The Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Youth Chorus will stage its first solo concert, The Sound Of Youth, at Gasworks on April 17.

Until now the Chorus, which has been active for five years, has only performed alongside its sister group, the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus, or as a guest of wider concert bills like Midsumma’s D&G Experience.

“This is the first time we’ve really had our own headlining show,” Youth Chorus representative Cat Martin said.

“It’s been good because we’ve been able to choose a wide variety of songs, rather than stick to the main chorus’s songlist. There’s some Indigenous music, we’ve got a beautiful Jewish song, and some other quirky choices. We have a really diverse, multicultural background and we’re always interested to try songs from other cultures.”

Alongside the more left-field selections, the group will perform choral interpretations of commercial hits and classic pop songs. Led by musical director Ben Leske and accompanied by Ben Kiley, the Chorus will also be joined by compere Luke Gallagher on the night.

Martin, who acts as something of a mother hen for all the ‘Youthies’, said the Chorus had enjoyed fantastic growth since its 2005 establishment, and now featured 20 members aged 16-29.

“And we’ve got a 50/50 ratio with girls and boys, which hasn’t happened in the past. It’s great, it just changes the sound,” she said.

While 20 members may not seem like a large number, Martin explained that a lot was expected of members.

“There’s so much commitment, and we ask that people attend at least 80 percent of rehearsals. When you’ve got uni students and people working casual jobs, it’s hard to get a lot of people able to give you that time.”

As such, the Chorus is always on the lookout for new members. But for now, members are focusing on taking to the stage on April 17 for their turn in the spotlight.

“There’s always nerves, but I think we’re just so excited to get out there and perform our inaugural concert,” Martin said.

info: The Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Youth Chorus perform The Sound of Youth at 8pm, April 17 at Gasworks Theatre. Tickets $10/15 from www.gasworks.org.au. For information about the Chorus, visit www.mglc.org.au/youthchorus.php

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