Singing up a storm with Brisbane's gay choir Hotmale
Love singing in the shower? Perhaps it's time to take that next step out of your bathroom and into the spotlight. Queensland Pride hears from Tony Groom, creator of the all-male Brisbane Choir aptly named Hotmale.
Hotmale is an all-male singing group based in Brisbane for queer and queer-friendly men who love music and singing. I formed the group in March 2013, after I had previously sung in several choirs, including mixed and male only.
I felt that male voices had a different resonance from mixed choirs and was especially inspired by the klapa style of singing from Eastern Europe. I believed there was a need for a choir which catered specifically to gay males, so a quick search found some willing singers, of whom Jade Connor was one - a musician who was also keen to conduct.
The choir was formed with the aim of singing songs with meaning or songs that make the most of male resonances. Membership is open to all who identify as men, including gay, bisexual, straight and all other gay- friendly men. Some are great singers, some sing best in the shower, but the main aim is to have fun.
Watch Hotmale in action at Newfarm
Our repertoire includes a variety of styles from the 60s to modern, African chants, love ballads, classical and musicals.
I think the main thing people gain from being in Hotmale is friendship and camaraderie. Wednesday night rehearsals are hilarious and everyone knows a good laugh is beneficial for your health. Of course there is also great pleasure in hearing your voice harmonising with others, but really it's mainly about fun.
Hotmale's first gig was a fundraiser for QAHC in our headquarters at Newstead. We provided the food and I think the audience enjoyed that as much as our singing. We have sung in a retirement village, which was funny because the MC kept forgetting our name. We have sung at political meetings and rallies. Another highlight was singing in the spectacular MONA museum in Hobart last year as part of the Festival of Voices.
Our main aim now is to increase our numbers to capitalise on the excellent training we have received for the past ten weeks from Yani – one of Brisbane's best choral conductors.
The choir sings every Wednesday night from 7pm to 9pm in a penthouse apartment in Toowong. While Jade is the principal conductor, the choir is currently half-way through a ten week period with guest conductor Yani, who is lifting the choir to a new level and at the same time she enjoys the camaraderie of this small, slightly outrageous group.
More information at www.hotmalesingers.org