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04 May 2012 | Music | By: Lindsey

Concert Celebrates 21 Years Of The London Gay Men's Chorus

Concert Celebrates 21 Years Of The London Gay Men's Chorus

The London Gay Men's Chorus celebrates 21 "glorious years of harmony" with a big gig at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday night, entitled A Band of Brothers.

Alongside their famous arrangements of power pop songs (expect Lady Gaga and Madonna) is a diverse repertoire spanning classical, folk, jazz, pop, R&B and show tunes with (and without) hand claps, jazz hands and interpretative actions. Sunday's concert will also see a new composition by composer Conor Mitchell and playwright Mark Ravenhill make its debut. Shadow Time is a trip through the history of the LGMC and the gay community itself and ends with a choral kiss-in, which the audience are welcome to join in with.

LGMC were featured in today's Guardian and you can expect another in the Independent on Sunday but Londonist is lucky enough to have two LGMC members on its contributor list. We asked our own Johnny Fox and Nicolas Chinardet why they joined the Chorus and what their most memorable moments might be:

Johnny Fox: I actually joined it for a bet: the guys on a 'life begins at 40' course I'd joined challenged me to try a new activity and having never sung before, it was a choir. I kept the details secret from my partner, in case it wasn't a success and I gave it up as a bad job, and the night of our first concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall he was so jealous that he left me. After 8 years.

Johnny led an unforgettable, epic, dangerous, gin and pork-heavy LGMC expedition to Poland in 2010 to sing in the concert hall Joseph Stalin had given to the People of Warsaw and to march in the Pride parade. Read about the group's adventures here.

Nicolas Chinardet: I joined the Chorus in an attempt to kill two birds with one musical stone. I was new to London and wanted to make gay friends but I had also been part of a small (very) amateur singing group and I missed the opportunity of an artistic expression. Making new friends is, I think, the main reason for people to join, either because they are new to London or after a break-up or even the loss of a partner. I think it works for most people and we've even had several couples forming along the years.

The Chorus provides also us with with amazing opportunity that even professional artistes will only dream of. In my first 6 months with the Chorus in 2002, I had sung at the Sydney Opera House, the Aussie Stadium with KD Lang, The Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and had released a CD (not alone obviously).

Happy 21st birthday London Gay Men's Chorus, and may there be many more happy returns.

The photos in the gallery show moments from LGMC's history. You can see more on their Facebook page. And here's a video of them doing A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square at their Ensemble concert "With a Song in My Heart" at St-Giles-in-the-Fields Parish Church London, March 2012.

Tickets are still available for Sunday night's concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets from £20. Visit www.lgmc.co.uk for more info about the choir.

There's a whole weekend of free singing events happening this bank holiday weekend.


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