The Johannesburg Queer Chorus (JQC) has been invited to perform at the Various Voices Festival 2023 in Bologna, Italy and is raising funds to make this performance a reality.
- The JQC will be the first ‘Queer’ choir from Africa to attend Various Voices.
- Various Voices is the main European LGBTQ+ Choir Festival of LEGATO, the European Association of LGBTQ+ choirs.
- The JQC use the term ‘Queer’ as a way of encapsulating the spectrum of sexual and gender identities.
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A total of 5000 singers, musicians, and fans are expected to attend the first-ever Italian Various Voices in 2023, which will take place over five gorgeous, warm summer days and lovely evenings and the JQC is hoping to add their voice to this gathering.
To do this, the JQC has embarked on an ambitious fundraising drive and is looking to companies and individuals to make this possible.
Thomas Coggin, Ruth Coggin, and Guy Trangos formed the JQC. Thomas and Guy resided in Boston, Massachusetts, from late 2016 to late 2018. During this time, Thomas joined the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He was more motivated than ever to launch an LGBT chorus in Johannesburg as a result of his time in Boston, and so, he and Guy started planning for a chorus like this when they returned to Johannesburg in 2019.
Their idea to establish a choral space for the city’s LGBT community was shared by Thomas’s talented choral director mother Ruth. Early in 2020, the three of them established the Johannesburg Queer Chorus. The LGBTQIA+ community and their friends in greater Johannesburg can join the amateur chorus with members identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, and/or genderqueer.
The JQC’s wide musical catalogue aims to capture the radiance and beauty of South Africa and its people. The songs are sung in a variety of languages and cover both sacred and secular genres, with musical director Ruth Coggin selecting and arranging the musical repertoire for the community, which may or may not have a deeper message.
To send the choir to Italy and participate in this fantastical festival, the Johannesburg Queer Chorus is raising funds in numerous ways:
- Give a donation or provide sponsorship by visiting the Johannesburg Queer Chorus website.
- As part of fundraising efforts, the JQC will be hosting a Sing for the JQC Karaoke Evening at Karaoke Kong Bar & Restaurant in Melville on November 23. Tickets are R100 at the door and all proceeds will go to the JQC Various Voices tour.
- Starry Sky 2022, will be a performance in celebration of the collective universal rhythm, presented by the JQC to end off 2022 in the best way possible. The show will be taking place on December 4 at 5:30pm at the St Columba’s Presbyterian Church and tickets are R100 through Computicket.
- The JQC is also available for paid corporate performances or any other avenues to raise the necessary funds to make this historic journey.
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