The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir (SGLC) will take over the Sydney Town Hall for a retrospective of its greatest hits on Saturday, June 4 to celebrate its 20th year.

The choir has provided the soundtrack to countless community events over its two decades and has regularly represented Sydney on the national and international stage.

Whether singing at Mardi Gras, performing alongside the Sydney Dance Company during the Sydney Olympics, producing its own fully staged opera, or competing in eisteddfods, the choir has provided a sweet, loud and often provocative voice for the GLBT community.

SGLC music director Sarah Penicka-Smith said preparing for the concert had been an opportunity to revisit the highlights of the past two decades.

Choir members voted for their favourite songs from each of SGLC’s 20 years, leading to an eclectic program, ranging from familiar gay anthems, opera and pop to original works written for the choir by composers including Elena Kats-Chernin, Carl Vine and Gordon Kerry.

“It is hard to imagine that in its early years, the choir was asked to change its name to the Darlinghurst Choir when it entered the Australian National Choral Championships in Wagga Wagga for fear of offending local families,” Penicka-Smith said.

“The choir refused, we went on to win the competition, and in the process we positively changed a few perceptions about gay and lesbian people. It is that spirit of proclaiming our identity through song and performance that runs through all our projects.

“A handful of our  members have been with us for the full 20 years, some have joined for the first time this year, and what is really pleasing is to see many former members returning specifically to sing in this concert.

“We hope to see the hundreds of people the choir has touched over the years in the audience at Sydney Town Hall, be they past members, family, friends or simply music lovers.”

SGLC patron Michael Kirby will MC the event with Sydney artist Rosie Dennis, while Penicka-Smith will be joined by guest conductors Stephen Schafer and the Choir of Hard Knocks’ Jonathan Welch — both former SGLC music directors.

info: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir Goes Platinum, Saturday,June 4, 7.30pm, Sydney Town Hall. Tickets: Full $40, Concession $30, Family $100. Bookings: www.sglc.org

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