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.

Contributor

Nicola Slawson

The GuardianTramp

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