Christmas is peak season for choirs and, with a fairly fixed catalogue of tunes, it’s hard for any one group to stand out from the rest. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir (SGLC) however, has managed to distinguish itself, not only through its diverse make-up but also its broad and varied repertoire. The choir is two years shy of its 30th Anniversary and has garnered a devoted following since its inception, continuing to attract new fans. Musical director, Adam Majsay, has led the choir for three years and describes the experience as “incredibly rewarding.” In particular, he loves watching members flourish, both as singers and individuals. Remarkably, there is no audition or entry criteria – absolutely everyone is welcome to join.
“My belief is that almost every person can create a reasonable vocal sound with work and with effort,” explains Majsay. He has seen many people go from timid and awkward to confident and impressive after joining the choir.
The upcoming Christmas concert at Riverside Theatres is the last performance for the year for the SGLC and promises to deliver all the fun, professionalism and unpredictability that is typical of the choir.
“It is loosely a Christmas concert,” says Majsay. “It’s certainly a celebration of a time of year when we all get together. What I avoided with this program is specifically having a concert of Christmas carols and traditional Christmas songs. Not everyone in the choir itself and our committed audience members are people that celebrate Xmas, so for us, we wanted to make sure that it was not going to exclude members and not going to exclude audience by focusing on a time of year that perhaps isn’t a celebration for them.”
The show is named Wish You Were Here, after the song by the same title written by country singer, Melinda Schneider – a lament about a someone who won’t be around for Christmas. Using this theme as a through-line, choir members will read letters to absent loved ones. It promises to be very poignant. But in true SGLC style, the concert will take an upbeat turn with some fun, cheeky, twisted jingles including a new take on a classic: The Twelve Days After Christmas, and the irreverent, Atheists Don’t Have No Songs. Mix in some traditional music and a few other surprises, and you have a Christmas cracker filled with treats.
Dec 1. Riverside Theatres, Cnr Church & Market Streets, Parramatta. $23-$39+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.riversideparramatta.com.au
By Rita Bratovich