Canberra Qwire was proud to host the 2019 Out & Loud Festival from 24-28 October across various iconic Canberra venues. 300 singers attended from 9 LGBTIQ+ choirs from Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Sydney, Auckland, Fiji, WA,Timor Leste and Canberra. We had an inspirational Festival of music, fun and joy from the Welcome Function at the NFSA through to the Gala Concert at Llewellyn Hall. Our Guest Conductor Stephen Leek guided us through our 3 massed choral pieces : 'Stronger Together' (specially commissioned for the Festival from Sally Whitwell), 'Blue Skies' and 'Fall on me' which we performed at Llewellyn Hall to a packed house. 12 workshops were held over 2 days at our wonderful Festival home University House. And all choirs performed free public concerts to hundreds of local Canberrans and visitors at the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Australian Democracy. Participants let their hair down at the Out & Loud Party at Albert Hall and enjoyed organised tours of the Arboretum and the National Gallery. And finally the Festival wrapped up with a relaxing BBQ hosted by A Gender Agenda.
Thank you again to ACT Government for their support and to the huge number of volunteers without whom the Festival would not have been possible. And to all those who attended - we had a ball!
Stronger Together youtube
High Court concert
Sun, 11 Aug 2019
Qwire was delighted to perform a large repertoire at the High Court of Australia to a packed house featuring songs of love, compassion and hope. Karen Wilden conducted with her usual flair bringing out the heart and warmth from Qwire singers that has become our trademark. Jess Stewart accompanied Qwire on piano with enthusiasm and humour and John Dobson and Dominic Hill played violin and cello for our magnificent piece 'Fall on me' -soloists Lou Brooks, Lizzie Gordon, James Routson & Pete Pakapat were divine. 'Ella's Song' captured a different mood with soloists Stacey Graham, Gerard Clifton, Marco Xuereb and Veronica Wensing. 'Hua Fei Hua' based on a 1200 year old Chinese poem was sung in Madarin and English to a composition by Qwire members Cindy Li & Jess Stewart. Other songs sung with subteltly and passion were : The Vigil, Brave, Pulse, Everybody wants to rule the world, Everything Possible, Imagine, The Seal Lullaby, Sudden Light, You Gotta be, All will be well and All you need is love. This concert will remain a highlight of 2019 for both Qwire members and our broad audience.
“All you need is…..a choral collaboration and celebration in Goulburn” Sunday 16 June 2019 saw Qwire participate in an afternoon concert of several Goulburn based community choirs, including one involving young people, Rezone8. The others were Vocalocal and Cantabile. It was held in St Saviour’s Cathedral’s parish hall (which had been the original Cathedral, built in 1875). Despite the mid-winter day that was both cold and wet, the venue filled up and the choirs sang to a large and enthusiastic audience. All four choirs had learned two songs which were sung together at the end of the concert; ‘All You Need is Love’ and the beautiful and evocative ‘Seal Lullaby’. Even though we had mostly rehearsed these songs separately (there had been one joint rehearsal) the multi-layered sound of Seal Lullaby hung like magic in the air – with almost 200 voices singing the words of Rudyard Kipling, set to the graceful and elegant music of contemporary composer, Eric Whitacre. Qwire sang seven songs as well as the two joint musical pieces. Huge congratulations to Karen and Jess for all the hard work in getting the Qwire singers and all our songs to the point where the sound worked brilliantly and was well received by the audience. Thanks must also go to Paul Scott-Williams, leader of Vocalocal and Cantible, who brought all four choirs together for this wonderful afternoon of musical connection and collaboration.
Qwire proudly contributed to the AIDS Candlelight Memorial which took place at the Academy of Science (the Shine dome). Karen Wilden conducting Qwire singing 'Deepening Twilight' and "Deep Peace'. While members of the community laid candles on the red AIDS ribbon outside Qwire sang 'Singing for our Lives'.
The ACT Chief Minister's Inclusion Awards is an integral and premier event of the ACT Inclusion Council. The Council promotes initiatives that value and engage people with disabilities as customers, suppliers, employees and employers in business, the arts and sport.
Qwire was honoured to be part of this important Canberra event with 450 guests at the National Museum of Australia. Qwire sang 'Rise', 'Try Everything' and 'This is Me' under the musical direction of Karen Wilden accompanied by Jessica Stewart.
Qwire had a great time performing at this family friendly event which was the final SpringOut event for 2018. We sang : Firework, How far I'll go, I love my life, LIFE GOES ON, Rise, Strong & Try Everything.
Rainbow Inter Faith Event - 'Come as you are'
Thu, 22 Nov 2018
This was a Rainbow interfaith event of blessing, acceptance, hospitality and welcome organised by 'Acceptance' - a faith community which supports LGBTIQ Catholics. This event aimed to create a safe celebratory space for believers and non-believers alike of different traditions. It was specially organised as part of the SpringOut Festival. It took place at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.
Qwire sang 'How far I'll go', 'Rise', 'I love my life' & ' Life goes on' under the musical direction of Karen Wilden accompanied by Jessica Stewart on piano.
Qwire concert - Taking Flight
Sat, 17 Nov 2018
'Taking Flight' was Qwire's final concert in our magical 25th anniversary year - we performed on both 17 & 18 November at the Q theatre to almost full houses. 'Taking Flight' celebrated the strength of our community and reminded us that people of all genders, orientations and expressions can look forward with pride to the future they dream of.
'Taking Flight' commenced with a very moving 'Welcome to Country' given by Jude Barlow reflecting on the eagle totem of her people. Karen Wilden conducted a beautiful repertoire of songs put together by Dee Mcfaul accompanied by Jess Stewart. Almost 70 singers performed 17 songs with the concert MCed by the wonderful Lynne O'Brien who was instrumental in the creation of Qwire 25 years ago. Qwire spiced up the performance with some choreography taught by Hannah Carey and Emily Appleton and a very moving video compilation put together by Russell Nankervis and Susan Nicholls reminded the audience of what Qwire means to so many of us.
There was laughter, tears, cheering and a lot of foot tapping from the audience who thought we sounded marvellous - no doubt helped by Deb Hayes signing our songs.
One of Qwire's favourite events, Fair Day had an unprecedented number of visitors at Gorman House, many of whom visited our stall. Qwire sang Rise; Touch the sky; Try Everything; I love my life; Strong & The Ship Song.
The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial
Sun, 20 May 2018
Qwire was honoured once again to perform at the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial which took place at University House ANU. This year’s theme of ‘Reflecting on our Past, Preparing for our Future’ was as always a time to remember & a time to look forward. Qwire performed ‘Stay Awhile’ & ‘Moon River’ conducted by our new Musical Director Dee McFaul.
Qwire did Australia proud performing at the Various Voices LGBTIQ choral festival in Munich. 1 of almost 100 choirs amongst 3000 singers Qwire performed on 3 occasions- the intergalactic Space concert where Qwire sang ‘Bad Romance’. dressed in their alien gear in purple wigs, crazy coloured glasses & silver capes. Then outdoor in the Odeonplattz & also in the famous Philharmonie Gasteig where Qwire performed our 30minute Australian repertoire to great acclaim. And then there was the amazing experience of singing Carmina Burana with 8000 people outdoors. Qwire was conducted by Lenny Weiss & Karen Wilden and accompanied by Jess Stewart.
Qwire Concert - To the Riptide - Qwire's Silver Anniversary
Sun, 15 Apr 2018
Qwire kicked off its silver anniversary with 'To the riptide', a concert featuring Australian classics from the likes of Kylie Minogue to more recent hits like Goyte's 'Somebody that I used to know'. Taking its name from Vance Joy's 2013 Hottest 100 winner, 'To the riptide' celebrated this point in Australian history where the tide of public support for queer Australians gives us hope for a better future.
It was also an opportunity for us to farewell our Musical Director Leonard Weiss who has been with us for 4 years. Our Assistant Musical Director Karen Wilden also conducted a number of songs. Jess Stewart was our accompanist on piano.
Qwire performed part of the repertoire from this concert at the Various Voices LGBTIQ European choral festival in Munich in May 2018 to much acclaim alongside 100 other choirs and 3000 singers.
Rainbow Cocktails -British High Commissioner marriage equality celebration
Wed, 7 Feb 2018
Qwire was delighted to perform at 'Rainbow Cocktails' hosted by the British High Commissioner celebrating marriage equality in Australia. As the sun set behind us Qwire sang 'Never Turning Back', 'It don't mean a thing' & 'Home' to an audience of distinguished guests including many couples who were married by the British High Commissioner before Australian marriage equality became law.
'Never Turning Back' celebrated Qwire's 24 year musical journey & our growth as a diverse community. From the olden days when the Qwire sang Rubber Duckie and Old Mother Hubbard to the musical heights of Tenabrae Factae Sunt & fun pieces such as Bad Romance, Qwire shared the joy of singing with our wonderful audience. Our MC Anne-Marie Delahunt shared stories from our previous Musical Directors, Chris Ashcroft, Leanne Linmore & Ken Teoh who were in the audience as well as our current MD Lenny Weiss' thoughts on our recent journey through the marriage equality struggle. And our patrons Chief Minister Barr & H.E. Schouten honoured us with their presence and warmth. Qwire continues to provide strength and joy to so many and looks forward to its 25th anniversary in 2018.
OMG what a night of celebration with extraordinary community joy spilling out all along Lonsdale Street Braddon - Canberra put on a huge street party to celebrate the results of the Marriage Equality survey & Qwire was there singing our hearts out. We sang 'Home' and 'You can't stop the beat' and cheered along with everybody when the Senators arrived to greet the crowd.
Qwire performed at the annual Canberra Fair Day at Gorman House which kicked off this year's SpringOut. Qwire performed 5 songs conducted by Ken Teoh : Bad Romance; Carry On; It don't mean a thing; YMCA; You Can't Stop the Beat. The audience enjoyed Qwire's spirited performance.
Qwire really enjoyed performing for our friends in Yass who were organising support for a 'Yes' result in the Marriage Equality Survey. We first performed at the Markets and then at Trader and Co. We sang : Carry On, Home, Moon River, Never Turning Back, YMCA & It don't mean a thing.
Qwire performed at Diversity ACT's event during Mental Health Week. Conducted by our guest conductor Kimberley Steele, Qwire sang: It don't mean a thing; Moon River; Never Turning Back & YMCA. 1 of our members Chloe also spoke about her experience of managing mental health issues and the healing power of singing and being part of the Qwire community.
CBR RAINBOW BUS SINGALONG
Fri, 22 Sep 2017
Qwire performed to support the Canberra Rainbow YES bus and its driver.
On a very wet and windy morning Qwire sung its heart out to support Marriage Equality at Parliament House.
Classic(al) Hits Concert
Sun, 25 Jun 2017
Qwire's Classic[al] Hits concert at the Q theatre on 25 June 2017 was a sold out show performed in collaboration with Strange Weather Gospel Choir. The audience loved the mixture of classical and gospel pieces from Abba's 'Dancing Queen' through to 'Cantique' by Faure. 'Penny Lane' was a great hit with some cheeky actions by our barbers, bankers and firemen and the choreography for 'Stay with me' had people in tears. Conducting was shared between Leonard Weiss, Karen Wilden and Daniel Bennett (SWGC) with our accompanists Jess Stewart and Lucas Allerton (SWGC). Thanks again to Tack Daniel for choreo and movement support, to our volunteer drummers from both choirs who had the audience jumping for 'Africa', our soloists and back stage volunteers led by Jes Chalmers.
Qwire was honoured to perform at the 34th Canberra International AIDS Candlelight Memorial organised by the AIDS Action Council of the ACT at the National Arboretum. The theme of this year's memorial was 'Ending AIDS Together'. Qwire performed 2 songs to remember those who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS, 'You'll never walk alone' and ' These candles we burn'. As one of the world's oldest and largest grassroots mobilisation campaigns for HIV awareness, the International AIDS Candleight Memorial takes place annually and is led by over 1200 organisations in more than 115 countries.
IDAHOT Performance at Film Screening of 'Zomer' (Summer)
Wed, 17 May 2017
The Embassy for the Kingdom of the Netherlands screened the film 'Zomer' (Summer) for IDAHOT (International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia) and invited Qwire to perform before the screening - Qwire was delighted to perform 'Bridge over Troubled Water' & 'Carry On'.
Qwire performed at SpringOUT's annual Fair Day on 29 October 2016 at Gorman Arts Centre. SpringOUT Pride Festival is Canberra's queer cultural festival which affirms the pride, joy, dignity and identity of Canberra's LGBTIQ communities through events of celebration. Fair Day continues to be one of Canberra's major grassroots community events and Qwire is proud to be part of these celbrations. Qwire sang numbers from our Show Tunes concert as well as some old favourties : Home; Time Warp; You can't stop the beat; You'll never walk alone.
Canberra Qwire brought sparkling fabulousness to The Q with SHOW TUNES.
On the 22nd and 23rd of October 2016, The Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire performed a repertoire of favourite show tunes at The Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre that had them singing all the way home. Show Tunes was Qwire’s largest production to date and it truly had it all: hope, love, triumph – and just a touch of despair (not every musical character has a happy story after all). Featuring standout moments from musicals old and new such as Evita, Les Miserables, Matilda, The Sound of Music and fourteen other greats, it was a lifetime of shows packed into one night.
Musical director Leonard Weiss described Show Tunes as: “a spectacular undertaking for Qwire – our largest show yet. Having the opportunity to spend an entire year honing our musicality and performance skills made for a truly unique experience.”
Greg Lissaman was our Creative Director for this magnificent show "when show tunes from many musicals are juxtaposed and performend by a gay and lesbian choir, the songs take on new meaning".
Tack Daniel helped us add real flair with his adventurous choreography and we looked stunning in our costumes designed by Peter McCann & Gerard Clifton.
Our audiences were truly wowed by Show Tunes and Qwire members wanted the experience to go on forever.
Candlelight Memorial events are held across the world to honour those who have lost their lives to HIV and AIDS. As one of the world’s oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV awareness, the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial takes place annually and is led by over 1,200 organizations in more than 115 countries.
Globally the theme for 2016 was ‘Engage, Educate, Empower’ and served as a call to work in solidarity to break down barriers of stigma and discrimination, and to give hope to new generations.
Hosted by ABC radio presenter Genevieve Jacobs, including guest speakers Senator Katy Gallagher, Professor John Dwyer, founder of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance and Emeritus Professor at the University of NSW, and well known community member Scott Malcolm, the memorial included musical performances by QWIRE and the traditional candle lighting ceremony.
Book launch for Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture
Thu, 28 Apr 2016
Book launch for Kaleidoscope
"The essays in this volume have been written by those deeply concerned about the future of the Anglican Church of Australia" especially as it relates to the LGBTQIA "have not been permitted to sit in a church where they are welcomed, included and affirmed as the people of the God of welcome, inclusion, and affirmation." (Alan Cadwallader, Preface to "Kaleidoscope").
Qwire performed 2 songs (Home and Stand By Me) at the start of the launch.
Out & Loud Choral Festival- Auckland NZ
Thu, 18 Feb 2016
Qwire joined other Australian and NZ choirs to participate in the 'Out & Loud choral festival' in Auckland in February 2016. Over 3 days we sang in churches, outside iconic venues and even walking through the streets of Auckland much to the surprise of shoppers. Guest Conductor Dr Kathleen McGuire, internationally recognised for her choral work composed 'Singing Out and Loud' for the festival as well as teaching us 'There's a place for us' which we performed at the Grand Matinee concert. Our Qwire sang : One Voice; Corner of the sky; We are; I lived & together with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir 'It does Get Better'. We also paricipated in their Pride Parade.
Qwire was delighted to hold its end of year concert as part of the SpringOUT Pride Festival. 'We Are' was supported by an ensemble from the National Capital Orchestra. The repertorie explored global themes and broader connections to the community. Under the musical direction of Leonard Weiss, Qwire performed hits from popular artists such as Billy Joel, Alicia Keys and Bob Evans. The concert also featured a special piece written by Qwire's Assistant Musical Director Karen Wilden.
Two of Canberra's longest running musical community groups combined forces in an unforgettable concert on 27 June 2015 - a Night of Jazz at the Hellenic Club in Woden. 'Qwire' together with the big jazz band 'In Full Swing' wowed their audience of 500 who came to dance the night away. The 'Canberra Swing Katz' got the audience jumping with their fabulous swing dance performance. Qwire was directed by Leonard Weiss and In Full Swing by Beth Way. Many classic songs were performed such as : Ain't no mountain high enough, My Way & Feeling Good. Qwire's good mate, John Berry (US Ambassador) shared his joy at the US Supreme Court decision which had just been handed down approving same sex marriage. It was a night of celebration for all.