Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus (BrightonGMC) was created in January 2005 when a small group of friends who loved singing were disappointed at the lack of a non-scene space in which to socialise. They decided it was high time Brighton & Hove had its first gay male voice choir and so created a space where people can celebrate music, enjoy the fellowship of other like-minded people and contribute to the local communities of which we are part.
At its heart BrightonGMC is a community chorus. New members are always welcome and we don‘t hold auditions.
BrightonGMC is the biggest gay men’s chorus in UK outside of London. We meet weekly on a Tuesday night from 7:30pm ’til 10pm in our beautiful rehearsal space located in the centre of Brighton, and we end the evening with a well-deserved drink in our local pub, which welcomes us with pizza or sandwiches.
We also meet once a month at the weekend for a more in-depth rehearsal with various workshops on vocal technique, performance training and to practice choralography (choreography for choirs).
Membership is open to anyone who self-identifies as a man and is LGBTQ-friendly.
As a membership organisation, the Chorus has three guiding principles, our “Three S’s”:
Our previous Artistic Director Marc Yarrow during Pull A Cracker 2016. Photo © Miles Davies
The Chorus is fortunate to have a multi-award winning music team headed by Chorus Director Joe Paxton and Music Director & Accompanist Tim Nail. Their musical arrangements are unique to the BrightonGMC and form a vast repertoire that covers pop, musical, classic and classical scores.
We have covered music from legends like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Huston, Gloria Gaynor, David Bowie, Eurythmics, Pet Shop Boys, Adam Ant and ABBA to name a few. They also taken inspiration from more modern entertainers like Beyoncé, Mylie Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Coldplay. We have also tackled some serious work by Fauré, Orff, Bizet and Beethoven.
Our musical year is comprised of three seasons, each of which culminates in sell-out shows. The Spring Season runs from January and finishes in May with our show usually opening the Brighton Fringe Festival, one of the biggest Fringe Festivals in the world. The Summer Season runs through to the end of July/beginning of August where our show traditionally kicks off Brighton’s Pride Week celebrations. We then have a month off in August and return in September for the Winter Season, which culminates with our Christmas productions, held in prestigious venues like the All Saints Church, Theatre Royal Brighton and the Brighton Dome Concert Hall, one of the biggest venues in Sussex. We have been fortunate to share the stage with extraordinary performers like Zoe Lyons, Russell Watson, Sandie Shaw, Claire Sweeney, Alan Cummings and, of course, our Patron, June Brown.
In August 2016 the Chorus were invited to perform at the inaugural flight of the BA i360
Every year the Chorus helps organise the Brighton & Hove World Aids Day Charity Concert, raising money for local HIV/AIDS charities. Photo © Nick Ford Photography
From our initial involvement with Brighton & Hove Pride, the No Hate Campaign and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), we have deepened our involvement with the local community, supporting both LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ causes and events. We also co-organise the annual World AIDS Day Charity Concert in Brighton, bringing the community together in remembrance, solidarity and contemplation, joined by other local LGBTQ choirs.
We often travel outside Brighton to collaborate with other choirs like in Southampton, London, Cardiff, Manchester, Dublin and in 2018 we will proudly represent our city in Various Voices in Munich, an international LGBTQ choir festival with over 2,000 singers.
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus is registered charity, no. 1171020, with 3 key charitable objectives:
1 To promote public education by the study, practice and public performance of choral music; and to assist other charitable causes.
2 For the public benefit to advance and promote the education of gay and gay-friendly men in Brighton and Hove in the subject of choral music, its study, practice and performance.
3 The promotion of equality and diversity for the public benefit by the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, in particular, but not exclusively, by raising public awareness of discrimination towards and issues affecting the LGBTQ community.
As well as our involvement with other charities and causes throughout the year, each one of our end-of-season shows also raises money for good causes, often nominated by our membership.
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus members presenting a cheque for £5,713.40 to the Sussex Beacon after our sell-out Pull A Cracker Christmas 2013 show.
© 2019 Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus. Charitable Incorporated Organisation no. 1171020