Our new Musical Director

Rainbow Chorus was delighted to announce the appointment of our new Musical Director, Aneesa Chaudhry.
Her passion for music is evident in that she also works as a professional jazz singer, runs corporate and community singing workshops and teaches singing. She has led a number of choirs over the past 10 years, including youth choirs and small ensembles of 10-18 year olds. She particularly enjoys ensuring that everyone has a chance to use and enjoy developing their voice, whilst making as professional a sound as possible. She was thrilled to have been invited to take on the role of Musical Director of the Rainbow Chorus. Aneesa has her own web site where you can read more about her.

Aneesa took over from Jacob Swindells, our MD since January 2012 who has now ended a gap year where he observed rehearsals with the world renowned Berlin Philharmonic and Radio Symphony orchestras as well as the Berlin Radio Choir. Jacob has an Associate Diploma from Trinity College London and a Licentiate Diploma from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Choral singing is central to Jacob’s musical focus and he is also the director of Music at St Andrew Old Church. In October he left Brighton to begin a Music Degree as a Choral Scholar at Merton College Oxford.

World AIDS Day Charity Concert

This year we joined the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus again as their guests for the annual World AIDS Day charity concert at St Mary’s Church (at the top of St. James Street). We also shared the evening with Resound, Brighton & Hove’s newest male voice ensemble as well as the fabulous Qukulele (who you will certainly remember from our CD launch concert) and also highly-acclaimed soprano, Red Gray.

We performed Domine Fili Unigenite by Vivaldi, Zum Sanctus by Franz Schubert, My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land by Elgar and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2. The finale for this great evening was a powerful rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen sung by all the groups present tonight.

WAD 2011

This concert, with its varied musical repertoire, provided an opportunity to reflect on the losses many have suffered, as well inspiring those present to celebrate people living with HIV and AIDS. The concert began straight after the annual candlelit vigil at the AIDS Memorial in New Steine Gardens.

As in previous years, all performers donated their time for free and the entire profit of

the evening was donated to The Sussex Beacon to help with its Emergency Appeal to raise £150,000 to prevent their Inpatient Department from closure.

Thanks to the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus, photos of the evening are available
Now snow this year though ...

CD Launch concert

Earlier in 2011, we finished our first ever professional recording which was made available for purchase on CD for the first time at this concert. It is a showcase for some of our favourite songs drawn from our extensive repertoire (now spanning 14 years!) and also a few brand new songs - new to us and to you as well!

Our Musical Director Dr Matthew Pollard said:
“Our first recording gives us the opportunity to show off some fantastic, expressive music-making, and reach an even wider audience. Across a wide range of styles and periods, this choir certainly 'sings the rainbow' of emotion and experience; the joy and enthusiasm they displayed during the sessions is certainly communicated on this brilliant CD.”

The chair of the Rainbow Chorus Jane Wrin said:
“As a mixed ability community choir we are all things to all people and as such this CD shows that range and flexibility.  We go from Burt Bacharach to Vivaldi with ease and enthusiasm.  At the moment there are just over 40 members and I think I can speak for all when I say how much we have enjoyed the process of recording as it was not only about putting history into a CD but about singing with friends, many of whom have been made since joining the choir.”

The CD was launched at a special Pride concert in our new "home" of St George's church in Kemptown which has a great acoustic which really compliments our singing. The launch price that night was £8, but the CD is now its normal price of £10.

We also had some special guests - the UK's first and only Queer Ukulele band and they played Glee-style mash-ups on tiny ukuleles in crazy Hawaiian shirts and they went down a storm!

You can download the evening’s programme

Mind Out

(Guess who are from the choir!)

We were delighted to be performing some numbers from our CD at ‘Mind Out for the Laughs’, the charity comedy cabaret event at the Komedia on the evening of Wednesday 10th August at 7:30pm - an evening of song, stand up and poetry.

You can see photos of our set and the finale from the evening courtesy of REAL Brighton

We performed a four song set of Can’t Get You Out of my Head, Say a Little Prayer, The Lavender Song and Let the River Run. It seemed to go down well and del thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The evening ended with a joint number with Lorraine and Miss Hope Springs - “Born this way”.

Performers on the night were:

Miss Hope Springs
Debra-Jane Appelby
Julie Jepson
The Rainbow Chorus
Lorraine Bowen
Yvo Luna
Stephanie Starlett – Hostess
Paula Cox – BSL Interpreter

A few of our stars visit The Planets

On Sunday 26th June, hot on the heels of the choir’s Saturday recording session, Jane, Gill and Jane whizzed up to London to sing with the London Gay Symphony Orchestra. The sell out concert at St John’s in Waterloo concluded with a wonderful rendition of Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ and as some may know, the very very end has a double chorus of eerie women’s voices off stage (in our case on and walking off). It was a great opportunity to network and to support another Gay musical organisation and we can highly recommend their concerts.