The London Gay Men’s Chorus | Michael Cheetham | 14397
The choir was begun in 1991 by a group of nine men – none of whom are in the choir any more – who used to meet at a social group called London Friend, where they would play their favourite CDs. “Someone said to them: ‘Why not start a choir if you’re so into music?’ so they rehearsed a few pieces to raise money for charity and put on their first gig at Angel tube,” says chorus chairman Alisdair Low. The gig, which featured nervous renditions of songs including Over the Rainbow, drew such crowds that the station had to be closed. Low joined two years later. “We used to rehearse under Finsbury library. We had a burly female stage manager on the door to bat away the council kids who would shout abuse through the door.”
Over the past 21 years, the London Gay Men’s Chorus has grown into Europe’s biggest gay choir. Anyone can join, although the waiting list can be six months long, with 70 or 80 people turning up at new members’ evenings.
The LGMC perform two major concerts a year, tour the world, and have played venues ranging from London’s Palladium and Roundhouse to 10 Downing Street.