those around me brought a relaxed atmosphere. Smiling selfies were taken, shared dislike of one particular song was voiced, and if no one else looks nervous then why should I?!

Spice Girls meets English Madrigal. Photo credit: Jessica Rowbottom

Furthermore, the amount of support around me was phenomenal. The Pink Singers is a volunteer army and it was in full evidence that day. Props, set, and projection had all been prepared in advance, specifically for this show. Which meant when I was in concert dress with my pink rose, I felt ready to pop my pink cherry, by which I mean carry on the traditional where all of the newbies have their photo taken with a cherry.

The silence as you waiting in the wings ready to go on is always the part of a show day with the most tension. “How are you feeling Will?” Rachel (an established Alto) asked. 

“I feel like I could throw up.” I replied. 

“It’s natural to be nervous, but just remember it is going to be amazing.” 

And it was.

Our very own John Flinders. Photo credit: Jessica Rowbottom

The audience were fantastic, heck we were fantastic! Rapturous applause for every number and a standing ovation at the end. Cloud nine, doesn’t quite cover it. For those two hours we all held each other and that audience together. Shared glances, joyous smiles and the cheers as we went back to the dressing room. All of which meant the atmosphere was electric. As I am writing this 24 hours later I have not been able to stop smiling, this day is a core memory that will stay with me forever.

Will, bass