May God hold you in the palm of His hand

MLGC DCU group shotParish assistant John writes:

Over Trinity Sunday weekend, I was at a 4-day choir festival in Dublin.
Various Voices is an international festival for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender choirs. Over 80 choirs took part from all around the world – including the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus (MLGC) who I’ve been singing with since last September (and who sang at St Chrysostom’s in July 2010). Every choir performed a 30-minute concert during the festival, and there were huge evening concerts, and workshops, and dancing – all adding up to very little sleep!

MLGC began singing as soon as we reached dry-land at the Dublin ferry port, where we sang for the waiting coach-parties until we had them all clapping and waving. We sang in the beautiful Georgian City Hall in Dublin city centre and made a lovely woman in the third row burst into tears – which we always take as a great sign of success! We had a sing-off in an Irish bar with 3 other choirs. We sang our main concert in the 1,000-seater Mahony Hall and got a standing ovation. We sang in a restaurant in a converted church and people clapped and waved and hung off the galleries and filmed us on a dozen phones.

We saw hugely talented other choirs who tore up any clichéd idea about what a “gay choir” would be like, and did something extraordinary – small groups of less than 10 singers who could hold a 1,000-people spellbound, and impressive groups of 100+ singers. And I learnt about stage presence, ‘passagio’ and other fancy singing things in workshops with classically-trained opera singers and artists-in-residence Mauricio Virgens and Alexandra Gauger. And still managed to fit in a 9am Sunday Mass at a very interesting modern Catholic church nearby, Our Lady of Victories.

The closing concert of the whole festival ended with a lovely song called The Irish Blessing, sung by Dublin’s LGBT choir, Gloria, with the beautiful words:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
This entry was posted in Dublin, gay, Ireland, Irish, lesbian, LGBT, Manchester, Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus, Various Voices and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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