This project has captured and celebrated the personal journeys and experiences of 16 people with a connection to the Gay and Lesbian Singers of WA. In doing so it has shown how enriching, supportive and often indispensable the choir has been for those who are a part of it.
The project culminated in the exhibition of photography and written stories of the individuals involved, together with the first air of our short documentary, Singing For Our True Heart, produced, co-written and co-directed by Know Your Nation. The film has gone on to appear in independent film festivals.
Inspired by a performance of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir, and as part of gay and lesbian community building in response to AIDS/HIV, a ‘gay’ choir formed in Perth in 1993. They called themselves ‘Perth Rainbow Chorus’ and gathered at the Northbridge Hotel. The choir performed at the AIDS vigil at St Mary’s cathedral that year.
As its confidence grew it changed its name to the Gay and Lesbian Singers of WA. The choir continued to grow in membership and musical excellence and has been privileged to work with a range of musical directors and accompanists.
Choir highlights include:
*1996 participating in the Sydney Mardi Gras parade
*1997 winning the open choir section of the Kalamunda Eisteddfod
*2001 participating in the first Australasian Gay Choral gathering “Camp Music” culminating in a massed choral performance at the Sydney Town Hall. GALSWA has been to every Out and Loud gathering since, travelling to Melbourne, Auckland (twice) and Hobart
*2002 participating in the International Gay Games and Cultural Festival, which included a performance at the Sydney Opera House and singing back-up harmony for k.d.lang
*Performing at the Denmark Festival of Voice
*Performing at many Pride Fairdays and marching in the annual WA Pride parade.
Sell out themed annual concerts have included True Colours Cabaret (1999), Abba Goes to Rio’ (2001), Divas and Dykons (2007), GALS on Broadway (2008), Magical Mystery Tour (2009), Big Love (2010), Summer Party (2012), Broadway (2014), Swing Out Loud (2015), Saints and Sinners (2016) and Let’s Go to the Movies (2017).
The choir continues as a community-based group with 30 singers (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) rehearsing each week. Welcoming both straight and LGBTI+ singers to join its ranks, the choir provides a sense of family for all involved, and a safe social space for LGBTI+ people.