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You may recall my shameless plug a few days ago. The event proved well worth going to, and did my heart good. The Homotones (Gay and Lesbian Band) were celebrating their ten years — more, actually, as band member Les pointed out. G was there too, and it was great to see him again. G in another life was an inspector of schools when I was a keen young English teacher, and we became good friends over the years. What G doesn’t know about the history of English teaching isn’t worth knowing. Current developments in education depress him.
One of the performers was one Justin J Bear, and talented too, as you can check below. Amazing vocal range.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir also performed. The only clip I can find of them is rather Christmassy, but will have to do.
There will be a DVD released of tonight’s concert. I may even get one.
…a dynamic, fun filled evening of pop, jazz, show tunes and disco with a myriad of glittering guest stars. You’ll be dazzled by the enormous sound of Sydney’s premier concert band the Sydney Homotones combined with the talents of transsexual cabaret showgirl, Darlene and country singer turned cabaret artist, Justin J Bear, as well as the incredible voices of two of Australia’s best loved, award winning choirs, the Australian Pop Choir and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir. We hope you’ll join us for all this and much, much more under the watchful eye and lightning wit of our MC for the evening, the amazing drag performer, Verushka Darling.
The Australian Pop Choir are amazing. Their “Caffeine Overload Polka” was something I could relate to. That choir was fascinating too as an embodiment of multicultural suburban Sydney, with the cutest Shanghainese (I think) boy in the front row just bopping his heart out, and three old ladies in the back who were eighty apiece, I reckon, and looked as if they had strayed in from a Liberal Party function. But they were all so good! Their director is Jonathon Welch, a former principal tenor with Opera Australia.
Jonathon Welch: Working with Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir was life changing for me. They’re an extraordinary group of people and not only as wonderful choristers and musicians but as great human beings. And they in many ways were a catalyst for me, making a very big career change from just singing to go back to teaching and conducting. And the joy I got from that really inspired me to go on to create the Street Choir and Pop Kidz and the Australian Pop Choir.
The highlight had to be the Sound of Music medley with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who actually sang, and the sweetest group of “Rainbow Children”, one tot dropping her pink soft toy at regular intervals and climbing down from the stage to rescue it each time.
Drag queen Verushka Darling was a good MC, and transexual Singapore born Darlene really is talented.
Funnily enough, it was actually a good family night’s entertainment, and families of several varieties were well represented. People forget the Sydney Mardi Gras is not just the Parade, but a whole month’s cultural festival.