In Tune |

3 mins

In Tune

It’s an exciting year ahead for Glória, Dublin’s LGBTQ+ choir. They have a busy performance schedule for the rest of 2024, and their new Musical Director, Leah Mullen, is leading the charge. Here, we look at the group’s recent successes and Leah lets us in on what lies ahead.

Glória’s new MD, Leah Mullen took up the role in September, 2023. Her first order of business was to get to know the choir and the repertoire for a Culture Night performance in Leinster House. Cue the American MD learning ‘Oró Sé de Bheatha Bhaile’ phonetically! Leah settled in quickly and the choir adapted to her style of teaching and conducting over the course of the first term.

Glória was delighted to be invited to sing at the GALAS at the Mansion House in October. Next up was intensive preparation for their annual Christmas Concert, which was sold-out and went off without a hitch. Earlier, in March, Glória performed for patients and staff at Harold’s Cross Hospice, which is a lovely event that the choir looks forward to undertaking every year.

Glória has a busy performance schedule for the rest of 2024 which Leah is preparing them for, including the Navan Choral Festival, performing in Cardiff with the South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus in June, performances at Dublin Pride and Wicklow Pride and other exciting performances also in the diary. Leah has chosen a number of new-to-Glória pieces that will fit with the themes for these concerts and the group is excited to share them over the coming months.

Leah recently completed her Master’s in Music and Culture at UCD. She comes to Glória with great technical and performance experience. While their former longtime MD, Ian Packham, left an indelible and significantly positive mark on the choir, Glória greatly appreciates Leah’s fresh take on their repertoire and rehearsal styles. Leah has taken a very keen interest in promoting and programming the work of female, LGBTQ+ and otherwise underrepresented minorities’ composers and musicians. Choirs have a tendency to stick to the classics, and often that has meant a lot of white male composers. To that end, Glória has commissioned three new pieces from more diverse (female and LGBTQ+) composers.

Their Summer Concert theme is ‘Summer Lovin’ and it’s an ode to warm nights and film-worthy romances. Expect an upbeat, love-filled evening of harmonious classics and new compositions. It should be particularly exciting for the queer and music communities, as Glória will be premiering three new pieces by queer composers. The world premieres include: ‘Odi et Amo’, by Gabriel Gekoskie; ‘Whether it’s Good’, by Gabriel L Newvine; and ‘When I See You Again’, by Jessica Dragan. Glória is thrilled to be joined on the evening by a phenomenal Irish Soprano, Hannah O’Brien.

The choir is striving to make the Summer Concert as accessible price-wise as can be. They wanted to acknowledge the Friends of Glória whose consistent support means so much to the choir and makes many outreach concerts possible throughout the year. Friends of Glória are getting early access to the Summer Concert tickets and an early bird rate.

Tickets are on sale now for €15 through Eventbrite. Details of becoming a Friend of Glória are available on the website

New MD, Leah, shared: “I am delighted to have spent the last eight months or so with Glória. The choir has been nothing but warm and welcoming, and loads of fun. My goal is to keep choir rehearsals and performances enjoyable and upbeat, while making music that sparks joy and thought for performers and audience members alike.

“I knew that part of the change I wanted to make was making the repertoire more diverse. While I of course want to push Glória to sound better than ever, I also wanted to refresh what was being sung (some of the songs in the choir’s repertoire have been performed for nearly my entire life!), and emphasise the importance of the songs we select to sing. As a group of minority singers, what does it say about us if we don’t sing any music by other minorities? I am particularly excited about the new things Glória is working on, and I think members have enjoyed the challenge- they have certainly been open and accepting of changes.”

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