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24 September 2014
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The Village

MLGC (pic: Ryan Lee)
The MLGC celebrate getting their medals

Out for bronze!

When the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus set out to compete in the Outgames in Montreal earlier in August, they went in the spirit of friendship and good fun, and came back with a bronze! Chorus member Neil Green talked us through their success.

What was it like competing in the Outgames?

See MLGC at Pride

The Chorus perform twice as part of Manchester Pride's The Big Weekend

  • Sat 26 Aug - Manchester Pride Parade
  • Mon 28 Aug - Candlelit vigil in Sackville Park

"It was an amazing experience. We were able to meet lesbian and gay choirs from around the world socially and network, and also hear the range of music and performance styles that are out there.

"Being on the stage itself caused a few nerves initially, but once we were singing and engaging with the audience and each other, we gave the best performance we've ever given.

"I was grinning and crying at the end of the performance, given how emotional and moving it was being part of something so much bigger than myself."
Neil describes what it felt like to sing at the Outgames

"It's no coincidence that I was grinning and crying at the end of the performance, given how emotional and moving it was being part of something so much bigger than myself. And the spontaneous standing ovation was the icing on the cake!"

How did it feel to win bronze?

"It was incredible. The judges first announced that they wanted to make a special mention to a choir and we assumed that would be us. While we had always wanted to do our best and do ourselves, and the members who weren't with us, proud, we had had no real idea of how we compared with other LGBT choirs. The moment it was announced, we all just burst out in cheers and rushed to swamp the stage!"

What's the aim for the chorus now?

The MLGC take part in the opening ceremony
The MLGC take part in the opening ceremony

"Mainly, we want to keep on doing on what we've been doing - including not only creating a fantastic sound, but being a warm, welcoming, inclusive community group - but to raise our game and become even better.

"We're still going to be very much focused on performing for and within the LGBT community and supporting events such as the Pride and World AIDS day vigils, local events and civil partnership ceremonies. We'll also continue our successful concerts and our partnerships with other LGBT groups.

"I'm sure we will start to develop our links with other international LGBT choirs now - and who knows? Maybe more international performances or competitions?"

How long have you been singing competitively?

MLGC (pic: Ryan Lee)
The MLGC in action at the Outgames

"This is a first for all of us. Our first international performance, our first competition. Very few, if any, of the chorus have come from a 'serious singing' background. We sing because we love to, because we make a great sound and because our singing and our sense of community makes something bigger than the sum of our parts."

Is the chorus about fun or winning?

"Without question, Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus is about fun, community and inclusiveness. We may compete again in the future, but the joy of singing with such a great community and supporting local, charity and LGBT events is far, far more important to us than competition."

last updated: 18/08/06
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