As part of our 40th year celebrations we are running a series of ‘Hometown Concerts’. The idea behind the series is that choir members take The Pinkies home to towns and cities that we have not visited before but have a special place in the hearts of our members. Kicking off the country-wide tour, our scouse duo Rachel and Darren took us to Liverpool for an amazing weekend. Over to Rachel…
Growing up in Liverpool definitely gave me a strong sense of social justice and an appreciation of good music, so it’s no wonder that, since living in London, I’ve found a home in this choir. Recently I had the joy of bringing these two things I love together, taking the Pink Singers to visit my home city.
The idea of a hometown visit came about when planning celebrations for the 40th anniversary of our choir. Members of the Pink Singers have come from all kinds of different places across the world and across the UK. The idea was to take our choir’s message, music and vision of an LGBTQ+ community back to the hometown of one of our members. We would connect with local LGBTQ+ choirs, foster solidarity and reach communities and audiences that we wouldn’t otherwise encounter. So over the last year, I’ve been working with Darren, another scouse Pink Singer, hatching plans to visit Liverpool.
After months of planning with two local LGBTQ+ choirs, the Liverpool Rainbow Chorus and the Proud Marys in Chester, and Liverpool Pride, our weekend in Liverpool began on a Friday evening where we brought the three choirs together to get to know each other and rehearse ahead of our performances on Saturday. As we welcomed and introduced members of the choirs, and finally met our fellow organisers from the other choirs in person after months of planning as a team spread across three cities, Darren and I couldn’t quite believe we had really made all of this happen. But it was when we began singing together that the magic really started. I don’t think there’s anything more uplifting and bonding than singing together in harmony, knowing we all have this experience in common – and by the end of the evening we had made new friends. The atmosphere was amazing, and it sounded great.
On Saturday we had the honour of kicking off Liverpool’s Pride March together on the steps of the iconic St George’s Hall. This year Liverpool was also hosting Kyiv Pride, a poignant reminder of how we must not take for granted the safety and security that allows us to celebrate and protest together as a community, and sending a message of solidarity across borders. It was an emotional moment being joined by our friends from the other two choirs in our Pink Singers’ rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone to send off a record-breaking colourful crowd of 20,000 people on Liverpool’s Pride march.
The energy was high as we sang and danced our way along the parade through Liverpool’s city centre and down to the waterfront. In the afternoon, we had our second performance, in the beautiful venue of the Museum of Liverpool, where we shared some of our Pink Singers favourite songs, cheered and danced along to brilliant performances from our friends in the Liverpool Rainbow Chorus and the Proud Marys, and sang together as a joint choir. Having my family and friends in the audience made this a particularly special moment for me, and it was while singing Chosen Family that I reflected on how grateful and proud I felt to have this opportunity to bring together so many of the people I love in one of my favourite places and share this music.
The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying all that Liverpool has to offer and soaking up the party atmosphere of Pride. I loved making these memories with my fellow Pinkies and enjoying my home city together. This hometown visit was a wonderful experience to bring the music of the Pink Singers to a new audience, come together with two fantastic LGBTQ+ choirs and spread our message and positive vision of a joyful LGBTQ+ community connecting through music. A powerful reminder that You’ll Never Walk Alone.