Singing the Changes – now at the Barbican Music Library and online

10521446_771690602897583_5242659917220156793_oIn 2013, to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary, we created an exhibition, Singing the Changes, telling the story of LGBT London throughout the choir’s 30-year history.
The heritage-lottery-funded exhibition is now on display at the Barbican centre music library until February 25th.
Featuring interviews with past and current choir members, the exhibition weaves political, social and personal histories together in a new way.
To plan your visit, check the Barbican’s website.

barbican-exhib
Hsien, Ben, Nicola, Kirsten, Jenny and Simon, the install team

 
But that’s not all. The complete exhibition is now also available to view online.
We’ve added comments and feedback that we collected from the initial showings of the exhibitions, too – and you can add your own.
Browse the exhibition online now >>

A little Pink bottle goes a long way…

Lucy (Photo: Simon Pearson)
Lucy

“Why have you got bright pink nails, Miss?” must have been the most asked question of the day in my primary school. Why, indeed…

This Saturday was the culmination of the Pink Singers’ 30th birthday celebrations: the ‘Hand in Hand’ festival and concert at The Troxy in Limehouse. As a new Pinkie, this was the day I was to ‘pop my concert cherry’ and – despite the 6am alarm bell, the 90-minute trek into the wilds of East London and the fear of being in the same room as 500 bananas (don’t ask) – I was beyond excited!

The five months since I auditioned for the Pink Singers has flown by, yet we have achieved so much. I am so honoured to be part of such a talented, creative, intelligent, loyal and passionate group of people. People who have created an incredibly powerful exhibition; people with the vision to commission Richard Thomas to compose music for them; people who have welcomed choirs large and small from around the British Isles to come and share a stage with them; people who can sing and dance so amazingly well it takes one’s breath away.

James Burton leads Va Pensiero (Photo: Pete Stean)
James Burton leads Va Pensiero (Photo: Pete Stean)

At times this season I have felt a bit of a fraud, sneaking in on all this wonderfulness halfway through. However, standing in the foyer of The Troxy on Saturday morning ready to buddy one of the visiting choirs, I wore my Pinkies’ t-shirt with pride and truly felt like I belonged. There was such a buzz of excitement as the doors were opened and the crowds flooded in. Over 400 participants, dressed in all colours of the rainbow (what else?), were here to sing and celebrate with us – how amazing!

The vocal workshops were both fun and informative. They took us on a journey from opera to medieval music, via world music and ‘belting’! All 500 of us joined in with gusto and it was a great way for us to bond with our new friends from the other choirs.
By the time the concert was due to begin, I was pacing up and down the corridor practising my very small, but seemingly epic, introduction speech for the Deep C Divas. When I’d exclaimed a week or so beforehand that I was from Leeds I didn’t realise it would mean stepping into a spotlight and addressing the crowd.

Pink Singers' set (Photo: Pete Stean)
Pink Singers’ set (Photo: Pete Stean)

Our first song, ‘I, Choir’ went down a storm. It was the first part of our three-part commission by Thomas, and as it was a world première, we had no idea what the reaction to it would be! The laughs and applause told us all we needed to know. It was so special watching all the other choirs sing and dance, one of them for the first time ever. But, I couldn’t wait for the time for our set to arrive. The ‘tropical’ conditions inside the Troxy, owing to a good ol’ fashioned heatwave made our hands a little clammier than usual, but that was soon forgotten as we watched a series of stellar performances from all our fabulous guest choirs.  All of a sudden it was time for our set, and we were up on stage. From the moment the first few notes of ‘Jericho’ sounded, the whole thing flew by in a flash. I got the giggles when the risers started squeaking in time to our choreography, I almost got all the moves right, and I smiled one of the biggest smiles of my life when the audience clapped and cheered our final number, ‘Earth, Wind and Choir’, joined in wonderful harmony by all 500 voices who joined us for the day.

Thank you Pinkies, for making the first half of 2013 so unforgettable. It’s sad having to go back to reality until the Autumn…

“You know you’re not allowed nail varnish in school, Miss – you’d better take it off before Mr Foley sees you.” And so, I will go home and reluctantly reach for the remover, happy though that the little pink bottle will be there, ready for next time…

Hand in Hand 2013

‘Hand in Hand’ festival takes place at The Troxy, Limehouse. Representatives from 21 choirs from around the UK and Ireland took part, with 12 performing in the evening concert. 

Back in July we invited LGBT choirs from around the nation to help us celebrate our thirtieth anniversary with a festival of song, Hand in Hand. We came together at the Troxy in East London for a day of vocal workshops and a spectacular evening concert.

The Pink Singers’ set included the premiere of The Great Choir of London: a pair of pieces written for us by Richard Thomas of Jerry Springer The Opera fame. We’ve made a small film documentary about this memorable day as a thank you to all who made it so special.

You can read more about from Lucy in their blog post.

Timeline datestamp: 14 July 2013

Hand in Hand: guest choirs uniting to perform en masse!

Jerome, UK Concerts Director
Jerome, UK Concerts Director

This Saturday, when you come along to Hand in Hand – our 30th anniversary festival, you won’t just be watching us Pinkies! We’ll be joined by a whole host of other LGBT choirs from around the country. Not got your ticket yet? Buy yours now!
Joining us to sing along as part of the massed choir in Saturday’s evening concert, we welcome London Alternative Choir; Southampton Gay Men’s Chorus; Rainbow Voices, Birmingham; Liverpool LGBT Singers; Northern Proud Voices, Newcastle, and Many Voices, London!

London Alternative Choir

London Alternative Choir is a choir composed of capable amateur singers, created with the aim to entertain, meet like-minded people, and raise the visibility of people and collectives with alternative lifestyles. Continue reading “Hand in Hand: guest choirs uniting to perform en masse!”

Hand in Hand guest choir spotlight: Diversity

Michelle, New Members and Social Secretary
Michelle, New Members and Social Secretary

This Saturday, when you come along to Hand in Hand – our 30th anniversary festival, you won’t just be watching us Pinkies! We’ll be joined by a whole host of other LGBT choirs from around the country. Buy your ticket now!
Another local choir joining us on Saturday is the fabulous Diversity!

All about Diversity

Diversity is London’s LGBT community chamber choir. The choir was formed in 1992 with the aim to sing classical music, along with the best choral music from a diverse mix of other genres.

Diversity, London
Diversity, London

They have developed and grown over the years from a small group of friends to being 50-strong with recent performances at venues such as the Southbank Centre and St Martin-in-the-Fields. Beyond their concerts, they are also actively engaged, along with London’s other LGBT singing groups, in a wide variety of community festivals, events and projects. Continue reading “Hand in Hand guest choir spotlight: Diversity”