Sing for fun with RC+

RC+ (Rainbow Chorus Plus) is a community initiative from the Rainbow Chorus, Brighton’s long-standing LGBT choir.

Rainbow Chorus perform at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, August 5, 2016

Rainbow Chorus perform at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, August 5, 2016

The ‘plus’ is there to highlight the fact that the group is an extension of the main choir and is open to the entire LGBT+ communities, embracing cis, trans and non-binary members with a cross-section of vocal ranges and abilities. The aim is that everyone will find the space safe enough to explore the range and depth of their voice.

The initiative is now in its third year largely thanks to generous support from the Rainbow Fund. After receiving feedback from members, a couple of important changes have been introduced.

As a trans person whose voice is changing RC+ offers a
fantastic safe space to explore 
my “new” voice….Attendee

Firstly, while the sessions continue to explore breathing and vocal techniques, the focus is now squarely on singing for fun. Also, the group, which meets roughly once a month in Kemptown, is trialling a couple of Friday sessions after it was pointed out that not everyone is free at the weekend. It is hoped this will encourage new members.

To help members plan their time, the following dates have been confirmed for RC+ sessions through to July:

Saturday, February 24: Dorset Gardens Methodist Church (DGMC) from 2-4pm

Saturday March 17: DGMC from 2-4pm

Friday, April 20: St. George’s Church, Kemptown from 7.30 – 9.30pm

Saturday April 28: St. George’s Church, Kemptown from 2-4pm

Saturday, May 19: DGMC from 2-4pm

Saturday, June 9: St George’s Church from 2-4pm

Friday, June 29: DGMC from 7.30 – 9.30pm

Saturday, July 7: DGMC from 2-4pm

Thanks to the continued support of the Rainbow Fund, RC+ is available to members at a reduced monthly subscription of only £10. The first session is offered free of charge – nobody will ever be turned away on the grounds of being unable to pay.

If you want to know more, email the organisers at membership@rainbowchorus.org.uk and they will answer any questions you may have.

“I’m FTM and after being on ‘T’ for a few months my voice has dropped deeper and at RC+ I can try out singing Bass parts in a safe supported environment…..Taylor

The Rainbow Chorus, now in its 21st year, prides itself on providing a safe place for anyone within the LGBT communities to go along and sing with like-minded people. It strives to be as inclusive as possible.

The choir includes many people with disabilities amongst its members, some with HIV, and spans a wide age range, including older people who can often feel isolated and excluded from the Brighton scene. Singing with people who understand the pressures and joys of being part of the LGBT communities can be a lifeline for many. But, because of the big commitment and the fact the choir sings at many public events, it was felt there was a need for an even more inclusive forum for people to sing in. And so RC+ was born.

Lovely experience coming together as a community. I leave
feeling a greater sense 
of belonging – it is good for my soul.
Really helpful and interesting teaching…..
Attendee

RC+ offers more than the fun of singing. It has many other benefits, not least that it’s actually good for us all! The Alzheimer’s Society and Heart Research UK are among those acknowledging the numerous health benefits of singing.

In particular, singing is a physical workout for the heart and lungs; it improves posture and sleep and leads to a decrease in stress hormones. Singing releases endorphins into the bloodstream, leading to a sense of pleasure and well-being. For vulnerable members of our local communities, this kind of initiative is invaluable.

                              Great day. Very affirming for an LGBT person. Good tuition that involved all levels of music experience.
Soul soothing and inspiring fun!….Attendee

There are social and psychological advantages too. A choir is a great place to meet new friends and nurtures a sense of belonging to a community. Loneliness is a big problem of our times and those of us with busy lives or who are able to work may take the value of being sociable for granted.

Rainbow Chorus have been awarded a Mind Out Mental Health Award for its contribution to improving the mental wellbeing of LGBT+ communities.

RC+ is a really uplifting experience. It’s a safe space to meet other people. It helps me feel more confident and part of my community, which is really important as I have been feeling so isolated. It is truly great to do something so positive and be part of a great sound. Thanks

I was feeling grumpy & overwhelmed with grief. After taking time out with RC Plus, I feel so much better. There is a strong sense of community in using our voices together.

For more information about Rainbow Chorus, click here:

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