The Rainbow Chorus is a LGBTQ+ community choir which attracts members from diverse backgrounds, a large age range and a wide geographical area across Brighton and Hove and beyond.
We offer an enjoyable, supportive and affirming environment for LGBTQ+ members to sing, develop their community spirit and awareness, and enable individuals to develop their talents, skills and confidence. There are around 80 members in the choir split into the 4 classic SATB sections.
We have a varied repertoire, from pop classics and classical pieces to songs from musicals and powerful ballads. Choir members can suggest songs for inclusion in following terms. There are also small groups and solo parts for those who like more of a challenge.
Singing with the Rainbow Chorus takes place over two terms, with concerts in December and June/July. Weekly rehearsals usually take place on Monday evenings at St George's Church in Kemptown from 7.30 – 9.30pm and there are additional sectional and ad-hoc rehearsals too.
Monday rehearsals cover note bashing, performance skills and understanding the sheet music. We get a short tea break in the middle of each rehearsal – a great opportunity to socialise over tea and cake. All members get access to rehearsal tracks so that we can learn our parts outside of rehearsals. Each section also organises their own rehearsals, usually in members homes outside of usual rehearsal times to polish up their own parts.
Being in Rainbow Chorus can be great fun and very rewarding but does require the commitment to learn your part in your own time. Having said that there is the chance to step out of songs which are not working for you or just sing parts of songs, especially in your first term when there can be a lot to learn!
Running for over 7 years, this award-winning LGBTQ+ group was set up to allow as many people as possible to experience singing in a group. RC+ workshops are fun workshop-type sessions, held monthly, usually on a Saturday afternoon (although there are occasional evening sessions too), where you can learn some great songs either by ear or with sheet music.
If you’re LGBTQ+ and your voice is changing or you want to explore singing in a different voice range, RC+ is perfect for you. The sessions are led by the Rainbow Chorus music team - Musical Director Aneesa Chaudhry and pianist Mojca Monte Amali. You don’t need to worry about whether you can sing in tune, read music or commit regularly. You get to choose whether you sing the tune of a song, a higher harmony or a lower harmony. You’ll explore topics that make you a better singer generally, including musicality, singing technique, breathing, posture, phrasing, tuning, listening, improvising and you’ll be helped to put theory into practice, helping you build confidence and making you stronger individual singers.
We have a real mix of members including folk who haven’t sung before or in a long time, Trans and non-binary folk, as well as some regular choir goers. You are looked after in the session and at our social afterwards.
In November 2021 the Federation of Gay Games honoured RC+ with the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Trans and Non-Binary Culture Participation’.
For more information email us at: email@example.com
'Singing fills me with happiness and especially singing together with other people at RC+.'
'RC+ has a really beautiful energy. You’ve created something quite unique and I feel lucky to be a part of this. You’re giving a very much needed safe space which helps people in validating who they are and giving them a voice'.
'RC+ has helped my mental health amazingly. Especially since all the lockdowns during which I felt I had forgotten how to socialise!'
The Choir is supported by our wonderful music team, who celebrated their 10 year anniversary with us in 2022.
Aneesa Chaudhry is our Musical Director and she continues to develop the choir’s repertoire and skills. She is a professional singer with a huge zest for life, all that it can offer and all that she can offer it! Aneesa has performed at many international jazz and world music festivals and has led a number of choirs over the last 10 years. She also runs corporate and community singing workshops and teaches singing. She enjoys working with people to improve their overall performances so they can reach their full potential in the community, at work, in social settings and on stage!
Our tremendously gifted and patient resident accompanist who provides the Chorus with hugely valuable musical support. She is a highly regarded classically trained musician and professional pianist who has performed at the Slovenian National Opera House, international music competitions, and worked in broadcasting and recording across Europe. She is an experienced and inspirational piano teacher, enabling her students to enter prestigious schools and achieve the highest standards. She is a talented songwriter and her playing is always mesmerising and a pleasure to listen to.
Through public performance, we enhance the profile of LGBTQ+ people, particularly in Brighton and Hove, and contribute to the quality and range of community events. We believe that singing at events such as World Aids Day and Trans Pride sends a clear message that we are out and proud and all different. As part of our commitment to the local community, we also support other charities by singing to help them raise funds. In recent years we have performed at:
World AIDS Day
The RC strives to challenge itself artistically and developmentally and continues to strengthen international networks through our work in Legato, the European LGBTQ choral network as well as Proud Voices, the UK and Ireland network:
Hand in Hand
If you have a creative project that requires a flexible and responsive community chorus of experienced singers or are looking to try something new, fresh and inventive, we would love to hear from you.
Get in touch with our chair to see if the chorus is right for you.
The Rainbow Chorus is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and for a considerable time we have been aware that one of the most marginalised groups in the LGBTQ+ and the whole wider community has been Sign Language Users, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families and friends.
For a number of years the RC has been reaching out to this community, talking with our deaf friends and colleagues working in the deaf community, working with British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters, ensuring we have BSL interpreters at our main concerts and where possible at other events, publicising our concerts through deaf networks, ensuring there were interpreters when organising Hand In Hand and learning some of our main repertoire in Sign Supported English (SSE).
We’ve had very positive responses from Sign Language Users to our SSE performances which have been seen as pro-actively reaching out to include them. We are also reaching out to a younger audience. One young deaf man explains the impact of this has made to him:
“It is unusual for me to be able to enjoy a concert from an LGBT choir as most do not have BSL interpreters. I was born profoundly deaf and am also a gay man. I really wanted to come along to a Rainbow Chorus concert when I heard they have a BSL interpreter. Many of my Deaf friends thought I was mad but this has allowed me to enjoy something my hearing LGBT friends enjoy and it makes me feel part of the LGBT community. I really love that the choir also use some basic SSE in one or two of their songs and I hope this will continue"
We have been have been celebrating diversity through music since 1997, when Carl Boardman our first Musical Director and 8 fledgling members started the choir at the Brighton Lesbian & Gay Centre.