WHEN members of an Edinburgh gay choir received a personal invitation from Rod Stewart to provide a glittering finale to his Christmas television spectacular, they jumped at the chance.
The opportunity saw the Loud and Proud choral group share a stage with the wrinkly rocker himself, Aussie superstar Kylie Minogue, 44, and Canadian crooner Michael Buble, 37, at Stirling Castle.
The filmed performance will be one of the jewels in the crown of ITV’s Christmas television line-up when it airs next month.
Choir group vice chair Annie Park said it had been an unforgettable experience taking part in the VIP event – and revealed they were only asked to take part after multi-millionaire Celtic fan Stewart, 67, spotted a video of them performing that they’d posted online.
She said: “We were absolutely thrilled to be asked, it was such an honour and very exciting to be able to mix with the stars.
“It’s all happened very quickly, we were only asked to take part earlier this month. Apparently someone had brought us to Rod’s attention by showing him our videos and he had personally requested that we be on the show.
“Of course, we said yes immediately! We think he asked us as he’s been a supporter of gay rights since the 70s – plus we’re Scottish and we’re really good, just like him! We have an extremely eclectic repertoire and a very professional sound.”
The choir travelled to Stirling Castle for the star-studded black-tie event, which counted comic Billy Connolly, 70, and Celtic boss Neil Lennon, 41, among the audience members.
Annie continued: “It was the gig of our lives! Really, a truly amazing experience for the choir. I can’t say what song we perform, but I can tell you that it was chosen by Rod, and that we had to help him a little bit with his Scottish pronunciations! It really was a stellar cast – Kylie, Nicola Benedetti and Michael Buble too! We got to meet all of them and they were absolutely charming, and complimentary about our performance too. People have been saying that we’re gay royalty now we’ve performed with Kylie.”
The choir formed in 2005 after several users of the LGBT Health and Wellbeing Centre on Howe Street discovered a shared passion for singing. Since then the choir has grown to include approximately 70 members ranging from 19 to over 60, and bass to soprano.
It’s not the first time the Loud and Proud choir have found themselves in the spotlight, having been on the lead float at last year’s Gay Pride in Paris, which attracted roughly half a million people.
Not ones to rest on their Christmas laurels, the choir will be performing two more concerts next week on the December 7 and 8 at Stockbridge Parish Church. Edinburgh composer, arranger and performer, David Paul Jones, who won the Glenfiddich Spirt of Scotland Award for Music in 2011, will be joining Loud and Proud for the events. Advance ticket purchase is required after the choir’s sell-out run at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, which saw them raise more than £2000 for Waverley Care, an HIV and hepatitis charity.
Tickets are available from http://www.hubtickets.co.uk/show.asp. The festive show is due to be broadcast on December 9 on ITV.