World AIDS Day

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 ...

World AIDS Day Charity Concert

This WAD we performed in St. Mary’s Church in Kemptown as one of the guests of the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus for their charity concert.

The snow was falling thick and fast outside the church but inside it was an evening of real musical warmth and variety with the Brighton Gay Mens’ Chorus (obviously!),
Hullabaloo, Qukulele, soprano Red Gray and our lovely selves. The music performed by each group was quite diverse - especially Qukulele with their singing coupled with energetic ukulele playing and whilst surreally dressed in Hawaiian style T-Shirts! We performed a set comprising: I Still Haven’t Found what I’m looking For, Fix You, As Torrents in Summer and ended with the world premiere of a new piece, “Found”, written specifically for the choir by our Musical Director Matt Pollard and his lyrical collaborator Peter Kenny.

There was a massed sing of Holly Near’s “Singing for our Lives”, composed in memory of Harvey Milk, to give the evening a rousing ending.

Afterwards, there was a reading of the names of all those who have died of AIDS related illness in Brighton and Hove, followed by reflection across the road at the AIDS memorial in New Steine Gardens. It was very beautiful surrounded by small candles, some bouquets and the snow falling all the time.

You can see photos of the night’s events courtesy of REALBrighton
here.

Sussex Ecumenical HIV Chaplaincy event

This was a commemorative service for World AIDS Day. Historically, we have organised our own special event each year for World AIDS Day, starting in 1999. This year though, with the 3 Choirs Concert for the unveiling of the AIDS memorial and an invitation to this WAD event we had decided not to arrange our own.

This service, held at the
Brighthelm Community Church in North Road Brighton on Tuesday the 1st of December at 7:30pm had another choir performing - we sang at the beginning of the service and at the end after the candle lighting. The Mayor of Brighton and Hove was unable to attend but his deputy attended instead and we had the High Sherriff as well!

Click to view
page 1 and page 2 of the programme in a new window. (Errata: Our final song ‘Postlude’ was “Sure on this Shining Night”)

Joint World AIDS Day concert

Our regular WAD concert took a slightly different turn as we took part in an externally organised event and so the format was rather different from what our regulars had come to expect.





It was absolutely packed inside the reasonably warm St. Mary’s Church in Kemptown which was a new venue for us. Though our MD, Matt, had had a piece of his performed there before by the London Gay Symphony Orchestra.

The music for the evening began with some lovely performances by Andrew Ballantyne on harp and Neil Carter on flute, followed by Greg Moore singing a number of ballads accompanying himself on piano.

Then it was time for us to come onstage - you can see what we performed from the programme
here. Our opener, Homophobia, went down a storm and in fact the whole programme seemed very well liked. We had a lot of positive feedback in the following interval with several people saying that it was our most together performance so far (You’re only as good as your last concert eh?).


After the interval, we joined the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus on stage for O Fortuna!, the rousing opening movement of Orff’s Carmina Burana (which we had performed for WAD in 2004). We then left them to perform a small selection of movements from the whole piece during which they were joined by a large number of enthusiastically musical children (singing in Latin!) and the lovely soprano voice of Ms Red Gray. The selection was rounded off with us joining forces again to sing the closing O Fortuna! as you can see below:



The concert was organised by the Gay Elderly Men’s Society (GEMS), sponsored by Age Concern; funds raised were donated to Sussex Beacon. The Mayor opened the concert.

After the concert, a goodly number of us went to join the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus in the Amsterdam for some nibbles and much chatting. It was really great to spend some more time socialising with them and we were even treated to a spontaneous rendition of Dancing Queen and Bridge Over Troubled Water - quite a bonus!

A letter from The Mayor

After our very successful World AIDS Day concert, we received this letter from the Mayor who attended.

Mayor Letter

Our WAD concert on the theme of "Freedom"

This year we continued our longstanding tradition of marking World AIDS Day in Brighton and Hove and the theme of the evening was "Freedom" and included songs and music from around the globe based on this theme. As it was the last full (and packed!) concert of our 10th Anniversary Year we were also very pleased to welcome the The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Carol Theobald who lit the first candle of our commemorative vigil.


We had 'two' special guests; our friends
The City of Brighton Gay Men's Chorus (counting them as one!) who performed their 'AIDS Trilogy', taking us musically through the stages of the development of AIDS in the gay community so far .


We were also pleased to have the inspirational Thandi Haruperi, who came to talk to us about her personal experience of
being a black woman with HIV, giving us a broader perspective than we are used to.

We were delighted that Marco Nardi offered Sign Language Interpretation for the first time at one of our concerts and as I'm sure everyone would agree, he not only provided an obvious benefit for non-hearing members of our audience, but provided every one of us with a new and enjoyable angle on the performances.



The candlelit vigil, led by Madame Mayor, gave the opportunity for everyone to contribute to the evening in their own personal way.

We had some beautiful duets, solos, the women's section and two full choirs and after such enthusiastic performances it was an honour to receive a standing ovation from the audience. We gave an encore of 'Change In My Life' which had the audience joining in too! A great end to the evening.



The proceeds from this concert will be going to the
International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

Click
here to see the programme.

A performance of Fauré's Requiem for World AIDS Day

Another sell-out performance, this time for our Concert for World AIDS Day. This was a beautiful evening with some fine solo performances by choir members, culminating in an ensemble and full organ accompanied performance of Fauré's Requiem.

There's an article from our local paper about the performance
here.

You can see pictures from the concert
here.

You can see page 1 of the concert programme
here and page 2 here.


Donations were made to local HIV/AIDS charities from the proceedings.

World AIDS Day concert 2005

For this we performed a selection of English music - Warlock, Skempton, Britten and others.
As Liam, our chair at the time said afterwards, "We had an avalanche of positive feedback from audience members saying how well the choir had sung, what an interesting and varied repertoire it was, and how professional and polished the whole evening was."
We also welcomed the City of Brighton Gay Men's Chorus as our guests.

Carmina Burana for World AIDS Day 2004

Encouraged by the success of our rendition of Vivaldi's Gloria, we took on the challenge of performing Carl Orff's extraordinary Carmina Burana, and judging by the standing ovation we received at the end, we pulled it off. The music was exciting enough, but an added frisson was provided by the fear that due to the precarious state of the electrics we wondered whether the entire venue would be plunged into darkness at any second. Edge of your seat stuff ...



The performance took place in the beautiful, but chilly, St. Andrew's Church in Waterloo Street, Hove, a building being preserved on behalf of the nation by the Churches Conservation Trust. We used Orff's two piano and percussion arrangement: Matthew Pollard was Musical Director, Basil Richmond and Glen Capra played piano whilst Will Fry, Adam Bushell and Tom Norrell played percussion. We were also graced with two fine soloists - Soprano Elisabeth Wingfield and Baritone Ian Macdonald.

The members of the choir were:

Sopranos - Jen Green, Sharon Krummel and Amanda Spooner
Counter-Tenor - Michael Gough
Altos - Jill Cannon, Tanya Izzard, Hannah Latham and Gillian Stevenson
Tenors - Russell Brewerton, Adam Clarke, Iain Fleming, Angela Goodall, Simon Hincks, Daniel Kirwan, Scott McPherson, David Pitts and Stephen Watson
Basses - David Caffery, Sam Chambers, Matthew Cook, Gordon Ferguson, Luc Harvengt, John Hood, David Hoyle, Liam O'Shea and Craig Thomas

The programme was:
Happy Together - Full Choir
Joanna - Ian Macdonald
The Vain Desire - Ian Macdonald
Aria: Mi Chiamano Mimi - Elisabeth Wingfield
Duet: O Soave Fanciulla - Elisabeth Wingfield and Ian Macdonald
Fie Nay Prithee John & Pox on You for a Fop - Matthew Cook, Gordon Ferguson and David Hoyle
The Night - Full Choir
Peace - Full Choir

INTERVAL

Carmina Burana - Full Choir, Elisabeth Wingfield and Ian Macdonald

You can hear a couple of tracks from this performance
here.
We made a donation of £1,000 to the Sussex Beacon from the proceeds of this concert. Nice one.

At the Theatre Royal, Brighton with the London Gay Men's Chorus for World AIDS Day

The superb, and large, London Gay Men's Chorus finished their UK tour 'Tying the Knot' with a special WAD performance at Brighton's Theatre Royal. They invited us to perform a solo spot and then to join with them on the finale, so, always open to a wonderful opportunity, we accepted. Proceeds from the concert went to Brighton Cares.




We had a solo spot where we sang,
California Dreamin', John Taverner's "Prayer for the healing of the Sick" and Money, Money, Money. Finally, we joined forces with local choir Hullabaloo to increase the on stage numbers to around 120 for the finale performance of Coming and Going. Someone wrote to our chair later saying the following "I shall always remember the World Aids Day segment, the minutes silence was particularly poignant and Coming and Going that followed was so powerful. The first set of Hiyahi's [in Coming & Going] was so powerful I felt thrown back into my seat and a smile a mile wide came over my face. You could see the whole audience experience such powerful singing and be moved by it."

You can hear a couple of tracks from this performance here.

Rehearsal



Some of us popped into the pub next door before the performance (just a little drink of course ...)



Our solo performance



The roof-raising finale

World AIDS Day

Apologies for the sideways presentation, but it would be too small to read otherwise.

"Brother's Keeper" at the Sallis Benny Theatre, Grand Parade, Brighton

A World AIDS Day Concert intending to embrace all aspects of the local community.












A Rainbow Chorus

Apologies for the sideways presentation but it would be too small the right way round ...

Programme outside



Programme inside

"A Requiem for Those Who Die Young"

The world premiere of this moving performance was presented for World AIDS Day and was written by Toby Colins with words by Peter McLachlan. All profits were in aid of the World AIDS Day fund for Brighton.