Queer choirs converge on the capital!
LGBTIQ+ choirs from four countries arrive in Canberra this week for the Out & Loud choral festival. Hosted this year by Canberra Gay & Lesbian Qwire, Out & Loud is a triennial gathering of Australasian queer choirs.
Qwire has been preparing for this festival for almost two years. Choirs from nine cities, including Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin will perform at various locations around the city, culminating in a Gala Concert at Llewellyn Hall this Sunday.
Organisers have also fundraised to bring two choirs from developing countries to the festival. $30,000 was raised to bring the Rainbow Free and Equal choir from Fiji, and by partnering with Hatutan, Timor-Leste’s pride foundation, a new choir formed in Dili to debut at the festival and return to inspire the queer community in Timor.
The Gala Concert will feature the world premiere of a new composition by the award-winning composer and musician Sally Whitwell. Her composition, Stronger Together, will be premiered by all participating choirs in a massed choral event featuring over 300 voices.
Sally says that her composition was inspired by her recognition of the need for unity in the LGBTIQ+ rights movement:
“There is still a very long way to go in the fight for the rights of our community more broadly, particularly in regard to gender diversity, but presenting a unified front will be crucial to our progress. The unanimity of purpose that a choir represents is a strong metaphor for what I feel we need to do as a community. I still believe that if we can put aside our differences, respect each other, and work together toward our bigger common goals, we can absolutely win this fight.”
Stephen Leek, one of Australia’s foremost choral musicians and conductors, is providing the musical direction for the massed festival choir. He is joined by the regular conductors of choirs from Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Suva, Sydney, and the newly-formed choir coming from Timor-Leste.
Tickets for Sunday’s Out & Loud Gala Concert are available from Ticketek or at the door. Complimentary tickets are available for media to attend themselves and/or offer to their audiences via a competition. Please contact Payton for more information and to secure your tickets.
Media opportunities are available at the public performances at the NGA on Friday 25 October.
DETAILS OF ALL PERFORMANCES BEING STAGED AS PART OF THE FESTIVAL ARE ON THE OUT & LOUD WEBSITE
Follow Out & Loud : facebook.com/outloudCBR