London Gay Men's Chorus releases vigil song in aid of Orlando shooting fund

Choir releases Bridge Over Troubled Water to help Orlando victims and families fund after vigil performance is widely viewed

A British gay men’s choir is to release a cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water for victims of the Orlando shooting.

The London Gay Men’s Chorus (LGMC) will release its version of Simon & Garfunkel’s hit on Friday, with proceeds to be split equally between the Pulse Victims Fund, organised by Equality Florida, and Galop, a London-­based charity that works to reduce LGBT hate crime in the UK.

Forty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured during the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on 11 June – the worst mass shooting in American history. The gunman, Omar Mateen, was killed by police during a shootout.

The release of the charity single follows a performance of the song by the chorus at the London vigil to honour Orlando’s victims. Footage of the LGMC singing in a packed Old Compton Street in Soho was shared on social media and by news outlets around the world, receiving millions of views.

The London Gay Men’s Chorus singing at the London vigil for Orlando victims.

Speaking about the release, Simon Sharp, the artistic director of LGMC, said: “The attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando sent shockwaves through the whole LGBT community. The LGMC responded in the only way we could: through song.”

The chorus’s version of the track, from its forthcoming album, was actually recorded hours before the shooting. Following the unprecedented response to its performance at the vigil, the LGMC – which is Europe’s largest male voice choir – decided to release the track early in honour of the victims of the tragedy.

Sharp said: “We were truly overwhelmed by the public response to our performance at the Soho vigil and want to do everything we can to raise money for the victims of the Orlando attack and for victims of LGBT hate crime in the UK.”

In the footage, members of the chorus can be seen wiping tears away as the gathered crowd cheers at the end of the emotional performance. “It’s a song that has taken on new meaning for us as a chorus but we hope it sends out a message of love and support to all of our LGBT brothers and sisters and our straight allies across the world,” Sharp said.

The chairman of the LGMC, John D Carrion, added: “The LGMC believes passionately that music has the power to heal and to inspire, to lift souls and to unite people in times of joy and sorrow.

“The Orlando attack was an act of hatred directed towards the LGBT community and we want to combat this hate with a message of love, hope and solidarity. The response to our performance at the vigil has been incredibly overwhelming and humbling for all of our members.”

This digital­-only release will be available to purchase or stream on all major platforms including iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal.


Nicola Slawson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Orlando shooting: thousands gather in city for vigil – as it happened
Obama says it appears Omar Mateen was inspired by extremist information spread over the internet but there’s no evidence he was directed from abroad

Nicky Woolf (now), Amanda Holpuch and Alan Yuhas (earlier)

14, Jun, 2016 @1:38 AM

Article image
Allison Weiss on playing Orlando: ‘I’m not going to hide in the shadows'
Less than 24 hours after the Pulse nightclub atrocity, Allison Weiss took to the stage in Orlando, FL. The gay singer-songwriter talks community, the cathartic power of music and defending LGBT pride

Chris Smith in Orlando

14, Jun, 2016 @7:16 PM

Article image
Orlando terror attack: shooter's father speaks about his son's ‘horrible act’
Seddique Mateen, the father of the man who shot and killed dozens at a gay club in Orlando, talked about his son’s past and his first wife’s accusations of abuse

Jessica Glenza in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

14, Jun, 2016 @10:00 AM

Article image
'There is a Pulse around every corner': why gay clubs matter
Gay clubs were supposed to be safe spaces where lives were transformed. They were never meant to be newsworthy. The Orlando shooting changed that. Plus: how gay disco shaped pop

Paul Flynn and Alexis Petridis

13, Jun, 2016 @5:24 PM

Article image
The Guardian view on the Orlando shootings: a time for calm, and sorrow | Editorial
Editorial: The murders in the Pulse nightclub must not be used as an excuse to whip up fear and hatred of Islam


12, Jun, 2016 @6:46 PM

Article image
Orlando massacre: relatives and friends react to shooting
Locals speak of horror following attack in which more than 50 people were killed at Pulse nightclub in Florida

Mark Tran

12, Jun, 2016 @3:53 PM

Article image
The Guardian view on homophobia after Orlando: to fix it, we must first face it | Editorial
Editorial: The west is these days happy to champion sexual diversity as one of its values. But the shallow roots of tolerance lead to hesitancy in naming a hate crime for what it is


13, Jun, 2016 @6:26 PM

Article image
Orlando shooting: at least four Mexicans among the dead
Four men killed in the attack on the Pulse nightclub by Omar Mateen hailed from parts of Mexico that are know for scant employment opportunities

David Agren in Mexico City

14, Jun, 2016 @4:37 AM

Article image
Orlando nightclub attack is deadliest US mass shooting in modern history
City’s mayor says 50 killed and 53 injured, as FBI study shows no previous attack had so many casualties

Lois Beckett

12, Jun, 2016 @6:14 PM

Article image
Orlando police officer who saved Pulse shooting victims fired from force
Omar Delgado, who suffered significant psychological trauma, let go months before he would have secured pension bonus for 10 years’ service

Richard Luscombe in Miami

07, Dec, 2017 @6:59 PM