Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Around The World

The next Pink Singers concert (which happens this Saturday 14 July 2012 at 7:30pm at St. John's Smith Square) is shaping up to the best yet. In honour of the world coming to London this summer, the Pinkies are performing a range of songs from different parts of the planet, sprouting from very different musical traditions, and incorporating very different vocal styles.

Ever since their visit to Lisbon Pride a month ago, the choir has been hard at work polishing up what promises to be a multicultural show, and to top it off their guest choir this time is the extremely accomplished Gloria, Dublin's lesbian and gay choir. Definitely not to be missed!

The Pink Singers present
"Around The World"
Saturday 14 July 2012
St. John's Smith Square
London SW1P 3HA (map)
Tickets here

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

So You Don't Have To - Part I

Hey, it's the summer season and the Pink Insider takes a look at the repertoire. As always, it is hard to find an exact recording of the arrangement we are doing. And I'm not even going to talk about the quality!

You Can't Stop The Beat, for instance, has been done to death by a million show choirs, but not our arrangement. In the end I went for one from NTU who hail from the island state of Singapore. Sunday, from Sunday In The Park With George, does not seem to have been recorded by anyone on YouTube, so I just took the version from last year's Proms featuring the rather yummy Daniel Evans.

This is also not the full repertoire of course, more to come in Part II!

Anything Goes

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

The Evening Primrose

Hello Dolly!


To A Locomotive In Winter

You Can't Stop The Beat

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A Burst of Song!

Here's a quick reminder about the Pink Singers' New Year concert. It is called 'A Burst of Song' and we've been working hard to craft the show. This time round we are mixing things up with classical and pop/jazz mixed together, we'll be dancing like Tina Turner and doing the hygeinic form of scatting. What's not to like? Get your tickets on the website.

Time: 7.30pm
Date: 8 January 2011
Venue: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ

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How Low Can Your Logo?

Sorry for the relative dormancy, but the Pink Insider has been really busy with other Pinkie buisness. This season in particular has been very stressful, but thankfully things appear to be settling down. I am trying to avoid being overdramatic about it, but after the tsunami of the start of the season we are settling into calmer waters now.

Anyway, this doesn't mean I don't do random websurfing and my current hilarious website of the day goes to How Low Can Your Logo. Have a look at the design brief, then look at this logo (and its comments) to truly appreciare how wonderful it really is!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Soul Wind by Andrew Swain

The Pinkies are singing this song as our joint number with Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus and Gay Abandon. I always like to know a little about the song, and Michael was wondering what the tempo of the song is supposed to be. We ran through it for the first time on Thursday and it sounds a bit of a dirge. So I googled its writer Andrew Swain.

Not very helpful as that appears to be a common name. What I did eventually find, after some sleuthing is a choir in London who have sung it before. They have two links to music here and here. It includes a rather wavery SATB version here.

The only other version I could find was on a CD by a Canberra women's choir call the Cyrenes.

The picture is of the image search I did. Apparently it is Megaman Soul - Wind version. Huh?

Friday, 1 October 2010

It Gets Better

This brought a tear to my eye today. It is a video basically telling young LGBT people that however bad it may seem in school, it does get better. Why the message? Well this project is the brainchild of Dan Savage, and he puts it thusly:

Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates—classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his body.

Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experience bullying and harassment at school, and gay teens are four times likelier to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who do kill themselves live in rural areas, exurbs, and suburban areas, places with no gay organizations or services for queer kids.

"My heart breaks for the pain and torment you went through, Billy Lucas," a reader wrote after I posted about Billy Lucas to my blog. "I wish I could have told you that things get better."

I had the same reaction: I wish I could have talked to this kid for five minutes. I wish I could have told Billy that it gets better. I wish I could have told him that, however bad things were, however isolated and alone he was, it gets better.

But gay adults aren't allowed to talk to these kids. Schools and churches don't bring us in to talk to teenagers who are being bullied. Many of these kids have homophobic parents who believe that they can prevent their gay children from growing up to be gay—or from ever coming out—by depriving them of information, resources, and positive role models.

Why are we waiting for permission to talk to these kids? We have the ability to talk directly to them right now. We don't have to wait for permission to let them know that it gets better. We can reach these kids.

So here's what you can do, GBVWS: Make a video. Tell them it gets better.

I've launched a channel on YouTube—www ­.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject—to host these videos. My normally camera-shy husband and I already posted one. We both went to Christian schools and we were both bullied—he had it a lot worse than I did—and we are living proof that it gets better. We don't dwell too much on the past. Instead, we talk mostly about all the meaningful things in our lives now—our families, our friends (gay and straight), the places we've gone and things we've experienced—that we would've missed out on if we'd killed ourselves then.

"You gotta give 'em hope," Harvey Milk said.

Today we have the power to give these kids hope. We have the tools to reach out to them and tell our stories and let them know that it does get better. Online support groups are great, GLSEN does amazing work, the Trevor Project is invaluable. But many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. So let's show them what our lives are like, let's show them what the future may hold in store for them.

The video my husband and I made is up now—all by itself. I'd like to add submissions from other gay and lesbian adults—singles and couples, with kids or without, established in careers or just starting out, urban and rural, of all races and religious backgrounds. (Go to www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject to find instructions for submitting your video.) If you're gay or lesbian or bi or trans and you've ever read about a kid like Billy Lucas and thought, "Fuck, I wish I could've told him that it gets better," this is your chance. We can't help Billy, but there are lots of other Billys out there—other despairing LGBT kids who are being bullied and harassed, kids who don't think they have a future—and we can help them.

They need to know that it gets better. Submit a video. Give them hope.

Many more videos can be found on the It Gets Better project YouTube channel.

Edit: And you just gotta check out the Pink Singers' own It Gets Better video!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Pinkies' Repertoire Winter 2010

For Nathalina.

And So It Goes
There are two common arrangements, we are doing the slightly less popular Kirby Shaw version. Bob Chilcott's has the tenor solo singing "And ev'ry time I've held a rose". This is sung SATB in the Kirby Shaw version.

Cantique de Jean Racine Op. 11
Gabriel Fauré, orchestration by John Rutter
I am presuming we are singing this in French.

Come, Sing and Be Joyful
Sorry, this is the only video I could find on YouTube.

Flight of the Bumble Bee
Who suggested this one? By heart?

Härlig är Jorden
Sorry, there doesn't seem to be a version of Lindberg's arrangement of this song. Here's another acapella arrangement.

I Got Rhythm
This is the Mark Hayes arrangement. There are a couple on YouTube - this one is actually better than the other.

Like A Prayer
The other song from Glee which we're doing.

Lullaby of Birdland
Paris Rutherford's arrangements. Has female and male solos, and improv scatting.

Lux Aurumque
Last year's virtual choir piece by Eric Whitacre.

And if you haven't seen Whitacre's own instructional video have a look here:

Of course, if you are interested in joining in this year's Virtual Choir, then check it out here!

Proud Mary
Skip the preamble and fast forward to 1:40 in the video.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Friendship In A Big City

I just read a rather intriguing article in the Guardian today about the possibility of 'renting a friend'. Yes, you can look at it and roll your eyes at the commoditisation of our social lives, and in this world where everyone appears to have a few hundred Facebook 'friends' you have to wonder why this is even necessary.

The reality though, is that even (or perhaps especially) in big cities such as London, it is possible to be very lonely indeed. Even if you have the odd mate who lives in London, breaking out of the circle of work colleagues is hard, and making friends who you can hang out with because you enjoy their company is a mammoth task. The Pink Insider has been in London now for 8 years, and the first two or three were spent in the company of old college mates.

Now, of course, I look at my friends in London and see that they neatly partition into people from school, people from work, former neighbours (a rarity I can tell you!), acquaintances of acquaintences (who are now my friends) and, of course, Pinkies.

There are many advantages to joining a social group, but particularly one like the Pink Singers, because everyone out of necessity has to work together. This means that you already share something in common such as the love of singing, but your experiences also develop together, which to me is a prerequisite for any meaningful relationship. Picking up someone in a pub can lead to a long-term friendship but, for me at least, is a rather difficult way of going about it.

Reading the article, the writer rents his friend for £40 an hour. In comparison, membership of the Pink Singers is a complete bargain!