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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir to stage farewell concert before European tour

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir to stage farewell concert before European tour

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 21 May 2014 09:57 Written by // Ron Hughes

The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir is mounting a farewell concert before heading overseas on a tour of northern Europe.

Home: Voices Without Borders will reflect on the meaning of home for LGBTIQ people around the world.

The concert include the classic song 'Over the Rainbow' from The Wizard of Oz, which over the years has become an anthem for the LGBTQI community’s journey towards a better world; coincidentally, the concert is on the day of the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riot in New York City which galvanized the gay liberation movement and is said to have been partly fuelled by the reaction to Judy Garland’s funeral the day before.

Music Director Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith said, “As we prepare to travel overseas this year, we have been reminded that many LGBTQI people around the world do not feel at home in their own country or even their own family.

"Finding that comfort can be a difficult but ultimately rewarding journey."

The concert will feature selection of songs the choir has been preparing for the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia.

"As far as we know, we are the only mixed queer choir competing in the World Choir Games and we hope that our music and visibility will cross a few borders and make people feel at home in more ways than one," Penicka-Smith said.

"Just as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz clicked her red heels and said ‘There’s no place like home’, we know that home can be found from within and amongst those who love you for who you are.”

As well as rehearsing for their overseas gigs which will take in Finland and Estonia as well as Latvia, the choir has been working on a series of concerts and workshops at Villawood Detention Centre.

“Singing for the detainees, we are very conscious that several people may have fled their homeland because of their sexuality, and that our presence may have a powerful impact,” Penicka-Smith said.

“The lyrics of the uplifting song 'Home', originally sung by Philip Philips, have a particularly potent meaning when sung in front of an audience of asylum seekers: 'Trouble it might drag you down. You feel lost you can always be found. Just know you’re not alone, ’cause I’m gonna make this place your home'."

Home: Voices Without Borders, 7:30pm Saturday June 28, Paddington Town Hall, 249 Oxford St, Paddington. Bookings or tickets at the door.

GALLERY: Check out photos from SGLC's concert in 2013. Photos: Hamid Mousa

VIDEO: Check out the trailer for SGLC's Home concert


Ron Hughes

Ron Hughes

Ron Hughes is the editor of SA's only LGBTI magazine, blaze.

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