The Gay and Lesbian Singers of Western Australia (GALSWA) formed in 1993 and work towards both concert performances and appearances at many gay and other community events. The choir is a community-based group and is open to all. The average number of singers each week is around 35 spread over SATB (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) parts. There is a great deal of enthusiasm for singing and importance placed on the community spirit of the choir, which is manifested in the strong social role of the choir.
The choir first performed in concert in the Perth Town Hall in October 1994. In 1996 GALSWA travelled to Sydney for the Mardi Gras, taking part in the Parade. In 1997 the choir won the open choir section of the Kalamunda Eisteddfod. Highlights in 1999 included performing at the AIDS vigil and the choir’s contribution to Pride and the ‘True Colours’ Cabaret. In 2001 eleven members travelled to Sydney to join the first Australasian Gay Choral gathering “Camp Music” organised by the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir. This culminated in a massed choral piece performed at the Sydney Town Hall under Richard Gill where Heartland by Australian composer Mathew Hindson, was premiered. Another sell out Pride Cabaret ‘Abba Goes to Rio’ was held in the same year. In 2002, the choir travelled to Sydney and participated in the International Gay Games and Cultural Festival. The buzz for most choir members was the performance at the Sydney Opera House, and singing back-up harmony for kd Lang! GALSWA also performed at the Perth Convention Centre as an invited guests at to the Buddhist Conference in 2006.
In February 2007 GALSWA attended the Australasian Choral Festival hosted by Melbourne were we performed at the Melbourne Town Hall. This incorporated a number of gay and lesbian choirs from around Australian and New Zealand. GALSWA were honoured to receive a standing ovation for our performance of Bohemian Rhapsody, what a buzz! The next festival was hosted by Gay & Lesbian Singers Auckland in April 2010, which 13 members travelled to. It was another fantastic event to be involved with, and culminated in a performance of an original work with the massed choir at the Auckland Town Hall. 2013 saw GALSWA return to the Festival of Voices in Tasmania.
Yearly GALSWA concerts have continued with different themes, including the ‘Greaseball’ (2003), ‘Queerstock’ (2005), ‘A Pinker Shade of Blues’ (2006), ‘Divas and Dykons’ (2007), ‘GALS on Broadway’ (2008), ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ (2009), ‘Big Love’ (2010), ‘A Date with GALS’ in October 2011, "A Change of Key" and "Summer Party" in 2012. In 2013 we celebrated our 20th anniversary with a concert from the back catalogue and in 2014 the theme was Broadway. 2015 saw our first FringeWorld performance.
The choir has a strong tradition of performing at many gay and lesbian community events, such as the Fair Day and Pride Parade, and community rallies. GALSWA have also been involved in the Festival of Perth (PIAF), Denmark Festival of Voice and as part of the Subi at Sunset concert series run by the Subiaco City Council. We have also sung at a few weddings in our time!!
There is a strong community choral tradition in Perth and GALSWA are a member of Voice Moves, the WA community choir’s association, and has performed at a number of show case events for them.