A NEW rendition of a song by acclaimed Indigenous musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunipingu has helped the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir (SGLC) finish in the top three of the recent Sydney Eisteddfod.

Yunipingu’s Bapa, which means father, was one of three pieces performed by the SGLC that saw them achieve third place in the finals of the John Lambie Foundation Australasian Open Choral Championship.

The choir also sung a version of Over the Rainbow and a rendition of Other Plans by Melbourne composer Lisa Young, fusing jazz and South Indian carnatic singing.

SGLC music director Sarah Penicka-Smith said the group had competed against some of the best choirs across the country.

“Placing third at the Sydney Eisteddfod is an incredible achievement for SGLC which is non-auditioned, with many members who don’t even read music,” she said.

“It’s brilliant for us to have our name recognised.”

The choir scored the result at last week’s finals held in the northern Sydney suburb of Chatswood.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music took out the top spot at the eisteddfod, a competition which began in 1933 and draws around 30,000 participants annually with a program of 400 classical and contemporary musical events.

“The prize is a great boost for us as we prepare to head to Latvia next month to compete in the World Choir Games,” Penicka-Smith said.

The SGLC formed in 1991 following a letter published in the Star Observer calling for community interest in forming a choir.

Since then the group had performed in New Zealand, Europe and North America and counts among its former musical directors Choir of Hard Knocks founder, Jonathon Welch.

In advance of the World Choir Games, the SGLC will perform a concert at Paddington Town Hall on Saturday, June 28.

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