GALS is a non-auditioned gay and lesbian community choir based in Auckland. Going strong since 1992, we were the first-established (and remain the only) gay and lesbian choir in New Zealand.
We hold two series of concerts per year, usually in June and October/November.
We also sing at lesbian and gay events such as Big Gay Out and World Aids Day and our members have participated internationally in the Gay Games since 1998 and at Australasia's Out & Loud choral festival. With 30-40 active members at any one time we estimate that about two hundred enthusiastic lesbians and gay men have passed through our ranks over the years.
Kiwifruits - GALS celebrate their roots
October 31 and November 1 2009
Another fabulous all singing show from Auckland's Gay & Lesbian Singers Sat 31 October and Sunday 1 November 5.30pm at Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar From Singapore to Scotland, from Amsterdam to Auckland GALS come from all over the world. Joined by their special guests, Buffy and Bimbo, who celebrate their roots as well, GALS sing a mix of songs that will have your toes tapping and your heart swelling.
Go Here for more information (441kb PDF)
Check out the wimmin of GALS singing at the
Women's Bookshop 20th anniversary concert April 2009.
Out and Loud Choral Festival 2010 Easter 2010 is the next Out and Loud Choral Festival when gay and lesbian choristers from Australasia join together in Auckland, New Zealand to socialise, network, sing and have fun. The festival culminates with a gala concert in the Auckland Town Hall featuring the world premiere of a work for massed choir, organ and piano specially commissioned from David Hamilton for the festival and conducted by Dr Karen Grylls. Website: www.outandloud.org
GALS Greatest Hits CD
Wondering what to get that tricky friend or loved one? - look no further - give the gift of music, with a local queer flavour! GALS Greatest Hits CD, released in 2007, contains our favourites and best recordings from the last few years. Featuring songs recorded both live at our concerts and in the studio, the CD also includes highlights from our sell-out stage show Yay! Boo! Hiss! With 20 tracks and over 70 minutes of music there is something for everyone - and a great souvenir for audiences who have enjoyed the choir as we've gone from strength to strength!
Get one for your own collection and stock up now for easy Christmas presents at only $25 each.
Contact us for payment and delivery details: firstname.lastname@example.org
GALS can sing for you
Civil unions, weddings, parties, dinners and even funerals, you can hire GALS to sing for you. We recently sang at the 5th Season midwinter Christmas dinner. (next time we have promised them In an English country garden with modified words of course) We have appropriate repertoire for all kinds of occasions and we can camp it up if you would like. Where possible give us as much notice as you can. Email us Here
Pop, folk, classical, world music…
We sing a huge variety of music - from the schmaltzy to the serious, from the camp to the cute, from the frivolous to the fun. The size of our group changes from year to year, concert to concert. Currently we are about 35 singers with a good balance of females and males.
You don't have to read music to join GALS - some members do, some don't. You do need to be able to hold a tune.
Come along and sing...
If you sing in tune and would like to join GALS, email Sarah for more information. We practise on Tuesday nights and generally have two intakes of new members per year - February/March and July/August. Two months before a concert we stop accepting new members as it is difficult for them to learn all the music in time for the concert. So that means that our final dates for accepting new members is late April and early September depending on when the concerts are. We also welcome people who would like to help us in other ways: backstage, front-of-house, music arrangements.
Email us at email@example.com with "GALS enquiry" as the subject line.
PAST CONCERTS AND EVENTS
Climb every mountain - 1-2 Nov 2008.
GALS produced another 2 hours of great entertainment at their latest concert. And while the "Sound of Music' was well represented in the repertoire, the concert was more about some of the songs which have become part of their own musical history. Worthy of special mention was the familiar 'Hine e Hine' with nice balance and shading and 'I'm a train' with its compulsive locomotive rhythms. The concert featured two guests - Maria Treadaway who demonstrated good vocal range and Ben Tapene whose pianistic virtuosity stole the show! The choir's encore number 'Reach out, I'll be there' showed what energy and volume the choir is capable of when it is freed of its music and left to perform. Would be good to see the choir doing more of this...
Check out the concert review.
BRAVO! celebrating our musical icons.... 28-29 June 2008
Introduced by Dame Ethyl Smythe, a little known lesbian suffragette composer, and other choir members taking a turn at the podium, the concert was well balanced - fast-slow, soft-loud, funny-sad - with plenty of foot-tapping and hum-along opportunities for the audience. Audience contact was great with lots of smiles and emoting especially in the numbers without books. Highlights? There were many, but; There's Nothing Like a Dyke and Caffeine Overload Polka were two, and Margaret's She Moved Through the Fair gets a five star rating. David Hamilton's Life Member award was icing on the cake and it was nice to see Mahinarangi Tocker remembered in an appropriate and touching way. All in all it was a most enjoyable night out - huge fun and a moment to be very proud of NZ's only Gay and Lesbian choir. As two Viva Voce members attending for the first time said: "We don't know why we haven't been to a GALS concert before."
DON'T FENCE ME IN! - Songs from the heart, house & garden
Audiences of old friends and newcomers were well entertained by GALS final concert of 2007 on November 3 & 4. Starting with Percy Grainger's Country Gardens the choir journeyed through various leafy and floral themed numbers before emerging out west with a great four-part rendition of Cole Porter's Don't Fence Me In, including enthusiastic participation from the audience. Our MC Norman the Gnome, aka Tex, lead us from one song to the next keeping the audiences amused with an unstoppable string of gnome allusions and trivia. The concert also had its solemn moments - Where Have All the Flowers Gone in particular, complete with Paschendaele poppies. The second half began in the wee small hours with bedtime music of dreams and wishes before the GALS men turned the familiar If I Were a Rich Man on its head. Jazz trumpeter Edwina Thorne joined us for a garden interlude, and we ended with NZ poet Cilla McQueen's Timepiece a fantastically urgent piece about the desperation of getting the housework done! Our special thanks to Auckland composer David Hamilton for writing us one of the most enjoyable songs of the concert - the bluesy tale of Old Custard, the dejected but dignified old garden gnome. Good music, good fun, a good night had by all. And in a nice link with the garden theme, GALS is pleased be making a donation from the proceeds of the concert to support the Circle of Friends Memorial Garden in Western Springs Park.
Read the concert review here.
Twentieth Century GALS
On 23 & 24 June 2007 GALS presented Twentieth Century GALS, a song for every decade of the 20th century. Conducted by Musical Director, Stephen Bowness, and Assistant Musical Director, Elizabeth Lau, with guest conductor, Terence Maskell, GALS performed a treat. The concert started off with the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare. You may think you don't know this particular piece of music, but trust me, when you hear it you recognise it. It came complete with searchlights illuminating a familiar logo, albeit with a GALS twist. Corporal Raine Shirley and her accordion led the audience in a medley of WWII songs. The second half brought Bohemian Rhapsody, an anthem beloved by gays preceded by Stephen Sondheim's Send in the clowns. New Zealand was represented by two songs, Now is the hour and Six months in a leaky boat. The concert finished off with another fanfare, Also Sprach Zarathustra, complete with dramatic torchlight effects, followed by Abba's Thank you for the music. Read the concert review by Larry Jenkins.
GALS launch their first CD
This month, after 4 years of recording songs from various concerts, GALS are launching their first CD. It is called, albeit tongue in cheek, GALS Greatest Hits, a title pretty much justified when you consider that it is the best of four years of GALS concerts.
The songs featured on the CD are a mix of studio and concert recordings, the studio being the local Pitt Street Methodist Church.
Chairperson, Jan Suckling, comments, "Although GALS has been going as long as other Australasian choirs, we have been the last to produce a CD. We are extremely proud of the vocal standard we have achieved. The songs demonstrate GALS' strength in many genres, from musical to folk to oratorio - you have never heard the Hallelujah Chorus sung like this before."
Check out the CD review by Larry Jenkins.
GALS CDs are available from the choir or from the Women's Bookshop, 105 Ponsonby Road for $25 - over 70 minutes of listening pleasure. Email us for information on how to order the CD from the choir. firstname.lastname@example.org
Out & Loud in Melbourne 16-17 February 2007
Together with 150 other gay & lesbian choristers from all over Australia, GALS participated in the Out & Loud Choral Festival in February. Melbourne put on their hottest weekend (38 degrees) to welcome us all. The festival ended with an incredible concert in the Melbourne Town Hall on Sunday. Each choir sang about 5 songs and then joined together for the massed numbers, I sing the body electric and Why we sing. It was a spine chilling event with fantastic musical direction by Jonathon Welch. Our GALS choir did us all proud with raves and accolades frm all over the place. And where is the next one? Rumour has it that we may be considering having it in NZ in 3-4 years time. Watch this space!!
GALS & Friends 18 & 19 November 2006
Read the concert report here.
2007: GALS hit Melbourne with the rest of the gay & lesbian choirs in Australia. Buy your tickets for the grand concert at the Melbourne Town Hall at 2pm on Sunday 18 February. Then on 23-24 June we present 20th Century GALS - songs from every decade and 3-4 November we sing about House & Garden. We get down and dirty...
GALS a la carte 24-25 June 2006
Resplendent in their multi-coloured aprons, GALS entertained us all with their songs about food and drink. Our MC (Master chef), David Steemson, dressed in his chef costume, baked chocolate cakes on stage (well, slight exaggeration) and judged the chocolate cake contest on both nights. And we sang as well. It wasn't all about David!! Tea for two, Days of Wine & Roses, Java jive and the Caffeine Overload Polka were some of the songs that blew the socks off the audience's taste buds. The men sang that old fave from the Student Prince, Drink drink drink and the women were sufficiently saccharine in that oldie but a goodie, Sugar time. Check out John Curry's concert review.
GALS sing the 60s - 14 May 2006
As part of the support act to the Art and the 60s exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery, GALS sang to a packed audience of about 240 people on Mothers Day in May with songs such as Bridge over troubled water, Eleanor Rigby, Can't buy me love and California Dreamin'. GALS helped the gallery pull in its largest one-day visitor total so far.
GALS and SGLC have a Pacific Affair - October 2005
On a wet and windy weekend Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir arrived in Auckland to sing their way around the Pacific with GALS. In the concert we visited 16 countries including Chile, Korea, Russia, the Philippines, Mexico and Samoa to name a few. Sydney lived up to its reputation of innovative choralography with its I wannna wash that man right outa my hair complete with shower caps and shower curtain. And GALS responded with a lower key, more subtle rendering of I've got my love to keep me warm (but isn't that what NZ and Oz are all about - subtle vs. loud and out there.) The trans-Tasman rivalry climaxed with the encore, Anzac Anthem, a real barbeque of Aussie and NZ patriotic songs reprised from the concert when Melbourne Gay & Lesbian Chorus visited last year. Everyone had a great time socially and the audiences loved the two choirs musically. All in all a great two nights.
Check out what John Curry said in his review.
GALS present: YAY! BOO! HISS! 28/29 May 2005
As our famous MC, aka The Narrator said, "YAY! BOO! HISS! is a rather bent pantomime with music." And not since Ponsonby Road has the gay and lesbian community enjoyed such a musical treat. Written by David Steemson, the SOLD OUT production on both nights featured music by everyone who is anyone including Wagner, Strauss, Handel, Rodgers & Hammerstein et al. Directed by Tim Bray with Stephen Bowness as Musical Director, this production started with Also Sprach Zarathustra set to torchlight and finished with Over the Rainbow because of course they all lived happily ever after. YAY! BOO! HISS! had, of course, the evil baroness, the simple widower and two sets of gorgeous, so fresh, so unspoiled children of marriageable ages. And inevitably true love triumphed. Chris Carter and Carol Beu guest starred as the civil union celebrants on respective nights. Check out the review by John Curry.
GALS & MGLC join to make fabulous music 9/10 Oct 2004
Wow! What a night! With a backdrop of the Auckland Sky Tower and the Melbourne Arts Centre spire and a wonderful full moon, GALS & MGLC wowed their audience. The concerts enjoyed a combined enthusiastic audience of over 400 people, even to the extent of a standing ovation on the Sunday night. Some of the highlights included: Three Australian Bush Songs with Aussie bird calls by Kiwis, Song for a Spring Morning by David Hamilton, Crocodile Rock and Lion King Medley by Elton John. The concert climaxed with The Anzac Anthem, an eclectic mix of Pokare kare ana, Kamate kamate, Aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi, Waltzing Matilda and our rampantly nationalistic national anthems.
Our fave and fab guests, Buffy & Bimbo and Tim Bray as Dame Edna were amazing. And of course David, our MC, had a field day with the elections (Aussie national and NZ local bodies) and a local density church. See here for a review by Jack East.
Pure Schmaltz on May 29th & 30th 2004
Well, we said we would romance your socks off and we did. From Gershwin to Maddux, from Africa to New Zealand, from the internet to queer poetry, Pure Schmaltz had heaps for everyone. David Maddux's tribute to internet relationships, Email me your queer love, baby received rapturous applause. The men, accompanied by Dr Ruth, wowed the audience with Love Potion 69. And of course our own David Steemson as MC charmed the audiences on both nights into enthusiastic laughter and applause. Some of the biggest laughs of the night were reserved for the sponsorship announcements - this time we had sponsors for individual songs. Stop in the name of love being sponsored by the NZ Family Planning Association was one. Check out the concert review.
Singing proudly at AUT's 2003 Pride Week
GALS featured as the entertainment at AUT's 2003 Pride Week wine & cheese function. Conducted by Stephen Bowness and Margaret Robertson, the choir sang a mix of songs including Gender Polka, a song composed by gay composer, David Maddux, and One Voice which was featured both in the last concert and at the Gay Games in Sydney.
The choir also sang one of their favourites - Shanti - composed by Jeni Little. This song is sung to a percussion soundtrack played on CD and is written in memory of 4 people who died who were all of special significance to the composer.
Seattle Mens Chorus sing with GALS
On 21 February 2003 the huge Seattle Mens Chorus joined with GALS to sing in the Auckland Town Hall as part of HERO. Then the next night 80 Seattle choristers hyped it up at the HERO party.... being the life and soul of the event!
GALS sing at Gay Games in 2002
Last year a group of 22 singers traveled to the Gay Games in Sydney to participate in the choral part of the Cultural Festival, Sing Out to the World. The climax was singing at a sold out concert in the Sydney Opera House in a choir of 550 singers from 80 countries around the world. GALS sang a David Hamilton song specially commissioned for this event with funding from Creative New Zealand.
10+1 reunion concert on 7 June 2003
Well, we said it was going to be a sell-out concert and it was! 360 people gave GALS a standing ovation at the end of what many considered GALS best concert ever. Fairly appropriate seeing we were celebrating 10+1 years. Emails of congratulations flowed in from Seattle, San Francisco and Sydney and lots of places in between. And the reunion party was fab helped by the entertainment of Buffy & Bimbo...
As reviewer Jack East said, "We enjoy GALS most when they are enjoying themselves most." And GALS had a ball. The 4 conductors - David Hamilton, Stephen Bowness, Margaret Robertson and Jeni Little even sang Happy Birthday to the choir in 4 part harmony of course.
Read Jack East's 10+1 Concert Review
Transports of Delight - 11 & 12 October 2003
With over 370 tickets sold over the two nights, GALS was extremely pleased with the gay, lesbian and straight communities' level of support. We had people travelling in to Auckland from all over the country for our concerts - Whangarei, Hamilton, Wellington....Cool, eh? GALS sang a wide range of songs from about all kinds of transport - submarines, spaceships, trains (heaps of them), cars, boats, roads and bridges. Read Jack East's Concert Review.
GALS in Buffy & Bimbo's Christmas Box show 2003
GALS crowned a very successful year by guesting on Buffy & Bimbo's Christmas Box show on 13 & 14 December. Their 10' medley of Christmas carols with a shopping theme was hugely appreciated by the audience. David Steemson was the narrator who milked the text for all it was worth. After taking several bows, the choir exited stages right and left. Stephen Bowness, the Musical Director, was reluctant to leave the limelight of the stage and had to be carried off by one of the muscle men.