4th March 2013
For immediate release.
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus have made a triumphant return to the city after being crowned winners of the 2013 Manchester Amateur Choral Competition on Sunday 24th February.
The Chorus were victorious over seventeen other choirs from across the UK in the annual contest which is supported by the Co-operative’s Community Fund. The event marked the first time the Chorus have entered any formal competition since appearing on BBC’s ‘Last Choir Standing’ television show in 2008.
Councillor Bill Randall, Mayor of Brighton & Hove, was amongst the first to congratulate the Chorus, tweeting: “Many congratulations to @BrightonGMC for winning @mcrchoral competition in Manchester. More good news for our extraordinary city.”
The win is also great news for LGBT performing arts, as the Chorus are the first gay choir ever to win the annual contest.
Marc Yarrow, Musical Director for Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, said: “We are delighted to have won the competition, and it’s a real testament to how far the boys have come as a choir. Win or lose, I’m also glad of the chance for the Chorus to seek opportunities on a national level; competing in this way and getting to see so many other fantastic choirs is definitely of benefit to us and can only make us even better in the future.”
The Chorus also enjoyed the opportunity to establish relationships across the UK, and have already received congratulations messages from event sponsors The Co-operative alongside fellow competing choirs from Bristol, Derbyshire, Warrington and Sheffield, including the joint runners up of the contest Vocal Infinity and Hallmark of Harmony. Nova Evans of Vocal Infinity said: “I can’t think of any other choir I would rather be beaten by!”
Mary McGuigan from the Co-operative, who presented the Chorus with the trophy, said: “We have supported The Manchester Amateur Choral Competition for the last few years and it’s always a great event. The standard of the choirs is exceptional and they travel from all over the country to take part. Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus are incredibly talented, a joy to watch and were worthy winners. Congratulations to them all.”
The next opportunity to see the Chorus back in their home city will be Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th May at 7.30pm for their Brighton Fringe Festival show entitled Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus: Douze Points! at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton. Come join the boys as they imagine what might happen should Brighton stage an alternative to the Eurovision Song Contest.
This will be followed by the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus Pride Special Fringe show at the Sabai Pavillion, Victoria Gardens, on Sunday 12th May. Tickets for the events are on sale via www.brightongmc.org (3rd & 4th performances only), www.brightonfringe.org or in person via either Brighton Dome or Fringe Box Offices.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
About Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus:
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus was established in 2005 and is a registered charity no. 1137437.
The Chorus now has around 80 members and works by its three principals of Singing, Socialising and Support. Its charitable objectives include to promote equality and diversity, to raise public awareness of the LGBT community, and to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Chorus stages at least three main shows a year; usually during the Fringe Festival, Brighton Pride and at Christmas. Their “Pull A Cracker” Christmas show is due to take place on 7th December 2013 at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall.
Latest news, press releases and images are available in the Press Office section of the Chorus website www.brightongmc.org
About the Manchester Amateur Choral Competition:
Singing in amateur choirs continues to be extraordinarily popular across the country. There are many choirs located across the North West region alone, ranging in size from small harmony ensembles to full-scale, semi-professional choirs such as the Halle. There also exist many local music festivals in which there is sometimes a choral element.
However, with the exception of the (national) bi-annual BBC ‘Choir of the Year’ competition, there aren’t many local or regional competitions for amateur choirs.
The Manchester Amateur Choral Competition seeks to readdress this imbalance by establishing an annual competition in which choirs from across and beyond the region are invited to compete in a spirit of creativity and community.
The competition is not solely focused on the winning choir – simply the satisfaction of having sung to a high standard and had an opportunity to experience and enjoy the diversity of performance from other amateur choirs.
About The Co-operative’s Community Fund:
The Co-operative’s Community Fund, is a pot of money accumulated by member customers opting to donate all or part of their annual dividend to good causes in the area. The money is distributed by The Co-operative’s local area committee. Supporting local communities has been an inherent part of The Co-operative’s values and principles since the very beginning of the Co-operative Movement.
Co-operative members receive a payment twice a year based on the points they earn when they trade at any of the Group’s businesses, including The Co-operative Food, Travel, Pharmacy and Funeralcare, as well as The Co-operative Bank, Smile and The Co-operative Insurance.
Community Fund application forms are available online at www.co-operative.coop/communityfund or by phoning 0844 262 4001. Awards are allocated by local Co-operative members’ committees, based on a set of values and principles such as social responsibility and caring for others.