GLOW Choir

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)

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.

GLOW choir is a fun, encouraging, welcoming space for people to be who they are in supportive company, express themselves, connect with community, learn about music, explore and develop their voices and enjoy harmonising with others through song.

Hannah-Rose cares deeply about making GLOW choir a welcoming and inclusive space. She 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 runs sessions at the beautiful St Luke’s Church Prestonville, plus outdoor singing at local parks, and online Zoom Choir sessions. LGBTQIA+ people and Allies can join us from all over the world at the Zoom sessions, to share in song and community. Folks local to Brighton UK can join our outdoor singing experiences, and also enjoy the acoustic treat and comfort of our singing sessions indoors at St Luke’s.

What music does GLOW sing? GLOW choir sings a mixture of beautiful songs from around the globe in many moods and genres, to uplift the heart, harmonise with other voices, and express yourself.

Songs are all taught by ear, so you don’t need to be able to read music scores to sing with GLOW.

GLOW repertoire also includes original songs written especially for the group by the leader, songs learnt from renowned world music choirs Village Harmony & Northern Harmony, repertoire from the Natural Voice Network and a myriad of other musical delights and sources. All songs are taught with relevant background information, research and respect to their sources.

A GLOW member says: “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.” Nikolaia

GLOW logo by Emilia Ballardini

If you’d like GLOW with us, email hannahrose@naturalvoice.net to find out how to join.

Find out more about the origins of GLOW choir and GLOW Brighton here.

Check out the GLOW choir Facebook Page

“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

Questions answered:

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.

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.

Progressive Pride Flag

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.

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.

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.

Art by Lucie Arnoux

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 hannahrose@naturalvoice.net 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.

What about accessibility?
GLOW do our best to make both zoom choir sessions and in person sessions work accessibly for
everyone who wants to attend. Please do contact Hannah-Rose if you have something specific you want to ask about before joining.

Art by Lucie Arnoux