World AIDS Day Charity Concert

This year we joined the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus again as their guests for the annual World AIDS Day charity concert at St Mary’s Church (at the top of St. James Street). We also shared the evening with Resound, Brighton & Hove’s newest male voice ensemble as well as the fabulous Qukulele (who you will certainly remember from our CD launch concert) and also highly-acclaimed soprano, Red Gray.

We performed Domine Fili Unigenite by Vivaldi, Zum Sanctus by Franz Schubert, My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land by Elgar and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2. The finale for this great evening was a powerful rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen sung by all the groups present tonight.

WAD 2011


This concert, with its varied musical repertoire, provided an opportunity to reflect on the losses many have suffered, as well inspiring those present to celebrate people living with HIV and AIDS. The concert began straight after the annual candlelit vigil at the AIDS Memorial in New Steine Gardens.

As in previous years, all performers donated their time for free and the entire profit of

beaconlogo
the evening was donated to The Sussex Beacon to help with its Emergency Appeal to raise £150,000 to prevent their Inpatient Department from closure.

Thanks to the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, photos of the evening are available
here.
Now snow this year though ...

CD Launch concert


Earlier in 2011, we finished our first ever professional recording which was made available for purchase on CD for the first time at this concert. It is a showcase for some of our favourite songs drawn from our extensive repertoire (now spanning 14 years!) and also a few brand new songs - new to us and to you as well!

Our Musical Director Dr Matthew Pollard said:
“Our first recording gives us the opportunity to show off some fantastic, expressive music-making, and reach an even wider audience. Across a wide range of styles and periods, this choir certainly 'sings the rainbow' of emotion and experience; the joy and enthusiasm they displayed during the sessions is certainly communicated on this brilliant CD.”

The chair of the Rainbow Chorus Jane Wrin said:
“As a mixed ability community choir we are all things to all people and as such this CD shows that range and flexibility.  We go from Burt Bacharach to Vivaldi with ease and enthusiasm.  At the moment there are just over 40 members and I think I can speak for all when I say how much we have enjoyed the process of recording as it was not only about putting history into a CD but about singing with friends, many of whom have been made since joining the choir.”

The CD was launched at a special Pride concert in our new "home" of St George's church in Kemptown which has a great acoustic which really compliments our singing. The launch price that night was £8, but the CD is now its normal price of £10.

We also had some special guests - the UK's first and only Queer Ukulele band and they played Glee-style mash-ups on tiny ukuleles in crazy Hawaiian shirts and they went down a storm!




You can download the evening’s programme
here.

Mind Out


(Guess who are from the choir!)

We were delighted to be performing some numbers from our CD at ‘Mind Out for the Laughs’, the charity comedy cabaret event at the Komedia on the evening of Wednesday 10th August at 7:30pm - an evening of song, stand up and poetry.

You can see photos of our set and the finale from the evening courtesy of REAL Brighton
here.

We performed a four song set of Can’t Get You Out of my Head, Say a Little Prayer, The Lavender Song and Let the River Run. It seemed to go down well and del thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The evening ended with a joint number with Lorraine and Miss Hope Springs - “Born this way”.

Performers on the night were:

Miss Hope Springs
Debra-Jane Appelby
Julie Jepson
The Rainbow Chorus
Lorraine Bowen
Yvo Luna
 
Stephanie Starlett – Hostess
Paula Cox – BSL Interpreter


A few of our stars visit The Planets

On Sunday 26th June, hot on the heels of the choir’s Saturday recording session, Jane, Gill and Jane whizzed up to London to sing with the London Gay Symphony Orchestra. The sell out concert at St John’s in Waterloo concluded with a wonderful rendition of Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ and as some may know, the very very end has a double chorus of eerie women’s voices off stage (in our case on and walking off). It was a great opportunity to network and to support another Gay musical organisation and we can highly recommend their concerts.

Performing at the Kemptown Carnival


On a very sunny 4th of June we performed two short sets at our (now) local carnival on a rather windy afternoon. The set was Siahamba, As Torrents in Summer, Homophobia and Singing for our Lives. The place was buzzing with loads of activity, crowds of people, stalls and all sorts. Great for the carnival, but a somewhat challenging environment for the number of us that were available that day and had to compete with a drumming band as well! Ah the joys of live performance - we did our best though, as always.

Brighton IDAHOBIT

IDAHO - International Day Against Homophobia - exists to provoke action to end Homophobia. This is an inclusive campaign for individuals, campaigners, voluntary organisations, special interest groups, employers, businesses, politicians and public service providers to get involved and make a difference.

On Tuesday, the 17th of May 2011, as in previous years, we supported others from our community and beyond by marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia on the steps of the Unitarian Church in New Road, central Brighton (near the Theatre Royal) which this year takes the theme of same sex couples. There were speeches from our own Phelim Mac Cafferty, (now a Brighton & Hove Green Party councillor as well as a fine bass!), the police and other local LGBT groups. The date, May the 17th, commemorates the day in 1990 on which the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental diseases.

BLAGSS Winter Pride Bowling

From the BLAGSS Web site:

Annual 10-Pin Bowling Challenge - Results

The annual BLAGSS ten-pin bowling challenge took place on 1st March at the Bowlplex at Brighton Marina. Nearly 200 players in 25 teams competed against each other, including BLAGSS sports groups and a wide variety of other LGBT community groups (music, professional, students, etc.).

At the half-way point the Rainbow Chorus were showing a small lead over Kickass, followed closely by BLAGSS Ishigaki and Tennis. In Game 2 Kickass regained the lead whilst Switchboard and BLAGSS Golf surged up the field. The overall result put Kickass in top place with Rainbow Chorus marginally beating BLAGSS Ishigaki into second place. Fourth place was taken by BLAGSS Tennis. Final scores can be downloaded
here.


The whole evening, as always, was a lot of fun with the place packed with LGBT teams as far as you could see and a really great atmosphere. Here’s a little bit to the choir from Michael:

Just to let you know that our magnificent bowling team did the Choir proud by coming in at a scorching second place in the BLAGSS annual Bowling Challenge last evening, 1st March. To slightly paraphrase what Liam said, "I normally don't have a competitive bone in my body but when it come to the annual bowling challenge, I don't know what comes over me but I really want to win!"

Well, as you can see below we slipped from our brilliant start but remain the highest placed non-sports team taking part since our first outing way back in 2005. As they say, it’s all about the taking part (well, someone said it was about the winning!) and here’s the team that did it (sadly Gill had to go before the photo was taken):


Clockwise from the left:- Rob, Liam, Simonne, Michael, Adam and Stephen

Stephen staggered everyone, including himself, by scoring four strikes in the first session including three in a row! This was unheard of so let’s hope the same thing happens next year!


You can see the final results below. We will be back ...