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Meet the Members

Co-Chair: Alison

MLGC co chair 1

Hi, I’m Alison and I am a member of the alto section. In 2019 I was honoured to be elected as co-chair and trustee of the choir. This means that I help to run the choir and serve its members, which allows me to give something back to the most amazing group of people ever! Joining the choir was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Why? Because I wanted to expand my circle of LGBT+ friends, and also challenge myself to do something totally new and outside of my demanding day job as a finance director. Not having sung in a choir since my school days and unable to read music, I found joining the choir to be great fun whilst also learning a new skill - with a bit of help and encouragement from my lovely new choir friends!

The choir has become my family and I have made friends for life. It gives me great pride to be part of this vocal group and it has become a very big part of my social life. Participating in the Hand-in-Hand festival in Cardiff during 2019 was one of my favourite highlights. We got to sing our set to a packed audience, highlighting the beautiful harmonies of our choirs’ arrangements. Thinking about it still sends tingles down my spine. I am proud to call the Chorus my “choir family”, and I am prouder still to represent our community at events both here in Greater Manchester and across the country.

If you’re looking to extend your network of friends and have the passion to commit to being part of a big inclusive family who enjoying singing together, then join us. It will be the best thing that you ever do!

How would you describe MLGC in 3 words?
Family, inclusive, passion.

Co-Chair: Philip

Main Pic

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: Davina

MLGC soprano rep

Hi, I am Davina, the Soprano Rep and I have been a member of MLGC since 2012!
When I first joined, it was merely to support a friend who really wanted to be a member but was too scared to attend alone.
As a friend, and as ''Nicole'' was quite shy, I agreed to join her for JUST a few weeks until she was confident to continue alone.

Week on week, everything was so light hearted, we made lots of friends and had fun, I too enjoyed rehearsals ''even if I was only there to support ''Nicole''!

Well the choir very soon became my ''Safe space'' and due to work commitments, the choir also became my family, my go-to place / people and became a very big part of my Social Life .. I guess the trial period didn't quite work out for me as I'm still here 8 years on!

Why did you join?
To support a friend who wanted to join and try something new.

What is your favourite MLGC Memory?
Travelling To Dublin, taking part in the ''Various Voices'' Choir Festival.

Describe MLGC in 3 words.
Inclusive, Supporting & A Team!

Altos Rep: Gracie

A picture of our alto rep

Hi my name is Gracie, I am currently studying Prosthetics and Orthotics at the University of Salford. When I am not doing that or attending choir I can be found walking my dog, watching my fav sport rugby, socialising with friends, at the cinema or out for food.

Why did you join MLGC?
I moved to Manchester in January 2019 and I only knew a couple of people so thought it would be a great way to meet people and I was reassured that’s even though I wasn’t great at singing and couldn’t read music it was a welcoming inclusive choir.

What is your favourite MLGC memory?
Singing We Are Family at the Manchester pride vigil as I have truly found some friends for life there and MLGC is a family.

How would you describe MLGC in three words?
Fun, welcoming and supportive

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: Richard

MLGC bass rep

I have been part of MLGC for nine years and Bass Rep for two years, and this year it is ten years since I moved to Manchester, a city I love. I grew up in Halesowen near Birmingham. I have a varied background in performing arts and I am passionate about music and singing. I listen to lots of Motown and a range of artists including Beverley Knight and Diana Ross. I am also an avid tennis fan and Andy Murray is my favourite player. I have Cerebral Palsy, but I do not to let it limit or define me.

Why did you join MLGC?
I wanted to develop my knowledge and passion for music, which started during my performing arts course at college, and also to make new friends after I moved to Manchester. It was a good move!

What is your favourite MLGC memory?
Performing as part of Jonathan Harvey’s play ‘A Beauitiful Thing’ at the Royal Exhange Theatre in Manchester in 2011. It is one of my favourite films!

How would you describe MLGC in three words?
Family, passion and professional!

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.