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Meet the Members

Co-Chair: Cindylou

Co-Chair: Philip

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Over the past 20 years I have been an active member of several LGBTQI+ choirs including The London Gay Men’s Chorus, Diversity (London), and Sing with Pride (Norwich). In 2013 in collaboration with The Terrence Higgins Trust and the Bloomsbury Patients Network at Mortimer Market I formed and sung with Positive Voices a choir for people living or affected by HIV.

In Nov 2017 I relocated up North to begin a new life living in Manchester. One of the first priorities was to start to build a new network of friends and so with my love for singing also a priority, I joined The Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus. Being part of this choir has made such a difference to my life and for the last two years I was Joint Bass Rep. At the AGM in September 2020 I was honoured to be elected to the post of Co-chair and Trustee.

I have always sung and as a boy soprano played the role of The Shepherd Boy in a production of Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner at the Royal Opera House. In 2002 I was fortunate enough to be a soloist performing Make Your Garden Grow from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in the Sydney Opera House.

In 2004/05 I went back to University and completed my Master’s Degree in Acting Musical Theatre at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Since then I have devised a one man show about Gay Love and Life that was first seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2006 and have appeared at The Jermyn Street Theatre in “A Swell Party” which tells the life story of Cole Porter through his songs and music.

Treasurer: Matt

MLGC treasurer

I am the treasurer and one of the trustees for MLGC. I have lived in Manchester for 16 years and been part of the choir for 12 years. I am an accountant and work in local government and I am married and have two adopted sons. Music has always been very important to me and Monday nights give me a great break away from family and work commitments and gives me two and half hours to indulge myself in singing and community.

Why did you join MLGC?
I joined MLGC as I have always enjoyed singing and wanted an outlet that wasn't just my car driving to work. I hadn't sung anything formally since choir at school, so I was a bit nervous, but everyone made me feel very welcome, and that's why I am still here 12 years later.

What is your favourite memory of MLGC?
I have loads of great memories of MLGC over the years, a few that stand out are singing on a stage in Paris as part of the pride celebrations, providing a musical finale to A Beautiful Thing at the Royal Exchange Theatre, and being part of the Manchester Together concert in Albert Square to commemorate those that lost their lives at the arena bombing.

Describe MLGC in three words
Welcoming, community and singing.

Secretary: Mike

A picture of our secretary

Mike has to admit that he has been an Essex boy(!), having been born, lived and worked for many years in Chelmsford before his employment brought him to Cheshire some 27 years ago. Singing since the age of 7 first in a church choir then cathedral choir, knowing that new members were needed for the MLGC in 2003 he joined, and has never looked back! Having varied interests music has always been one of his loves, aside Gary and Patch of course! Now retired from the financial world Mike loves giving his time to numerous committees and charities continuing in his role as a trustee since successfully obtaining charity status for the Chorus in 2015.

Why did you join MLGC?
Missing singing after moving to Chester, the opportunity arose to join the Chorus with a challenge to work on music of different genres to that sung previously, seeking many friends in a lovely social gathering of like-minded people.

What is your favourite MLGC memory?
One of my best memories is helping to organise and being able to participate with 56 others in the Chorus’s first major “excursion” to sing in a festival within the Outgames in Montreal, Canada in 2006

How would you describe MLGC in three words?
Inclusive, Challenging, Family

Events Manager: Chris

MLGC events manager

Hi I’m Chris Wilson, Events Manager for Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus.
Born and bred in Manchester I’ve lived all my life just outside the city centre. Singing has always been a major part of my life from singing in Sunday school to performing in the annual school plays music and singing is the thing that makes me most happy.

Some ten years ago, I decided to join Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus, which turned out to be the very best decision I have made, finding a place to be who I want to be.

Due to my love for the choir I’ve decided to take on the role of events manager, contributing most of my spare time to arranging some of the best experiences for our members, sometime it can if I’m honest be frustrating but most of the time getting our logistics right enables our members to rehearse, warm up and be ready to give the very best in our performances.

We have sung in some amazing places and with some very talented performers. At times it can be an emotional journey especially during performances such as World AIDS Day. Our choir has now been running for twenty years, hopefully I’ll be around for the next twenty years of happy singing.

Sopranos Rep: Janet

Soprano rep

I’ve been a member of MLGC for 12 years. I’ve always loved singing and I hoped to meet new friends. I still love singing and I’ve made so many new friends, of all ages. This has been so much more than I could have hoped for.

My favourite memory of MLGC was when we hosted the LGBT+ choirs festival ‘Hand in Hand’ in 2017. It was a glorious long weekend of singing, and partying with hundreds of other choir members from across the UK and Ireland. This was only one of many amazing festivals we have attended across the UK and in Europe.

I would best describe MLGC as, welcoming, inclusive, and above all, great fun.

Altos Rep: Deb

Altos rep

Hi I’m Deb and I’m the current Altos Rep. I have lived in Bury, just North of Manchester for about 13 years, and have been part of the choir for about 4 years. I live with my wife and son and our two crazy cats and even crazier dog. I am a Clinical Psychologist and have worked with children and young people experiencing significant health or mental health challenges for most of my career.

Why did you join MLGC?
I have always enjoyed singing and have always loved a good karaoke session! Years and years ago, I saw MLGC perform at the George House Trust Candlelit Vigil and thought “I wish I was up there with them all”. I looked into joining, but then life got busy when we adopted our son. Years later, just after Victoria Wood died, I had the pleasure of seeing MLGC perform some of her songs as a tribute
at Victoria Station. I had the same thought again and committed to joining up! I was nervous at first as I can’t read music and didn’t know what any of the musical terms meant. But I soon realised how friendly and helpful everyone was and that I was pretty good at listening and copying the notes. So I stayed, and here I still am!

What is your favourite memory of MLGC?
I have some great memories already and it’s hard to pick one, so I’ve picked 2! Number 1 is when we sung together at our concert in 2019; my beautiful mother-in-law Glynn came to watch us perform not long before she passed away and told me how proud she was of me.
Number 2 is when we came back together (in person!) for the first time since COVID struck, and sang our hearts out in the Chorlton playing fields on a lovely summer evening. I felt very alive and grateful that evening.

How would you describe MLGC in three words?
Welcoming, challenging, rewarding

Tenors Rep: Iain

MLGC tenor rep

I am Iain, I joined MLGC in January 2020 after moving to Manchester in November 2019. I love singing, walks in the countryside, going to the theatre, travelling and eating out with my husband David. I am thrilled to be part of the MLGC Management Committee and what the next year may bring for our choir.

What is your favourite memory of MLGC?
My favourite MLGC memory is when I joined and how included I felt and happy I was to be there and to be singing with an amazing group of people.

How would you describe MLGC in three words?
Joyous, Inclusive, Family

Basses Rep: Joe

Press: Davide

MLGC press

Hi, I am Davide, I have been part of MLGC for three years and I look after the publicity and social media for the choir. I am an adopted Mancunian but originally from Italy. In my daily job I am an engineer but being part of a choir makes me feel good, it charges my batteries for the rest of the week. Besides, the experience of singing together and resonating with a lot of other people is thrilling.

Why did you join MLGC?
I have been singing in community choirs since I was 12 and whenever I move to a new city, the first thing I do is I join a choir. So as soon as I moved to Manchester in 2018 I looked for a queer community choir. My first rehearsal was the last one in Manchester Town Hall before it was closed for refurbishment, and although it was an emotional rehearsal for many members, they were also very warm and welcoming to me!

What is you favourite MLGC memory?
Singing in Albert Square together with so many people on the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. It was very powerful and emotional.

How would you describe MLGC in three words?
Community, inclusive, cheerful.