The Pink Singers

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The Pink Singers
PinkSingersLogo2014.png
Background information
Origin London, England, United Kingdom
Genres 20th century, baroque, choral, classical, folk, gospel, jazz, popular, show tunes,
Occupation(s) LGBT Choir
Instruments 90 voices (SATB)
Years active 1983-present
Associated acts Barberfellas
Gin and Harmonics
Website www.PinkSingers.co.uk
Members Committee Chair
Richard Greer
Musical Director
Murray Hipkin
Artistic Director
Oliver Gilbody
Accompanist
John Flinders

The Pink Singers were formed on the 7th April, 1983, to add music and song to the Gay Pride March in London where they have marched ever since, making the Pinkies the longest running LGBT choir in Europe.

Introduction[edit]

The original members formed a small ensemble after an open newspaper invite, and over the past three decades the choir has grown into approximately 90 members, making it the UK's largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) chorus. Every year is made up of two musical seasons starting in February and September. Each culminates in a large London concert[1] but which also contain multiple public and private performances[2] at large events, campaigns, corporate events, weddings and civil partnerships.[3] The Pink Singers also undertake an overseas trip and concert each year.

Each season starts with informal auditions, allowing anyone with an interest in joining to try out a few rehearsals first, to feel the social as well as musical make up of the choir. The Pink Singers pride themselves as a fully mixed choir of varying abilities, ages, genders, and offering all member a safe and enjoyable environment to either learn new, or further develop existing musical abilities over a wide variety of genres and styles.

The choice of music sung by the choir is as eclectic as the membership makeup itself, everything from pop to classical to jazz, folk and show tunes. Variety in a single show can range from Elgar to Ellie Goulding, or from Mozart to Massive Attack. There are multiple choreographed numbers each season also, adding a visual spectacle to the musical.

Structure[edit]

The approximately 90 singing members are split across 8 voices, upper and lower registers each for Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass sections respectively. This vocal range gives the choir great flexibility in musical pieces tackled over the years, from simple 2 part harmonies through to full 12 part splits when including semi-chorus parts.

Musical seasons in the past few years have all had a theme for the final concert. Choir members offer up fresh themes each season, which are decided on by a musical team made up of both paid and volunteer members, led by the Musical and Artistic Directors who also run each rehearsal.

The Pink Singers is a registered UK charity (1151365)[4] and is run entirely through a volunteer committee. This is composed of the Chair, Secretary, Artistic Director, Treasurer, Concert Producer, Multimedia, Choir Liaison, New Members Representative, and a section leader from each of the SATB sections. The choir employs the professional support of a Musical Director and a trained accompanist.

Historic Overview[edit]

The choir were originally created to march in London Pride in 1983. The LGBT landscape in the UK then was substantially different to today: the age of consent was unequal, AIDS had barely reached the political agenda, Britain had not yet had appointed an openly gay MP, and any form of legally-recognised partnership between same-sex couples seemed like a pipe dream. The choir was established to be a counterpart to the choruses which had emerged in the USA and one of its first goals was to provide music at that year’s Lesbian & Gay Pride march, to get the march noticed and push the political changes happening at the time.

As more freedoms and rights have been granted to LGBT individuals and partners the principal aims of the choir have also evolved, which were codified when the choir became a UK charity:

  • To promote, improve, develop and maintain appreciation of and education of the public, in particular but not exclusively the LGBT community, in the art and science of music in all its aspects by any means the management committee sees fit, including through the presentation of public concerts and recitals to the highest possible standard.
  • To promote equality and diversity for the public benefit with particular reference to the LGBT community and in particular but not exclusively by:
  1. advancing education and raising awareness in equality and diversity;
  2. promoting activities to foster understanding between people from diverse backgrounds;
  3. cultivating a sentiment in favour of equality and diversity in particular through celebrating the diversity of the LGBT community.

Under these aims the Pink Singers have performed all over the constituent countries of the UK, as well as in the past few years in Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, Malta, the Netherlands and the USA. As the longest running LGBT choir in Europe the Pink Singers have also built up long lasting relationships with other LGBT choirs and choruses world wide, and has been instrumental in helping smaller UK based choirs grow and develop. The Pink Singers have in the past been join hosts of the Various Voices choral festival[5] and as part of the choir's 30th anniversary celebrations held a full day festival and concert for 17 of the UK's LGBT music groups.[6]

The Pink Singers is a member of the UK network of choirs, Proud Voices, and as part of their ongoing work to help spread and grow the tradition of LGBT choral music have been instrumental in setting up a sister organisation, Proud Voices Asia.

Online presence[edit]

In addition to its website, The Pink Singers has a wide online presence with a Twitter account, @pinksingers, YouTube channel, Facebook fan page and flickr photo albums.

Discography[edit]

P.S. We're 30 (2012)[edit]

PS30-cd-artwork.jpg

Recorded in November 2012, P.S. We’re 30 showcases a fabulous array of the choir’s most memorable repertoire over its thirty-year history.

Live (2008)[edit]

Live-cd-artwork.jpg

Live is the second Pink Singers’ CD. All tracks were recorded live in concert between 2001 and 2008.

Hand in Hand (2000)[edit]

Hand-in-Hand-cd-artwork.jpg

Hand in Hand was the first CD by the Pink Singers and was compiled in 2000 from recordings made at various concerts, including at the Royal Academy of Music.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.pinksingers.co.uk/tickets/
  2. ^ http://www.pinksingers.co.uk/category/see-hear/
  3. ^ http://www.pinksingers.co.uk/hire-us/
  4. ^ http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/find-charities/
  5. ^ http://www.pinksingers.co.uk/blog/2009/05/12/various-voices-2009-london-sings-out
  6. ^ http://30.pinksingers.co.uk/