SWGMC First Official Blog

Nick McNeill - 2014/15 Chair of SWGMC

Nick McNeil – 2014/15 Chair of SWGMC

2014 – the story so far…

Hi there, I’m Nick McNeill and I’m the current Chairman of the South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus. I’d like to welcome you to our first official Chorus blog, a new feature of our renewed website, which I hope you will enjoy and come back to on a regular basis.

Since this is our first blog I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a bit about who we are and what we’ve been up to so far this year.

SWGMC formed in 2008 and has rapidly grown, both in membership and support. We’ve entertained a huge number of people in all sorts of places across south Wales (and beyond!). We ended 2013, our fifth anniversary year, on a bit of a high after celebrating that particular milestone, and 2014 has already offered us a new set of challenges and exciting experiences.

5th Anniversary - Rehearsal

5th Anniversary Concert at RWCMD – A final rehearsal on the big day – Oct 5th 2013

We kicked off with preparations for our May concert, Brief Encounters, which let us loose on our more emotional side as we mapped the development and demise of a relationship through music. We challenged ourselves and set the bar high with the choice of music, including a piece written especially for us by our composer friend Gareth Churchill. We were also honoured to welcome to Cardiff Scottish singer Terry Neason, who entertained the audience with her mix of music and poetry.

An after performance get together - Various Voices Dublin June 2014

An after performance get together
– Various Voices Dublin June 2014

Moving onto June, a delegation from the Chorus headed for Dublin and the amazing Various Voices LGBT choral festival. A long weekend ensued filled with stunning music, an array of LGBT people from across the globe (gotta love those crazy German choirs!), a little bit (!) of partying and the fantastic hospitality of our Irish hosts. We are most definitely preparing for the next festival which is scheduled to take place in Munich in 2018.

The summer is usually a time to rest and recuperate, but the Chorus has been as busy as ever! We’ve sung at a couple of weddings (we’re available for bookings if you’re interested!) and we supported our good friends the Pink Singers at the illustrious Hackney Empire for their British themed concert, Notes from a Small Island, where we treated the audience to a few of our Welsh favourites. We’ve also been busily preparing for this year’s Pride event in Cardiff (more of that in our next Blog).

Pink Singers Hackney Empire Concert - July 2014

Pink Singers Hackney Empire Concert – July 2014

As a community choir, SWGMC is proud to do our bit to support local charities. Last year we were privileged to support the Forget Me Nots, a choir for people with dementia and their carers. This year we have come a little closer to ‘home’ as we are partnered with Stonewall Cymru who do amazing work to promote LGBT issues across Wales and beyond. We look forward to working with them at Pride and onwards through the year!

So that’s the first part of 2014 over, but we’re far from done! Our next big venture is our Halloween themed concert on 31st October which we’re all very excited about. Put the date in your diary and we hope to see you for an evening of spooky antics at the Gate Arts Centre in Roath!

Bye for now!

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