On Youth Day the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus performed a concert at the Wits Great Hall, where all proceeds from ticket sales were dedicated to GALA. The concert was opened by a wonderful performance by the Wits Choir, who lit up the stage in colourful outfits.
The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus began their set with a song reminding us to ‘tell our stories’ (Make Them Hear You, from Ragtime). Although this preceded a set of songs put into a context of the Chorus telling the audience about their story (i.e. an American story told in regional American folk songs) it seemed apt in the context of a benefit concert for GALA. The song encourages storytelling as an act of power, resistance and unity, suggesting that stories can be used to defend and protect in times of oppression. The concert began with a call to action, the kind of action that is fundamental to GALA’s cause, storytelling. The song expressed how every person’s story is important, that the personal is political. Hopefully, when the audience listened to the song, they were reminded that GALA is an organisation set up to support and protect the stories of the gender and sexually diverse people in South Africa.
Following the renditions of American folk songs, the chorus sang the necessary set of three love songs and got the audience cheering to a cheesy, but endearing rendition of Toto’s, Africa. The Chorus bravely, and admirably sang Baba Yetu, a Swahili adaptation The Lords Prayer; and the Nguni song, Shosholoza, where the audience showed their appreciation by singing it back to the Chorus. The evening was ended with a fun and colourful version of Fireworks by Katy Perry.
GALA’s team thanks all of it’s friends, family and acquaintances who came out to support the organisation!