GLOW is Brighton’s Non-Audition, Natural Voice Community Choir for LGBTQIA+ people and Allies.
“GLOW choir is a safe and welcoming space; a supportive queer community;
a place for everyone to find their voice and use it.”
(Anonymous quote from a survey of GLOW choir participants)
To get the most up to date information about upcoming GLOW choir activities, contact Hannah-Rose on:
“Thankyou everyone.. the harmonies were glorious ,
such positive energy – so good for the soul”
* All voices are welcome at GLOW Choir, without judgement, auditions, or exceptions.
People and their voices are greeted with a warm welcome and with celebratory, encouraging, patient teaching and facilitation that helps everyone feel welcome to sing with GLOW.
“It was so magical to see you all and sing all these beautiful melodies together
You are such beautiful People with warm and respectful souls.
Thank you for making me feel so good!” Marta
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At GLOW Choir you can:
* Express yourself! Make friends and have fun
* Access the joys of community singing
* In an encouraging and welcoming environment
* Explore and develop your voice and learn about music
* Sing songs of pride, protest, empowerment, peace, and more
* Enjoy the supportive company of LGBTQIA+ folks and Allies
GLOW CHOIR IS A SAFE AND WELCOMING SPACE
A SUPPORTIVE QUEER COMMUNITY
A PLACE FOR EVERYONE TO FIND THEIR VOICE AND USE IT
GLOW meets on selected Saturday afternoons
To find out more or book your place, contact email@example.com
* When? GLOW meets on selected Saturday afternoons – get upcoming dates and full information by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
* Price? For up to date GLOW Choir costs and other important practical information, contact email@example.com
* Where? GLOW Choir runs sessions at the beautiful St Luke’s Church Prestonville, near Seven Dials.
Throughout the pandemic, we ran sessions in local parks and via Zoom, but we are now back to our home in St Luke’s Church, Old Shoreham Road.
* Why? Being together in LGBTQIA+ Community can be so important, in many ways, and music can uplift, nourish and bond us beyond words in a wholesome and generous manner. This combination of being together in community and singing, can be such a catalyst for wellness and joy, in ‘big’ and ‘small’ ways.
A short article on GLOW Choir from 2022:
* A welcoming and inclusive space. Hannah-Rose, who runs GLOW Choir, cares deeply about making GLOW a welcoming, inclusive and enjoyable space for everyone who attends, and especially about making a space for LGBTQIA+ folks to be unapolagetically and joyfully themselves, and to connect through song.
Hannah-Rose has co-written a resource for choir leaders to help make their choirs safer spaces for trans folk, non-binary people and other gender non conforming folks. Head on over to the Gender Inclusion and Awareness in Choirs page to find out more, or get in touch with any queries or feedback.
GLOW choir creates a relaxed and friendly atmosphere for folks to be themselves, learn about music and enjoy singing with others. There are important tea breaks for refreshments and socialising too – we missed these through the pandemic and are glad to have them back again!
St Luke’s is wheelchair accessible. There is a wide doorway with permanent ramp access in and out of the building and a wheelchair accessible toilet. Low lighting options are available, and sometimes/often used. There is a break halfway through the session. Participants are welcome to take additional breaks if needed.
St Luke’s is a generally quiet and pleasant atmosphere, without noise disturbances apart from the road from time to time. There are sofas and mats at the side if you need to take a break, and a quiet room set apart from the main space where we sing. There are heaters individuals can sit underneath, but the Church itself remains chilly in the colder months so wrap up warm if you are vulnerable to the cold.
If you need to check anything else contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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“Glow choir to me means acceptance, fun and enjoyment. You can walk into our choir as you, whatever that looks like, to be accepted and loved but also have the opportunity to accept, love and meet others.
To express myself and to be myself, my authentic real self, I wasn’t sure what that looked like, before – I hid away not wanting to come out incase of what others would say, how I would be treated or reacted to.
My first Glow and the sessions that followed I didn’t have to wear a mask, I could be me, myself and enjoy seeing others be themselves too, no masks just ourselves.
We are all fabulous individuals and I have enjoyed being apart of a unique inclusive diverse community, coming together to sing and share our voices and be heard!
I have gained confidence and courage coming to Glow more than ever before, excited for each session and thankful for each and every person that makes Glow :)” Ellen.
* Songs? GLOW Choir sings a wide range of uplifting a cappella harmony songs, from around the world, in many moods and genres, to nourish and uplift the soul.
These include songs of pride, protest, peace, celebration, depth, joy and more.
Songs are all taught by ear, so you don’t need to be able to read music scores to sing with GLOW. Lyrics will be provided to aid memory/learning/access.
GLOW repertoire also includes original songs written especially for the group; songs learnt from renowned world music choirs Village Harmony & Northern Harmony; repertoire from the Natural Voice Network; arranged popular songs; simple chants; folk songs; rounds; Civil Rights songs; and a myriad of other musical delights and sources.
All songs are taught with relevant background information, research and respect to their sources.
Song requests are welcome and will be taken into consideration.
* GLOW Choir has an Anti Racism and Cultural Honouring policy including a remunerations commitment as part of this: https://getbrightonsinging.com/anti-racism-cultural-honouring-at-glow/
GLOW choir leadership have made a commitment to Anti Racism and Cultural Honouring at GLOW. Head to this page to read our commitment, find out more and/or offer feedback about how we can improve. Thank you! And thank you to the Natural Voice Network’s ARCH team for inspiring GLOW leadership to do this work
“GLOW has made me feel more confident with my own voice and taking up space in the world – it feels like a safe space where I’m welcomed and that has had far reaching outcomes in the rest of my life.”
“Thank you, everyone
singing with you helped me more than the painkillers” Alicja
The poem below was written by GLOW choir member Pauline Sewards,
and performed by the author at the GLOW choir Sharing December 2022.
The PDF above, a poem by Pauline Sewards, reads:
could be easy
could be natural as running barefoot
but for some of us singing becomes a tight pair of shoes
a scolding an order to shrink
to stay earthbound
until our breath stalls in the catafalque of our chests
too far from the tune
Our voices become invisible
Here at Glow where all voices are celebrated
singing is the work of Joy
we watch orchestral directions from fingertips
each other’s lips.
Felt -tipped words on paper
we listen inward and outward
harmony flows in multiple circles
rusty nails and coiled wire loosen in our throats.
Songs live in our bodies and fly into the air.
“Glow is incredible – I could not have dreamt of a more welcoming, warm and light hearted, fun singing group.
I never thought I would be in a choir. Glow changed that.
Glow represents what is best about communities.” Sophie C
GLOW Choir Facebook Page
GLOW CHOIR Redbubble Shop
“Can hiiiighly recomend this choir
So welcoming and safe regardless of where you’re at in regards to singing ability
Hannah-Rose is an utterly excellent mindful and considerate teacher
who’s never made me feel singled out or afraid to speak up
in the years I’ve spent with glow,
could not be a better environment to share in song “ Bryony
Above is all the basic Need To Know about GLOW!
To join us, email email@example.com
If you’re still curious, here are some FAQs:
How did GLOW Choir start?
Find out more about the origins of GLOW choir and GLOW Brighton at https://glowchoir.weebly.com/
What does ‘GLOW’ stand for?
GLOW stands for Gay, Lesbian Or Whatever. The acronym was made up by some Natural Voice Practitioners at Unicorn Natural Voice Camp, where GLOW Choirs began.
The ‘Whatever’ of GLOW is intended to be an inclusive and celebratory ‘Whatever,’ embracing and acknowledging the wide diversity of human experience – it is not intended to be dismissive of all the other identities under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, but instead to be inclusive and celebratory!
What does LGBTQIA+ & Allies mean?
LGBTQIA+ is an acronym representing some of the many gender, romantic and sexual identities that exist. Each letter represents a word to do with gender, romantic and sexual identities, and the + acknowledges that there are many other identities not represented directly by this acronym, which are also equally important. It is an ever growing and evolving acronym, as humans learn more about one another and find words and ways to communicate about this.
Some but not all of the identities referred to in this acronym include Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Agender and more. The acronym with a ‘+’ is a shorthand for the diversity of gender, sexual and romantic identities and experiences that exist.
There are other versions of this acronym in existence such as LGBTQIAP2, which includes Pansexual and Two Spirit explicitly. There are many more identities and experiences in existence than these or any other short acronym can include, because the variety of human experience is vast, and humans continue to find new words and ways to express and define themselves.
Identity language such as the above can help people to make sense of their experiences, to fight against oppression, to feel at home in themselves and the world, and to unite with others who might have a similar experience. Identity language is therefore a powerful and important thing.
GLOW acknowledges that some people may not know how they identify, or may not wish to use any labels to describe themselves: this is totally valid.
Some people’s chosen identity language may change over time: also valid.
Two people might use the same identity word to mean a slightly different thing: this is totally fine.
Some people might use different words to refer to the same thing: also good.
This is all totally valid, and GLOW is intended to be a space that supports everyone in being themselves.
What About the ‘Allies’ bit? What does that mean?
‘Allies’ often refers to straight / heterosexual and/or cisgender Allies who actively support LGBTQIA+ people in being who they are.
At GLOW, we welcome straight and/or cisgender Allies who actively support LGBTQIA+ people in being who they are.
We also hope that everyone under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella would like to be a good Ally to everyone else under the umbrella, and do our best to cultivate an atmosphere of mutual support, and respect.
We also acknowledge that some people may be unsure of their identity, and that having a space which they can attend and not have to be certain or be out, is important, and it is a GLOW hope that having a space that welcomes LGBTQIA+ folks and Allies too, allows folks on the supposed ‘margins’ of the LGBTQIA+ community to find a space they can also feel welcome and safe to be themselves and meet people, without having to be completely confident in their identity first.
Are people of all gender, sexual and romantic identities equally welcome?
Yes. GLOW choir celebrates people of all sexual, romantic and gender identities, without judgement or hierarchy. We’re always open to learning more about how we can make folks feel more welcome, supported and included.
Hannah-Rose has built on both her own experience as a Bi+ person in the LGBTQIA+ community, and ongoing feedback from a wide range of people from within the community, and ongoing learning in a variety of other ways, to do her best to create a space that welcomes, includes and celebrates people of all identities/experiences.
We can always improve though so if you have constructive and polite feedback please do get in touch!
Are Allies really welcome?
Yes! The sub-title of GLOW choir states that GLOW is for LGBTQIA+ folks and Allies.
‘Allies’ in this context includes Straight / Heterosexual / Cisgender Allies, and also people who don’t have or want a label for their experience or identity and are supportive of others in being who they are.
It is a GLOW hope that everyone who comes to GLOW will do their best to be a good Ally to everyone else.
Is it really an LGBTQIA+ space if Straight Allies are welcome?
Yes! By showing up to GLOW, people are either naming themselves as LGBTQIA+, or as actively supportive of LGBTQIA+ people being who they are.
An important aspect of GLOW is that there is no ‘identity policing.’ What unites those in the GLOW choir community is not that people are all exactly the same – because they are not. What unites GLOW choir community members over time is a mutual understanding of respect for each other, willingness to listen & learn, the bonding effects of singing together in held space, and a supportive attitude towards each individual in being who they are.
What about people who think they can’t sing? Are they welcome?
Yes! All voices are welcome at GLOW choir.
Even people who think of themselves as ‘tone deaf,’ or have received negative feedback about their voices from somebody?
Yes, absolutely everyone who wants to sing is welcome to sing.
Hannah-Rose & the Natural Voice Network believe that singing is a human birthright, and something that everyone can do and can enjoy doing. If you can make a sound with your voice, then you can sing.
As well as being something everyone can do, singing is also a complex set of skills that can be developed over time with practice and encouragement.
If you want to increase your vocal confidence or improve a technical aspect of your singing, you can contact Hannah-Rose for individual singing lessons in a respectful, focused and helpful environment.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
Also, your voice just as it is will be totally welcome at the GLOW choir: GLOW is a place you can learn and grow.
Do people have to attend every week?
No. An intention to be there for most of the sessions is appreciated for continuity, but you don’t need to be able to attend every week, and we will be glad to have you with us when you can make it.
Want to join GLOW Choir? Contact Hannah-Rose
Fundraising at GLOW:
Beneficiaries of GLOW Choir’s regular remunerations plan (mentioned in the document above) include:
- Black LGBTQIA+ Therapy Fund. Regular donations through 2022 and 2023. Total donated so far (last updated 8th April 2023): £110
- Reproductive Rights Fund. One off donation June 2022
GLOW Choir has also done fundraising to support LGBTQIA+ Charities including:
Thank you to Kate Benjamin for the incredible artwork you can see on the GLOW logos, stripes and fliers. For more about Kate see https://katebenjamin.com/
You can find GLOW on facebook, Redbubble, or contact us below or on email@example.com.