Singing the ‘change’ tunes

July 04, 2017

The Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus performing at the Shepparton Uniting Church on Saturday.

Long-time MGLC member Cathy Martin, president Johann Du Preez, musical director Drew Downing and production co-ordinator Ellie Vermont.

A visiting choir performed songs of change for more than an hour on Saturday at Shepparton Uniting Church in Maude St Shepparton.

‘‘The Melbourn Gay and Lesbian Chorus is Australia’s first inclusive and safe community choir,’’ MGLC president Johann Du Preez said.

At the weekend about 50 singers performed songs from various protest movements, including Beds Are Burning, Big Yellow Taxi, Fix You, True Colours and Raise You Up.

‘‘(They’re) songs of triumph and inspiration in the face of adversity,’’ Mr Du Preez said.

The group formed in 1990 in response to the HIV AIDS endemic and it gave the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community a voice, Mr Du Preez said.

‘‘We like to support events ... we’re not just Melbourne-centric. Although based in Carlton, we like (to) reach out to communities like Shepparton,’’ he said.

After the performance, people enjoyed a music workshop by MGLC music director Drew Downing, who spoke about vocal health and stage presence.

GV Pride president Georgina Poort said the event was special for Shepparton and it was important to host events such as this locally.

‘‘It provided an opportunity for local LGTBQI community members to enjoy an event in their own home town, saving them from having to travel to Melbourne,’’ she said.

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