Glória, Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir, returns to the National Concert Hall for its biggest summer concert next Saturday, 15th June at 8pm. The Dublin choir is celebrating its 18th birthday, and will be joined by three other gay and lesbian choirs from around Ireland. One of key themes of the concert will be friendship, and the positive benefits of friendship for mental health.
“This year, we want to focus particularly on creating awareness of mental health issues,” said Barry Dowling, chairperson of Glória, “and the benefits that belonging to a group such as this can bring. To highlight that theme, we created a special Outreach Choir with the help of the Clondalkin Community Action on Suicide and Quarryvale Family Resource Centre, who work to promote mental health well-being.”
Glória started in 1995 with only 25 members, and for a long time were Ireland’s only LGBT Choir. This year, however, the choir look forward to sharing the stage with Choral ConFusion from Cork, Quire LGBT Choir from Belfast and the Dublin Gay Men’s Chorus.
“We are looking forward to taking people on a journey […] from classical to camp,” said Ian Packham, Glória’s Musical Director. “We’ll feature some songs from our extensive back catalogue which have not been heard in a long time, as well as a wide range of new songs which we hope will become audience favourites. Where else could you hear classical pieces from Rachmaninov and Mozart to songs from Cohen, U2, ABBA and The Sound of Music!”
“It’s wonderful to see how this choir has grown,” Packham continues, “and to see the commitment and enthusiasm of these women and men. These are all busy people; some are studying, most have busy careers, and some have kids at home. They all give up most of their social life from September to June to prepare for this.”