Blog

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!

Artistic Director, David Baxter

This is David’s 8th year with the Pink Singer and is delighted to be returning as Artistic Director in 2019. As Artistic Director, David has previously directed two Pink Singers concerts, ‘By Special Arrangement’ and ‘One Night Only. David studied Drama at Aberystwyth University where he starred in numerous productions including; Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, 4.48 Psychosis and The Woman in Black.

He continued his studies with a Masters Degree at the Birmingham School of Acting (BSA). During his time at BSA he played Troilus in Troilus and Cressida and was shortlisted for the Sam Wanamaker Festival and also performed in an MA showcase at St Martin’s Theatre.

Performing highlights include Les Miserables, The Boyfriend and The Winter’s Tale. David also took part in the Pendley Manor Festival performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth over a three week period. During his time both at University and Drama School, David really enjoyed the singing/voice modules as part of his course lead by Joan Mills and Louise Shephard which led him to auditioning for the Pink Singers back in 2011.

Sleighing It!

It’s been a week since we brought some Pinkie magic to the stage in our winter concert ‘Sleighing It!’. New Pink Singer Duong tells us about the concert and what the Pinkies means to him this Christmas.

We started to rehearse from September. Yes, you are right, wearing T-shirts while singing carols was not a common feeling. More than 80 pinkies have worked very hard to make ‘Sleighing It!’ happen. I was amazed at the dress rehearsal when we said thank you to more than 20 pinkies who worked behind the scenes: artistic, marketing, producing, music arranging etc. What a team!

The new Pinkies from this season popping their concert cherries!

The closer the concert got, the more I realised how fortunate I was to be in such a beautiful community. We sing and perform together, we also share lots of beautiful moments together. I remember how sparkly Charly’s eyes were when she told me about her beautiful love journey with Ali through the Pink Singers, the touching story of Michael’s memories of when he was a little boy, a warm hug from Nicki whenever I had a bad day.

The Sleighing It! concert was A-MA-ZING. Despite the bad weather outside, Cadogan Hall was filled full of festive joy and love. My life has changed so much lately, and thanks to the Pink Singers I have fallen in love with Christmas again. I now have friendships so I don’t have to walk alone here in the UK. I wish I could list all the names of all Pinkies here to show how much I love them! 

Pink Singers perform their Christmas show “Sleighing It” at Cadogan Hall, London, 15th December 2018

Next year, I will be moving to London from Sheffield. When the choir found out that I will be taking over Sam’s room in Hester’s house (the resident Pinkie landlady!), they said “you don’t expect the Pink Singers will take over your life, do you?” I smiled and replied “I’d be happy for it to”.

Pink Singers perform their Christmas show “Sleighing It” at Cadogan Hall, London, 15th December 2018

Lots of love to everyone and Merry Christmas to you all.

Duong

Timeline datestamp: 15 December 2018

Become a Trustee

Would you like to be a Pink Singers Trustee?

Now in our 36th year, the Pink Singers is a fun, friendly LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) choir based in London. We’ve changed a lot over recent years and we need to change the way we are run to ensure we continue to be fit for the future.

Pink Singers perform the Winter 2018 concert “A Night At The Movies: The Sequel” at Cadogan Hall, London, 20th January 2018

We have grown to 90 active members, we have been involved in some amazing projects with the LGBT+ community around the world and we continue to delight our audiences by improving the quality of our performances and broadening our repertoire.

Following an extensive review our members have voted to make some fundamental changes to how we run the choir and we are now seeking to make a number of external appointments onto our Board of Trustees.

We recently drafted a new constitution and are in the process of changing our structure from an Unincorporated Association to a Charity Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and are hoping to have approval from the Charities Commission by January 2019.

In the proposed new structure existing choir members will continue to manage day to day activities, whilst a group of up to 7 Trustees will oversee our strategy and governance.

The Pink Singers Afterparty at Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, 20th January 2018

The new Board of Trustees will include at least one member of the current choir and we hope that the other positions will be filled by people outside the current choir membership. We are looking for Trustees with one or more of the following, and hope that across the Board of Trustees we will have all areas covered.

  • Business skills from finance to marketing, fundraising and change management
  • Connections to the LGBT+ community
  • Board / committee experience
  • An interest in choirs and music
  • A mix of genders, sexualities and diverse backgrounds that reflect our current membership
  • We actively encourage members from the trans and BAME communities

Time commitment

As these roles are new we are not sure exactly how much of a time commitment will be required. In the first year whilst the Board works with our current organisational team develop and sustainable long term structure, we are assuming there will be a strategy away day and 6 x 2 hour meetings over the year plus some prep work and involvement with the occasional project.

We estimate the initial commitment to be around 5-10 hours per month, with this likely to reduce over time. Meetings will be as and when convenient for the majority of trustees however some meetings are likely to be on a Sunday in London to coincide with our choir rehearsals.

Roles, profiles and other info

Please click on the links below to access the role profile(s) you are interested in.

You can also find out more about why we are recruiting an external board of Trustees.

Application process and timescales

  1. Review the additional documents above
  2. Complete this application form
  3. Send a copy of your CV to trustee.recruitment@pinksingers.co.uk

The deadline for applications is 27th January 2019.

We are anticipating that interviews will take place early / mid January 2019 in London. We hope to have appointed our full Board of Trustees by end January 2019 and to have our first Trustee meeting in March 2019.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, please email trustee.recruitment@pinksingers.co.uk or call Nicki Wakefield on 07941 453896.