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REVIEW: World AIDS Day Choirs Concert

Besi Besemar December 6, 2016

This years World AIDS Day charity concert was a complete sell out leaving many people who turned up to buy tickets on the door, disappointed.

The combined choirs sing
The combined LGBT+ choirs and musicians sing Labi Siffre’s ‘Something inside so strong’

Remember next year to buy your tickets well in advance because the audience for this wonderful event continues to grow each year.

The concert which followed the reading of the names at the Brighton AIDS Memorial, brings together once a year, the city’s¬†LGBT+ musicians under the same roof, to celebrate everything positive about the LGBT+ community in Brighton and Hove. The result is a classic piece of community development and one of the most important community events in the annual LGBT+ calendar.

The Actually Gay Men's Chorus: Music Director Samuel Cousins
The Actually Gay Men’s Chorus: Music Director Samuel Cousins

The concert opened with¬†Actually Gay Men’s Chorus who during their performance of Karl Jenkin’s Benedictus showed us a new side to their vocal sound, giving an indication maybe of where new musical director Samuel Cousins will be taking them in the future. The¬†big wall of sound they are renowned for producing is still very much evident but Samuel revealed a much more tender and sensitive side to the chorus during their performance of Benedictus. They completed their set with ‘Til I hear you and a mash-up of ¬†Tonight/There’s a place for us from West Side Story.¬†You can catch their Christmas Show, Let it snow at St Andrews Church on Friday, December 23 at 8pm.
To book tickets online, click here:

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Resound are a much smaller group of singers who take risks in their choice of repertoire. They were on fine form and performed their three numbers magnificently, Love Lost, Ave Maria and a rollicking rendition of What shall we do with the drunken sailor arranged by Robert Shaw. Resound are a fine group of musicians coached by musical director Stefan Holmstrom. They make a ravishing sound and are a delight to listen to.

Resound and Rebelles together: Musical Director Stefan Holmstrom
Resound and Rebelles together: Musical Director Stefan Holmstrom

Stefan Holmstrom is also the musical director of¬†Rebelles, a group of female singers who communicate their love of singing to their audience with swinging ease. They performed I don’t know why and a lovely arrangement of I’m gonna sit right down by Viola Engelbrecht before¬†joining together with Resound to perform a hauntingly beautiful arrangement of the traditional¬†Huron Carol. You can hear more from both choirs at St Andrews Church, Hove at their Christmas Show, Hove for the Holidays 2016! on Saturday, December 10, at 7.30pm.
To book tickets online, click here:

Brighton Gay Men's Chorus: Musical Director Marc Yarrow
Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus: Musical Director Marc Yarrow

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus closed the first half with stirring renditions of You raise me up, Sure on this shining night and One moment in time which still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up each time I hear them perform this particular number. They¬†are professionally drilled by their musical director Marc Yarrow and their very presence on the bill generated a ripple of excitement in the church. You can hear more of them at Pull a Cracker, their Christmas Show at the Dome on Saturday, December 10 at 7.30pm.
To book tickets online, click here:

Qukulele
Qukulele

Qukulele, features eight female ukulele players dressed in signature Hawaiian shirts. They opened the second half of the concert with Big boned girl, (Be my) Bye bye baby and Shake it off. As always these eight women spread joy around the church. If you want to hear more of them check out their Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 18 at Latest Music Bar starting at 8pm.
To book tickets online, click here:

Brighton Belles Women's Chorus: Musical Director Charlie Swift
Brighton Belles Women’s Chorus: Musical Director Charlie Swift

Brighton Belles Women’s Chorus treated the audience to four numbers; It must be love, Sweet Dreams, Ain’t no mountain high enough and Angels.¬†Each year the Belles are steadily improving and with the help of their new musical director Charlie Swift, who accompanied them enthusiastically from the keyboard, gave a very confident performance.

Rainbow Chorus: Musical Director Aneesa Chaudhry
Rainbow Chorus: Musical Director Aneesa Chaudhry

Rainbow Chorus performed Rune Carol, You’re the voice and a wonderful arrangement of I love you and What a Wonderful World arranged by Craig Helia Johnson. When this choir are at full strength they make a stirring full rounded sound, carefully shaped by musical director Aneesa Chaudhry and perfectly suited to the acoustics of St Mary’s Church. You can hear more from the Rainbow Chorus at their Christmas Concert, The Sledge of Glory at St Georges Church, Kemptown on Saturday, December 10 at 7.30pm.
To book tickets online, click here:

All the singers and musicians came together in the finale to sing Labi Siffre’s Something inside so strong¬†which brought the audience to its feet and the evening to a close.

Julie Jepson
Julie Jepson

The concert was compered by comedienne Julie Jepson who judged her audience just right and kept a smile on their faces throughout the evening.

All proceeds from the concert will go to Lunch Positive, the HIV lunch club who provide a healthy meal to positive people each Friday at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church. Their project director Gary Pargeter thanked everyone present for their ongoing support of the project.

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