Almost 450 people packed into Auckland's new Q Theatre last night to celebrate 20 years of choral singing by the Gay And Lesbian Singers. The group's earliest members came together twenty years ago to perform at a Hero Party and soon formalised into GALS, a non-auditioned choir that now presents several concerts a year and frequently travels overseas to perform. Helping the choir celebrate last night were past choir members, guest co-compere Marilyn Waring, and noted mezzo-sporano Carmel Carroll. Although she did not sing last night Waring was a formally trained singer before politics and women's rights became her life's focus. Amongst those in the audience were long-time supporters of GALS including gay composer David Hamilton who has gifted many choral compositions to GALS - which has gone on the premiere the pieces. Dancer Michael Parmenter who helped facilitate the formation of GALS and writer/performer Tim Bray who has provided theatrical guidance and even full show scripts were also in amongst those present. Messages of support and celebration were projected onto a huge screen with a highlight being the contribution of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir who created a musical tribute based on the Dr Who TV series theme. Other light moments were a torchlight version of Richard Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra and a queer send-up of the already camp My Favourite Things from The Sound of Music. More serious elements of the show were the atmospheric Past Life Melodies, an Australian composition performed to mark GALS close relations with their Sydney counterpart, Shanti which was composed by Jenny Little in memory of friends lost to HIV and E Te Matua, composed by and performed in memory of the prolific late lesbian composer Mahinarangi Tocker.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Sunday, 28th October 2012 - 8:22am
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