Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus were crowned winners of the 2013 Manchester Amateur Choral Competition on Sunday, February 24.
The Chorus beat seventeen other choirs from across the UK in the annual contest which is supported by the Co-operative’s Community Fund.
It was the choir’s first entry into any formal competition since appearing on the BBC’s Last Choir Standing television show in 2008.
Councillor Bill Randall, Mayor of Brighton & Hove, was amongst the first to congratulate the Chorus.
“Many congratulations for winning choral competition in Manchester. More good news for our extraordinary city.”
The chorus are the first gay choir to ever win the annual contest.
Marc Yarrow, Musical Director for Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, said:
“We are delighted to have won the competition, and it’s a real testament to how far the boys have come as a choir. Win or lose, I’m also glad of the chance for the Chorus to seek opportunities on a national level; competing in this way and getting to see so many other fantastic choirs is definitely of benefit to us and can only make us even better in the future.”
The Chorus also enjoyed the opportunity to establish relationships across the UK, and have received messages of congratulations from event sponsors The Co-operative alongside fellow competing choirs from Bristol, Derbyshire, Warrington and Sheffield, including the joint runners up of the contest Vocal Infinity and Hallmark of Harmony.
Nova Evans of Vocal Infinity, said:
“I can’t think of any other choir I would rather be beaten by!”
Mary McGuigan from the Co-operative, who presented the Chorus with the trophy, said:
“We have supported The Manchester Amateur Choral Competition for the last few years and it’s always a great event. The standard of the choirs is exceptional and they travel from all over the country to take part. Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus are incredibly talented, a joy to watch and were worthy winners. Congratulations to them all.”
The next opportunity to hear the Chorus in Brighton will be Friday 3 and Saturday May 4 at 7.30pm for their Brighton Fringe Festival show entitled Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus: Douze Points! at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton. They will be asking the audience to imagine what would happen should Brighton stage an alternative to the Eurovision Song Contest.
This will be followed by the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus Pride Special Fringe Show at the Sabai Pavillion, Victoria Gardens, on Sunday May 12.