The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir (SGLC) has announced the winning entry in its international OutPostChoir song competition.

English composer Howard Alexander’s (pictured) entry, You Make Me Proud, will become the universal anthem of the OutPostChoir project, which aims to create the world’s largest queer virtual choir.

The SGLC created the project in an effort to fight discrimination and violence towards LGBTI people. Competition entries came from across Australia and as far away as Italy and the UK.

“Out of all the terrific entries, Howard Alexander’s composition best represented the heart of our OutPostChoir project from the uplifting message contained within its lyrics to the very emotionally stirring melody which we believe people around the world will want to join us in singing,” choir music director Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith said.

“I’m thrilled that my song has been chosen for such an amazing worldwide project,” Howard, a successful commercial songwriter in his native UK, said.

“It means a huge amount to me that the song can play a part in sending a positive message to other people, wherever they are in the world, and whatever their own personal situation.

“The song is really all about recognising and celebrating the wonderful people in the community around us who help to give us the strength to be who we really are and to be the best that we can be.”

As part of the annual International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on May 17, the OutPostChoir website will allow people to sing along in four-part harmony to You Make Me Proud with the SGLC, no matter where they are in the world.

Website visitors will be able learn the song online, record their part on their personal webcam and then submit their video to the OutPostChoir website. Each video submitted will be mixed into the virtual choir performance, which will become an “ever-expanding mosaic of voices and faces” as more people participate over the life of the project.

“As we approach IDAHO, we will also be taking You Make Me Proud and the OutPostChoir project to the streets to get the message out there and to encourage as many people as possible to add their voice to the project,” Penicka-Smith said.


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