The history of Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus dates back to 2000 when a small number of singers came together and met at St Peter's House at the University of Manchester. By the following year, the choir had decided on its name and officially formed as an organisation, and was now rehearsing regularly in Manchester's Gay Village.
This is the timeline of our events and achievements:
2000 - World AIDS Day vigil in Sackville Gardens
2001 - First LGBT+ choir festival attended by MLGC: Sing Out Norwich
2002 - MLGC continues to grow and develop
2003 - Europride with London Gay Men's Chorus at the Library Theatre in Manchester (now the new HOME complex), under the wing of our then Musical Director, Jeff Borradaile.
2004 - Membership reaches 65 singers. Perform for first time on the main stage at Manchester Pride.
2005 - First concerts staged in Manchester entitled "We Sing". Apply (and are accepted) to compete as a choir at the World OutGames in Montreal
2006 - Sing Europride in Trafalgar Square in 2006. Compete at World OutGames in Montreal, winning the bronze medal, and sing in a mass choir to a crowd of over 60,000 people for the opening ceremony.
2007 - Stage sold-out concert, this time at the Royal Northern College of Music, entitled "Seasons of Love"
2008 - Travelled to Berlin for a joint concert with Canta:re choir. Recorded our first CD "Beautiful Rain" and also staged a concert of the same name. Made our West End stage debut at Trafalgar Studios as part of the Eloquent Protest project for Remembrance Sunday.
2009 - Travelled to London for Various Voices choir festival, an LGBT+ choirs' festival that draws participants from all over Europe. Performed in Copenhagen for the second World OutGames, winning the silver medal in the choral competition.
2010 - Sang with Podium, Paris gay men’s choir at Paris Pride in June 2010. In November we rocked The Dancehouse theatre in Manchester with a sold-out joint concert ‘We Go Together’ with our friends, Gay Abandon from Leeds and the Pink Singers from London. 2011 - A return visit to London in January as part of the Pink Singers concert at the Cadogan Hall. The MLGC becomes a founding member of the Proud Voices network that supports all LGBT+ choirs in the UK and Ireland. Performed at Manchester Pride as has become our tradition.
2011 - Biggest concert to date, entitled “Beyond the Rainbow’ in the RNCM’s large concert theatre. Performed as part of the Royal Exchange Theatre’s production of Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey
2013 - Loz Kaye joins us as new Musical Director. Travel to London to take part in Hand in Hand 2013, a new UK based choir festival.
2014 - Major concert at The Lowry entitled "Spring into Harmony". Performed as part of "The Events" a week-long series of performances to mark the introduction to the city of the new HOME complex. Staged highly-successful musical protest event "Safe to Sing" in response to homophobic attack on Manchester's trams. Performed at BBC Radio Festival. Travelled to Dublin to take part in Various Voices choir festival.
2015 - Performed at first National LGBT+ History Festival in Manchester in front of Stuart Milk (nephew of Harvey) and Mike Jackson and Cath Booth from Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM). "Safe to Sing" featured in the People's History Museum musical protest event "Play Your Part". Performed as part of "Big Girl's Blouse" theatre production documenting the life and times of trans performer Kate O'Donnell. Sang at the opening celebrations of Manchester's new £25m HOME arts complex. Performed on opening night of Manchester International Festival 2015, in Festival Square as part of "We Only Happen At Night" queer club event. On October 3rd our fabulous patron Kate O'Donnell hosted our show "An Evening With MLGC" at the RNCM, where we welcomed as guests the Brighton Gay Men's Chorus.
Since these early years, the Chorus has grown from strength to strength and we now have over 80 members, ranging from people in their early 20s to early 80s. We are a very proud community choir and we are privileged to be the musical voice of Manchester's LGBT+ community.