Tuesday 3 May 2005

21 Pink Years On

Last weeks Metrolife supplement to the Evening Standard carried a note, on its gay pages, about the Saturday's Pink Singers concert with a comment about their December 2004 concert being for their 21st anniversary. Which set me thinking.

Could it really be nearly 22 years ago that I had my arm twisted to take over the Pink Singers in July 1983 after their founder musical director, Mark Bunyan, wished to drop out after his initial 3 month stint setting up the choir. I agreed and the following 5 years effected a radical change on my musical life

I acquired a heterogeneous group of men and women who rehearsed in a room in County Hall (the original one, now home to the Saatchi Gallery). Many wanted just to sing on an ad-hoc basis and this, combined with the rather ad-hoc nature of our rehearsal venue, meant that by autumn 1983 the core group was quite small. But with much hard work and enthusiasm the group developed into something more substantial.

I started to do arrangements for the group and out of this came my interest in cabaret, eventually I started working with the Insinuendos who were 3 ex members of the Pink Singers and who had formed the group.

Our initial programmes mixed American popular song with politics and more unusual items, we usually had some Eisler and Weill on the go and did a few numbers by Harold Rome and Alan Bush. A particularly classically trained influx meant that we put on a proper classical concert at Burgh House.

After 5 years I decided to spent more time writing and passed the baton on to someone else. It all seems so vivid in the memory that it is difficult to believe that it was over 20 years ago.

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