A Night at the Movies guests: The London Gay Big Band

Tickets for A Night at the Movies are now all sold out! Keep an eye on our website in case any extras become available at the last minute, and keep Saturday 19 July free in your diary for our next London concert.
On Saturday 25 January we’ll be joined on stage by the hugely talented London Gay Big Band! They’ll be helping us bring to life a whole host of movie music favourites. Having heard them perform numerous times, most recently with the lovely London Gay Men’s Chorus at their Hallowe’en Ball, we’re delighted to have them join us.
The London Gay Big Band was founded in the summer of 2011 and is a full-size, 20 piece, jazz orchestra made up of talented musicians and vocalists, bringing a fresh vibe to the London music scene.
Since its formation, the Band has gone from strength to strength, performing at a number of high profile events and venues throughout London and beyond, including the Southbank Centre, the main stage at Trafalgar Square for World Pride 2012, main stage at BT London Live in Victoria Park (part of London 2012 Olympics), The Langham Hotel, Hackney Empire, Floridita, Clapham Street Party, The Lord Mayor’s Show & Charing Cross Theatre, among others.
More information and details of their other upcoming shows

Getting into character for A Night at the Movies

We’re getting a little too excited about our upcoming concert, so much so that this happened:

Can you name all the films we pay tribute to? We can count over twenty…
Got your tickets for A Night at the Movies, yet? If not, hurry – they are selling fast!

P.S. We’re 30 Concert (Part 2 of 2)

The whole choir at rehearsal in December 2012. Photo by Simon Pearson
The whole choir at rehearsal in December 2012. Photo by Simon Pearson

In the second of a couple of posts, Newbie Lara reflects on her first season as a Pink Singer, and reveals a little bit of choir romance to boot!

My very first rehearsal with the Pink Singers, I remember I’d originally felt so shy and nervous to step into what I’d earlier read to be ‘Europe’s longest-running LGBT choir’ of about 80 members, I almost turned around and went home! Having previously made a habit of keeping myself just a little distanced from the mainstream hubbub of the LGBT community, I was a little unsure and had my reservations about joining such a large choir of its type.

Yet as I approached the rehearsal venue, brain chatter by now in a state of drastic panic and near evacuation, I was immediately greeted by friendly smiles and hellos and introduced to a gaggle of equally timid potential newbies (and I should mention here in a sad attempt to embarrass her, that I have been seeing one of these other newbies for the last few months now and it was one of the most unexpected yet awesome things to happen in my life to date!). We were then escorted into the building to watch and take part in the first rehearsal of the season, and the second I heard the choir burst into a fantastically uplifting rendition of the gospel piece, ‘Joyful Joyful,’ I was hooked! My previous reservations vanished on the spot, particularly after spotting the colour co-ordination of Murray Hipkin’s fabulous bright pink socks and shirt.

As someone who has had quite a lot of choral and singing experience, it’s always fascinating to me to see how different groups operate, and one of the immediate attractions of the Pink Singers was the vast array of different musical styles within the repertoire. From classical Brahms and Mozart, to the show tunes of Les Miserables and Hairspray, across to pop covers of Tina Turner and Elvis Presley, it seems there is nothing this choir won’t try! There is truly something for everyone in the Pinkies, and the choir welcomes people with open arms from all walks of life, whether they have had previous singing experience or not. Whilst I personally aspire to make singing and performance my career, I have felt so humbled to enter into such a loving family of some of the most interesting and inspiring people I have ever met. We have IT consultants, business managers, charity workers, lawyers, teachers, doctors, artists, dancers, and even the odd musician here and there. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, if you love to express yourself through song, the Pink Singers have a place for you.

Rehearsing at Cadogan Hall
Rehearsing at Cadogan Hall

My first season has been especially exciting, as this year is an ongoing celebration of the Pink Singer’s 30th anniversary! We started this January with a fantastic first concert in Cadogan Hall to celebrate the choir’s ‘greatest hits’ in conjunction with our brand new CD recording, ‘The Pink Singers, P.S. We’re 30’. This included a whole range of different music specially selected in order to reflect the history of the last 30 years of the Pink Singers, tracing the political, social and cultural changes that affected the LGBT community, alongside the choir’s own development. For me, this gave a whole new meaning to the powerful opening and closing song of the concert, ‘Hand In Hand’, reminding us that historic events and the lives and actions of all people are intrinsically connected.

I have been blessed to grow up in an environment where it is gradually becoming more acceptable to be a member of the LGBT community, a fact that should not be taken for granted. Our hard work this season as a choir, plus all the direction, help and stories emerging from the wonderful committee members and our artistic directors have taught me so much about our brothers and sisters before us who fought hard to get where we are today, and how much work there is still to be done across the world to make our voices heard. Through a cleverly put together combination of photomontages, documentaries, speeches, and different types of live performances (with choreography!), we blew away our audience whilst also moving them to think and reflect. ‘That performance certainly conveyed a message,’ is what my father said after our performance, for which we received a mighty standing ovation! This ability to both entertain and provoke people to think and reflect is one of the most special qualities of the Pink Singers.

I felt honoured to be amongst so many talented new friends in Cadogan Hall and to receive such a positive response, and I’m so looking forward to the rest of the year to come. Happy Anniversary to The Pink Singers I say! Thank you all for making me feel so welcomed, and here’s to the next season ahead!

P.S. We’re 30 Concert


The 30th anniversary concert, ‘P.S. We’re 30!’ is performed to a sold-out Cadogan Hall. It features songs from each of the choir’s three decades and celebrates the journey that the choir had made, politically and musically. In the first of a couple of posts, Newbie Gary reveals all about his first concert experience as a Pink Singer.

Well I did it: I got through my first “Pink Singers” concert, the culmination of 5 months hard work by the choir.

I remember back in the summer when I decided I would go along for an audition. I was very nervous, but everyone was so friendly and helpful. There is so much talent in the Pink Singers and I am still in awe of the fact that I am part of such an amazing group. The Newbies Party was great fun and a chance to meet everyone socially, and made settling in a lot easier…

My first season was challenging, as firstly I don’t read music and secondly I hadn’t realised how much learning I would have to do away from rehearsals, especially for this bumper season featuring over 20 songs to learn! However the rehearsal piano tracks were a big help, but I’m sure many people were a bit scared when I have been singing along to them on my iPod whilst walking the dog!

In November, mid-way through the season we recorded a CD, which was brilliant, and sounds amazing. It makes me very proud to see my name on the sleeve. It’ll be available to buy online very soon!

Rehearsing at Cadogan Hall. Photograph by Hsien Chew
Rehearsing at Cadogan Hall. Photograph by Hsien Chew

So it was suddenly 19th January and Concert Day, I can’t believe the performance went so quickly, and I only forgot my words once as far I know which I am sorry to say wasn’t during a number involving choreography! I was nervous throughout most of the first half, but the response of the audience to every number was amazing and made all the rehearsals so worthwhile, and I only just managed to hold back the tears after the final rendition of Hand in Hand to which we received the most amazing standing ovation.

In the short time I have been a ‘Pinkie’ I have had a blast, and made some good friends. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, and if I’m honest I am a little sad to lose my “newbie” tag, but I am looking forward to our next season (starting on 17th February) already!

You can read the second post in the series here.

Timeline datestamp: 19 January 2013

Away with LGBT stereotypes!

As we enter the last week of LGBT History Month, we’re revisiting one of the themes of an event which we took part in at the start of February called Queer Question Time. The panel discussed being gay in professional sports, the need for more sportspeople to come out publicly, and how important this is in demonstrating to the wider society that the LGBT community is not made up exclusively of “white able-bodied TV chat show presenters”.

 Photo credit: Hsien

Indeed, our community is all about diversity, as is our choir, and we’re not just about singing Glee versions of Madonna classics (as much as we love to!) Here we perform Eric Whitacre’s modern choral work With A Lily In Your Hand, set to words from a poem by Federico García Lorca.