|For this week's FTA, we head back a whole decade! Ten years ago today we participated in the first Festival Of Song in Bristol.|
Organised by Bristol's Gathering Voices charity, the event was put on to establish Bristol as the UK's first "City of Song" and ran annually from 2010 to 2016. The festival consisted of various musical events held during the week in venues across the city, culminating in a day and night event in the centre. We were one of 70 choirs perforning around the harbourside during the day and then again at a more formal event in the evening at St Georges.
A showery morning, meant we sang under trees and umbrellas for the first part of our daytime set, but the sun eventually 'shined' for us. In the evening we dressed up and headed up to St Georges to round off a great day.
FLASH MOBThe following day, the organisers arranged a flash-mob performance of Hey Big Spender, in Cabot Circus for members of all the choirs who took part the previous day. You can view the clip here, courtesy of ShoutOut Radio.
Our Lesley taking part in the Flash Mob for Hey Big Spender in Cabot Circus
The choir pose for a photo on WelshBack, while sheltering from the rain
I Feel Like Going On
Money, Money, Money
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
We Are Family
THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT (afternoon)
|YouTube Video URL:|
|Six years ago this week, we sang at the wedding of a former choir member, Nick Hooker at a ceremony held in Bristol Zoo. Unfortunately, there are no images or recordings available from the day, so it didn't make for much of a memory. Instead, we'll bring you one of the weeks we missed out when we had our summer break, back in August...|
Swindon Pride - Saturday August 4th, 2012Another visit to Swindon to perform at their Pride event. This time, we hired a coach and left Bristol coach park at midday heading to Swindon on a sunny August day. We performed twice, once to open the event (to a very small crowd) on the main stage, and then again at 3.50pm in the Variety Stage tent.
Main Stage Line-up
Although the main stage event went off without a hitch, we weren't so lucky in the Variety tent, with power to the main amp lost after our first song. Undaunted, we reverted to accapella numbers and improvised, like the troupers we are, including 'Bella Mama', a song normally reserved for warm-ups, but one that got the audience singing along. The show must go on after all.
Variety Tent Line-up
This was quite a test for our deputy MD, Leila, standing in for Rónán for the day, but she coped admirably (helped, in no small part by the odd glass of wine).
Deputy MD, Leila
River Deep Mountain High
All That Jazz
Could It Be Magic
Click the image below to view the gallery
|For this week's FTA, we're revisiting this week in 2014, when we travelled to Bath on a sunny Sunday afternoon to sing at a special service to celebrate 25 years of Living Springs MCC in Bath.|
Living Springs Metropolitan Community Churches were founded in 1968 in the USA. Their mission was to be at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the US and later, worldwide, by addressing issues on race, gender, sexual orientation and other human rights violations.
In 1989, a branch of the church was started in Bath by Cecilia Eggleton, who later became a member of Sing Out Bristol. It initially met at Cecilia's home and then in a variety of venues, including the Bath CVS offices, before renting space at St Michael’s Day Centre in the centre of Bath. In 1998 it moved to the United Reformed Church Halls in Grove Street. Unfortunately, it closed in 2018, and held its last service on Sunday 23rd September.
Our deputy MD, Gena is a member and former director of Living Springs in her native US.
We performed twice during the afternoon - 5 songs at the main service and another 3 during the post-service reception.
I Say a Little Prayer
Let The River Run
One Day Like This
Seasons of Love
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Top of the World
Viva La Vida
"Please can you pass on my most enormous thanks to the choir for Sunday. Having you there to entertain during tea was lovely, and the singing during the service was both beautiful and moving.
Thank you all so much for being part of our celebration, and for your involvement in the worship. I have had several emails from those present complimenting your beautiful voices, and one or two asking how they can be involved with "Sing Out". I have been directing them to your website...
I personally hope to be able to hear the whole choir in action soon. I know it will be fantastic.
So, thanks again, and God bless.
An audience member partially filmed Let The River Run
|We're cheating slightly with this week's FTA,as apart from the odd committee meeting and a new members evening, nothing much happened this week, in the past. Next week though, we have two events, so we've brought one of them forward to this week:|
Bristol Hate Crime Services Launch
Friday September 27th, 2013 | The Park Centre, Knowle.
On an autumnal Friday afternoon in late September 2013, a small ensemble, made up of 12 singers from the choir performed at the launch of a new multi-agency initiative, in the Bristol area; Bristol Hate Crime Services, in partnership with SARI, LGBT Bristol, Bristol Pride, Brandon Trust, Bristol Mind is supported by Safer Bristol Partnership.
This took place in the room where we now hold our choralography workshops.
We sang just two songs, Over The Rainbow and Imagine.
This performance led to LSO (Little Sing Out) being set up.
Here's the video for Imagine, with thanks to Tom Richell
|For this week's FTA, we return to the year 2013. 7 years ago this week, we played our third Pride of the summer. After our usual appearance at Bristol Pride in July and a third trip to Swindon to perform at their Pride, in August, we travelled down the M5 to Devon for our first and so far only appearance at Totnes Pride.|
September 14th 2013
|For more information, see:||https://www.singoutbristol.org.uk/dbpage.php?pg=view&dbase=events&id=64879|
|For our latest instalment of FTA, we travel back to this week 8 years ago, when we played at OMG night club for Shout Out radio's second BreakOut takeover - a full day and evening broadcast of LGBTQ related content on BCFM and other radio stations.|
We were invited to open the evening and performed a 20 minute set. It's safe to say, we've come a long way from those days.
8th September 2012
All That Jazz
Could It Be Magic
River Deep Mountain High
Here's the video of our performance:
|For more information, see:||https://www.singoutbristol.org.uk/dbpage.php?pg=view&dbase=events&id=64745|
|For this week's FTA, it's back to 2017 again (a bumper year for performances). Three years ago today (23rd July) we performed at The Watershed Arts Centre on a warm Sunday evening, to round off the Bristol Harbour Festival.|
The event was a cabaret evening staged by the Terrence Higgins Trust and THT invited us to take part, along with several other acts.
We performed five songs from our recent Fifty Shades of Gay concert as well as a new song we had recently learned for Bristol Pride (Something Inside So Strong), to an enthusiastic audience.
Colour My World
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Nights in White Satin
Something Inside So Strong
Briefcase Full Of Blues
Click the image below to view the full gallery
We don't have any audio or video from this event, so if you do, or know someone else that does, please share via our Share Your Memories page.
|Our look back over previous years continues as we leave behind concert season and move into July's Pride season. For this week, we take you back three years to what was, at the time the biggest Pride event ever held in Bristol and it still remains the largest audience we have ever performed in front of, thanks mainly to the delayed start, allowing more people to get into the amphitheatre area.|
We started the day by marching and singing in the Pride Parade from Castle Park circumnavigating Broadmead Shopping Centre and meandering down towards the Harbourside to Millennium Square for a fabulous sunny day of Pride celebrations.
This was the 9th consecutive year, we had opened Bristol Pride.
This was far and away, the biggest Pride event held in Bristol, to date, with approximately 35,000 people attending at some point during the day. At the time of our performance (around 1pm), the organisers reported that around 8,000 people were on the site. Although not all of them would have been watching us, it's safe to say that this was our biggest audience to date.
We performed a number of songs from our last concert, Fifty Shades of Gay, as well as a couple of additional songs, just for Pride. Our MD, Rónán cites this day as his favourite Pride, when after having had his back to the audience during our performance, he turned to wave at the crowd and was shocked to see thousands of faces staring back at him. A moment captured in this iconic photo:
Music Director & Conductor: Rónán de Búrca.
|Here's our second video recorded during the lockdown period.|
Taken from the repertoire for our next concert (delayed until January 2021) - Mash-Ups & Duets, this is a mash-up of two inspirational songs - True Colours by Cyndi Lauper and Brave by Sara Bareilles - Truly Brave.
Please feel free to share with your friends and family.
Arranger: Mac Huff Composer: Billy Steinberg/Tom Kelly & Sara Bareilles/Jack Antonoff
|For more information, see:||https://youtu.be/fjnOyQQqqqE|
Last week, representatives from the Hand in Hand Bristol 2023 team met with the organisers of Hand in Hand Newcastle 2021 and the coordinators of Proud Voices (HiH’s umbrella organisation) in a virtual meeting to discuss the challenges facing hosting their event in the current climate. The decision was taken to postpone the Newcastle festival from August 2021 to August 2022 – please see the statement below.
The Hand in Hand Bristol 2023 team will keep you informed of any developments – we will be presenting an update at the SOB AGM (lockdown permitting!). If there are any questions, comments or offers, please contact Mark Hubbard, Festival Director email@example.com
Joint Statement from Proud Voices and Hand in Hand Newcastle 2022
Hello fellow singers,
We live in unprecedented times. Never in our lifetimes has the entire country, and indeed the entire world, been affected by a pandemic which such deep and long-lasting restrictions to our health, our livelihood and our passion to meet, rehearse and perform as choirs. Each of us has personally felt the effects on our community – as singers, as individual choirs and as a choral family – and are with resilience adapting to this “new normal” in many innovative ways. There is no denying, however, that over us hangs a great uncertainty about how long this situation is likely to continue and what this means for all of us in the near future.
Hand in Hand is the UK & Ireland’s LGBT+ choir festival and is usually the first, and often the only, LGBT+ choral festival our choirs participate in. The sheer joy and pride to be found in singing and sharing is boundless, and the energy and enthusiasm it brings is heart-warming and especially important for new and developing choirs, particularly in these times. As such, one of the guiding principles of Hand in Hand has always been accessibility: we are committed to keeping all barriers to participation as low as possible, particularly financial ones. Our goal is to deliver an engaging festival while keeping registration fees as low as possible, and for this reason, the festival is highly dependent on external sponsorship.
Over the last year the Hand in Hand Newcastle team have been hard at work getting our next festival in place. We have a fantastic concert venue at Sage Gateshead, situated right on the bank of the River Tyne. We had also secured a great Friday party venue, and some excellent but affordable accommodation in the city centre. Deposits had been paid on all of these. Our next priority was to attract grand funding and sponsorship by applying to funding bodies and engaging with local businesses.
Sadly, with most funding bodies currently freezing all non COVID related applications, or refocusing their spending priorities, delivering on our own high expectations has become impossible in the time frame that we originally set. One possibility was to therefore consider a scaled back festival next year.
However, we feel there are more than financial considerations. There is still more to understand about the virus. We do not know when or if a vaccine will be available and we do not know when large gatherings will be permitted or what format these may take. With all these unknowns lying in the year stretching out before us, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone our next festival by a year. Hand in Hand Newcastle will now take place over the weekend of 20-21 August 2022.
We know that the news of this postponement will come as a disappointment to many of you – no one is more disappointed than the organizing committee – but we hope that you can see the decision hasn’t been taken lightly and has the wellbeing of all front and centre. We can’t wait to share the wonderful city of Newcastle with you, and we will continue to look forward to this, just a year later than planned. We are sure the celebrations will be huge when the time finally arrives and we look forward to making Hand in Hand 2022 the biggest and best yet. Watch this space!
To tide us over, please do look out for a new virtual event from the Proud Voices development team, and we look forward to seeing you at Hand in Hand in 2022, 2023 and beyond!
Take care everybody, and hopeully see you very soon.
|Here is the finished video. Thanks to everyone who submitted a video and/or audio recording. There are 61 individual voices and 58 faces on the video. An amazing response! Thanks also to Rónán for the amazing sound editing job. It sounds truly beautiful.|
As mentioned previously, we wanted to try something a little different from other choirs who have made some great videos and we came up with a concept of the lockdown video - a tongue-in-cheek spoof intro, where we're all held in a fictitious choir lockdown centre and bored out of our minds, until Gena invites us all to sing from our social media profiles (hence the circular imagery).
The intro may not be everyone's cup of tea, so there are two versions available, the one below and one without the intro. You are welcome to share either on social media and we'll be doing so on the choir's social media platforms.
Thanks for reading; if you want to know more there's an explanantion about why it all took so long, below the video.
With spoof intro: https://youtu.be/0GCuW6ab4OU
Without intro: https://youtu.be/SGEC_bmkjjk
Just to give some context as to why it took so long, the original plan for editing this was ruined early on, when my PC packed up and my laptop wasn't powerful enough to support the software needed. I resorted to using my phone, which has a great video editing app, but it wasn't really designed for a project of this size, needing lots of video layers. I could only load four singers at a time, so had to make 14 separate videos and layer them on top of each other, which meant the earlier videos degraded somewhat and took on a weird green hue as well as going slightly out of sync. You can see the green hue effect in the current video, at the end, as I kept the very last crescendo from the first video, so we are all on screen together.
To get around the issue, I've had to reduce everyone's on-screen time to one verse (the basses also have their 'solo' bits, along with a few random backing singers). Everyone who submitted a video is on the final edit somewhere I nearly forgot Stephen Biles, and there was only room for a tiny Stephen, so to make up for that, he's in it all the way through (apologies Stephen). It's been a useful learning curve but if and when we do another video, we'll stick to convention and it won't be edited on a phone, I promise!
|Back in August we joined other LGBT choirs from across the UK and Ireland for the 4th Hand In Hand Festival. Our own photos can be found on our gallery pages, but we have also been sent a link to the official photos from the event. |
Click the link below to view the images. There is a folder for each choir's performance (so we have two folders). We'll be adding the images from those folders to our own, in due course.
Photographs courtesy of Rhian Dixon and Simon Ayre.
|For more information, see:||https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RzQFKwaRtJBKKYWlXYa_8FBF5lS1r1ut&fbclid=IwAR1-Kr_amXWM_B4yfVq4KAbzV-OKXk8vmY1a4KGij6ocSah6kDo469UypWM|
Get your hands on concert tickets to see Sing Out Bristol live in St George's for their upcoming performances, with an amazing 25% off
Head over to St George's website and grab your tickets. The Black Friday promotion is only live Friday between 9am and 9pm, and you need to use promo code BLAFRI when checking out.
Duets & Mash-Ups
Friday 22 May 2020, 7pm
This time we’re taking you on a journey through some of the greatest, most beautiful or most remarkable duets ever sung. On top of that we’re also venturing into mash-ups, where some of our favourite songs have been combined into truly stunning arrangements.
Wednesday 1 July 2020, 7pm
For the second time, following the 2019 success, Sing Out Bristol and friends are putting on a fundraiser concert for Bristol Pride 2020.
Expect an evening of top class entertainment, touching personal testimonies, and musical performances from Sing Out Bristol as well as from our friends in Bristol’s LGBT+, Queer and allies communities.
Bristol Pride is close to our hearts, and we want to highlight and underline the importance of having a Pride. All profits are donated directly to Bristol Pride, helping them keeping Pride inclusive for everyone.
More information: https://www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk/event/sing-out-for-bristol-pride-2/
Tickets for our 2020 annual concert, 'Duets & Mash-Ups' go on general sale on Tuesday 22nd October at 10am.A booking fee applies for online and telephone sales or you can buy in person from St Georges box office.
Here are the links to buy online from Tuesday:
DUETS & MASH-UPS
After the sell-out success ‘ICONS’ in the spring of 2019, Sing Out Bristol are proud to present their 2020 spring concert theme: ‘Duets & Mash-Ups’.
This time we’re taking you on a journey through some of the greatest, most beautiful or most remarkable duets ever sung. On top of that we’re also venturing into mash-ups, where some of our favourite songs have been combined into truly stunning arrangements. Add to the mix our iconic moves and the beautiful performances from our breakout group Little Sing Out, and you’re in for a treat of an evening. Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Thank you, once again for supporting Sing Out Bristol. We look forward to seeing you in May.
|For more information, see:||https://www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk/event/sing-out-bristol-duets-and-mash-ups/|
The latest edition of Tune-In, the choir's quarterly magazine is available now, free for all choir followers and members.
|For more information, see:||online.fliphtml5.com/teksr/lzic/|
|Somewhat later than planned, we have received the images from our official photographer on the night at St Georges on June 1st this year.. They've been added to the existing gallery of images, giving us over 500 photos from the night.|
You can view the whole gallery here, or if you'd just like to see these new images, click the image below
|For more information, see:||https://www.singoutbristol.org.uk/icons2|
|Following our successful Pride Fundraiser on Wednesday and ahead of our Pride performance, the Lord Mayor of Bristol invited our MD, Co-Chair and Outreach Coordinator to the Lord Mayor's parlour for a chat and tea.|
After the informal meeting, the Lord Mayor tweeted:
"Pre Pride Festival I had the opportunity to invite members of
I have today received an email from St. George's with some feedback from their customers. St. George's have been asking them about 1. the event, 2. the performance space and 3. value for money:
Such a professional show for a community choir!!
Well orchestrated and well choreographed considering the number of people in the choir
Quite remarkably distinct, engaging and at times profoundly poignant. The ending came too soon.
Fantastic atmosphere. Beautifully presented.
Fabulous show none stop entertainment from start to finish. Highly recommended
Fabulous performance and choir.
Excellent performance and acoustics
Uplifting and professional performance by a gifted team
Amazing show as always. Staff very courteous and helpful
Musically very good, great choreography and a choir that were clearly enjoying themselves
Varied, enjoyable choice of songs, beautifully sung.
Choir fantastic but given their number the sound was very muted. Needed much better amplification. I said this politely to the team on the sound desk at the beginning of the interval and surprisingly they did not heed my advice.
2. THE VENUE
Lovely new space
The best acoustics of any hall in the UK
Providing water jugs near the seating was a life saver. Thank you.
Very smart and well- designed.
It would have been helpful to have toilets on each floor.
Love the next building make the place so much better to get around and for socializing.
Fantastic venue and acoustics. Loving the additional building.
Very nice venue
It is fabulous
Beautiful architecture and great organisation.
Extension and extra facilites a great improvement and presumably much easier for you. More nudges needed to get us to order our drinks ready for the interval - am guilty so had to wait almost missing out.
I love St George's as a venue and think the new renovations are wonderful. However I couldnt give it 5 stars as we were not able to take glasses into the show.
Excellent acoustics. Lovely bar/cafe area
Compact, comfortable and acoustically perfect - also some very clever lighting
I like the redevelopment. Having the doors opening out on to the new patio is good.
3. VALUE FOR MONEY
A great evening entertainment for a very reasonable price.
What value do you put on something so memorable?!
5 star excellent
The performance was incredible. I wish they could have gone on for longer.
Would have been happy to have paid Hippodrome and Colston Hall prices for this show.
IMPORTANT: There is NO REHEARSAL this coming Tuesday (4 June 2019)
I have decided in agreement with the committee and the MD team, that we shall not hold the usual feedback session at the first rehearsal after the concert. Instead feedback will be done online this year, giving everyone an equal chance of providing feedback anonymously. More info about how to do this will follow in a separate post.
We have agreed to give everyone next week off - which means that there will be no rehearsal and noone in the rehearsing space on Tuesday 4 June. Instead we suggest to meet up at Brewers Fayre between 7:30 and 9:30. Respond to the event here.
|Issue 7 of Tune-In, our quarterly online magazine is available now in two formats:|
|For more information, see:||https://www.singoutbristol.org.uk/dbpage.php?pg=view&dbase=newsletters&id=68|
It’s time to film our introduction/welcome video for the ICONS concert - and I am now looking for volunteers to star in this.
I need between 10-25 volunteers - the more the merrier
My idea is that everybody will read the same script - and we can then cut the lines together so every person will have their own line in the video - think airline safety video, think Nothing Compares To You music video - that style! The look I am going for is something like this below - it will tie in nicely with the ICONS concept.
Don’t be afraid of failing this - we really want AS MANY as possible from the choir to showcase on the big screen - we will be doing the filming at rehearsals and we can take and re-take as many times as we need - and finally - we’ll only use your the bits recorded. That’s the beauty of this concept.
The script we’d be asking you to read, is as follows:
Many of you have asked, "how is it going with ticket sales?". As of today, status is; we've come off to a good start - but could use a bit of a push.
As you can see we've sold 582 tickets over both days so far - St George's have a total of 590 seats - so we've sold the hall completely out - but only once. We need to sell twice this number of tickets to have two sellout nights, so please do all you can to push sales for Friday. It would be a shame to perform for a half full St George's.
Remember - you can still buy tickets from me at Tuesdays rehearsals. I have 121 left for Friday across all ticket bands, and only 44 seats left for Saturday (mainly balcony seats).
|Hello Everyone. |
The Committee have decided that we would like to choose a charity of the year.
The chosen charity would receive a percentage donation of the profits we make at our concert this year.
How will we decide?
We would like to receive nominations from choir members for local charities they would like us to support. To make this process as easy as possible please follow the following guidance.
|This video was posted to Facebook on New Years Eve, to mark the end of our 10th anniversary year. It's a 10 minute slideshow interspersed with a couple of clips of our performances.|
|YouTube Video URL:|
|Here's the Gold Award certificate we received from The National AIDS Trust, veryfying the amount we raised for them on World AIDS Day 2018, with our performance in Cabot Circus.|
Thank you to evryone who came along to perform or support us on the day.
|If you were at Pride, recently, you may be aware of the Bristol Trans Pledge, in support of the trans members of our community. After consulting the trans members of the choir, Sing Out Bristol is proud to support this pedge as a choir, on our social media pages and we invite our members and followers to do the same.|
From the Trans Pledge website:
In the past few months trans people have come under increasing attack in the media. So much so that the International Lesbian & Gay Association has downgraded the UK in its annual Rainbow Europe rankings.
We believe that Trans People have the right to be treated equally. This includes:
We will be asking the people of Bristol to support this pledge via social media in the run-up to Pride.
For further information about possible changes to the UK’s Gender Recognition Act, please see: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/truth-about-trans.
Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor
To report transphobic hate crime call SARI: 0800 171 2272 | to talk to someone call MindLine Trans+: 0300 330 5468
Pledge wording taken with thanks from that used by Pride Cymru & Wales Equality Alliance.
The artwork was provided by Frank Duffy.
|For more information, see:||https://transbristol.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/bristol-trans-support-pledge/|
We are so excited about our performance at Bristol Pride tomorrow.
|YouTube Video URL:|
Click the magazine to view online, or download the PDF from the link below.
|For more information, see:||www.mediafire.com/file/9p6zsok49632a7a/Mag5.pdf|
|To celebrate reaching our 10th anniversary, and just ahead of the concerts, this weekend, here is the latest edition of the choir magazine, 'Tune-In, for all members and friends of Sing Out Bristol..|
As usual, if you prefer a basic PDF version, you can download it here
|There's so much for our choir to look forward to in the next 18 months.|
As well as Munich, in May this year, we're excited about performing on this stage, next year!
UK LGBT choir festival, Hand In Hand 2019 will take place in Cardiff at the prestigious St Davids Hall, following a successful festival in Manchester, last year.
And, before all that, of course, there's the small matter of our 10th Anniversary concerts, this April.
Just 24 tickets left for the Saturday performance, and around 90 for the Friday.
|For more information, see:||www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk/event/x-10-years-sing-bristol-show-one/|
It's been an amazing 2017 for the choir.
We performed 10 times, more than any other year, and increased our members' social events to one a month.
We end 2017 with 141 paying members and another 9 newbies who are in the process of deciding whether to join.
2018 will be even bigger and better. Thank you for supporting us in 2017 and we look forward to seeing you again in our 10th Anniversary year.
Watch this space!
But before that, watch this video: our highlights from 2017.
|YouTube Video URL:|