Blog

Rye Arts Festival

Saturday 21 September 2019 – 6:45pm
St Mary’s Church, Rye, TN31 7LB

On Saturday 21 September we will be performing at the famous Rye Arts Festival! Featuring numbers from our recent show Divas Through the Decades, the evening will celebrate the likes of Barbara Streisand, Kylie, Annie Lennox, Diana Ross and many more – all wrapped up in gorgeous 8-part harmony.

Who’s your favourite DIVA?

Since our upcoming concert is all about “divas”, the choir have been talking about who THEIR favourite diva is. You might be surprised by some of the answers (and not so much by others!)

My favourite Diva song is I’m No Angel sung by one of the great divas, Mae West. One of the most controversial and iconic women of the early 20th century, she wrote her own Broadway plays as well as the screenplays to her films. Her play The Drag (1928) was one of the first plays to feature gay men in a positive light and, of course, got banned.  She is still best known for her cheeky double-entendres. “When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad I’m better”. “When I have to choose between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.”

Philip Rescorla, Pinkie 1987 – present

My favourite Diva is Shirley Bassey because she knows how to belt out a ballad and sparkle in her sequinned gowns. Even her body language screams: I’m magnificent…turn away if you dare! And she once shared a spliff with my mother back in the early sixties…super cool.

Simon Harrison, Pinkie 2008 – present

The person who springs to my mind is Freddie Mercury. He knew exactly what he wanted and he went out and got it. Plus he wasn’t afraid to slip into a sexy black miniskirt and pink top for the video of I Want To Break Free. And what an incredible voice!

Ali Milton-Doyle, Pinkie 2014 – present

Barbra Streisand…Watching her with my first girlfriend in A Star is Born singing Black Black widow… with the Oreos, tssss zap ooocha koo choo. First time i really understood how vocal parts jigsawed together. Plus the immortal answer to “Ms Streisand, how do you hold your notes so long?” reply: “Because I want to”. Diva.

Philip Engleheart, Pinkie 2015 – present

My favourite diva is Pink! I really love big pop songs and she does them so well. She also really advocates for the LGBT+ community – her music videos feature same sex couples, she talks openly about not conforming to gender norms, and speaks up about equality and the importance of being true to yourself. Wait! Can I have two? I cant mention divas without talking about…

Lady Gaga! I think she is the true definition of a diva. She makes such a statement with whatever she does, and is not scared of what other people think of her. She is also an amazing musician and has written some of the best pop songs of the last 20 years…if not ever. She is also a really prominent LGBT+ rights advocate. She is openly bisexual and speaks out about bi-erasure and the importance of being inclusive of all sexual orientations and gender identities; her Born This Way Foundation does really important work with LGBT+ youth groups; her infamous meat dress was in fact in protest of the US Armed Forces’ “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which prevented members being openly gay whilst serving in the military…I could go on. A true legend – and absolute diva!

Kirsten Pulley, Pinkie 2012 – present

One of my favourite divas, though it’s hard to choose one, is Keith Flint from The Prodigy. Keith was renowned for donning heavy eyeliner, spiky hair, gurning and leaping around on the stage like a possessed wild child. I fondly remember getting into dance music when Firestarter was released and me and my friend going bananas, dancing just like him. He really was unique; even though he wasn’t heavily involved in making the music he was the person who made The Prodigy shoot to stardom. Sadly Keith passed away this year, but he’ll always be remembered for his vivacious energy. RIP Keith.

Charly Milton-Doyle, Pinkie 2012 – present

Who’s your favourite diva? You might find that they feature in our show next Saturday 15th June, at Cadogan Hall. Get your tickets now before they sell out!

Timeline datestamp: 4 June 2019

Rewriting history

This is a blog about a little project to showcase our history more fabulously. Actually, it was quite a big project and took bloomin’ ages, which is only right because we have a lot of history to share. After so much time editing the words of others, it now feels strange to be writing my own. But here I am, this is me, making my blogging debut – hello!

As the new website person for the Pink Singers, I’ve been on a mission to revamp every page with more photos, more videos, and of course good old text. It’s been a complex and lengthy endeavour, but the end is in sight and now seems like the right time to shout about it! Looking back over the last 9 months, there’s one page that’s really changed beyond recognition, which is all about “Our history”.

Left: the old “Our history” page. Centre/right: the new page.

The timeline for the original history page was created in 2015, with a lot of the events being taken from an earlier blog by Philip Rescorla. It was the first time the Pink Singers had published their official history for all the world to see, and deciding what to put in the timeline was hard – what has made us the choir we are today? It’s a real mixture of events, from a grand visit to Downing Street, to lifelong collaborations with other choirs.

But the timeline is also about the people who have shaped the choir: that’s us, the Pink Singers. One of the unique joys of our timeline is that it’s written by us, often by our newest members, who give us all an insight into what the choir was like over the years. Looking beyond our members, our Musical Directors also give a huge amount to the choir: from the slightly reluctant Mark Bunyan in 1983, to our current MD, Murray Hipkin.

With all this history, the challenge for me was to bring it all to life, which is where I’m indebted to our previous Webmasters – Hsien, Al, Michael, Simon, Nicola – who did a brilliant job of getting people to blog about much of it. It was left to me to enrich what was already there, and find people to fill in the gaps – some 15 or so blog posts – often with very little to go on. It’s been quite an archival adventure, from obscure newspapers like the Palm Beach Post, to surprising discoveries, like our catchy and informative song about Safe Sex.

One of the interesting artefacts I found on my adventure – this was a design for one of our t-shirts.

And now it’s all there, ready for your curious eyes. There’s also much more to discover in our revamped events timeline, which contains some of the special occasions we just couldn’t fit into the timeline. And so this is where I leave you, if indeed you’ve read all the way down here. It’s been a pleasure to rewrite our history – I’ve learnt so much about the choir it feels like I’ve been in it for years. Now it’s time to put my investigating feet up!

Ben
Alto

Timeline datestamp: 12 May 2019

Divas Through The Decades

Saturday 15 June 2019 – 7:30pm
Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square, London, SW1X 9DG

Join us – Europe’s longest-running LGBT+ choir – as we present a fun, vibrant performance of fantastic choral arrangements that will leave you wanting more! Featuring re-imagined versions of classics from artistes such as Bonnie Tyler, Kylie Minogue, Diana Ross, P!nk and many more, with gorgeous harmonies – and of course a sprinkle of glitter! – it promises to be an evening not to be missed.

Saturday 15 June
7.30pm
Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square SW1X 9DQ

Book your tickets now!