Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Life is indeed worth living!

Let the Rainbow Sing

Canberra Gay and Lesbian Qwire

Queanbeyan Bicentennial Hall

June 18, 2022

Reviewed by Tony Magee

Canberra Qwire demonstrated they are still in fine voice, singing a wonderful range of music during their concert “Let the Rainbow Sing”.

Opening with a Ngunnawal Welcome Song, Qwire continued with “Over the Rainbow” in a beautiful arrangement by Andy Beck, accompanied stylishly by the Canberra Gay and Lesbian Ukulele Band (GLUB).

Canberra Qwire in performance at "The B". Photo: Peter Hislop

“Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli showcased the first of several a capella pieces, Qwire handling this more demanding choral format well, demonstrating they have a good sense of pitch.

Rich vocal harmonies were a frequent feature of the concert and this was ably demonstrated in their excellent performances of “Sunday” by Stephen Sondheim, “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, “Proud” by Heather Small and Peter-John Vettese and “Hold On” which was reprised as an encore.

“Good Job”, in an arrangement by Roger Emerson showcased four vocal soloists, backed by the choir and three piece band, who all did a fine job singing their respective parts.

“Let the Rainbow Shine” by Judy Small featured a lovely vocal and guitar performance by former musical director Karen Wilden, Qwire providing subtle backing harmonies. 

Current musical director Lachlan Snow and assistant musical director Jenny Sawer were both in fine form, adding humorous and entertaining dialogue between pieces, Sawer also showcasing her songwriting skills in a fine performance of “Now I’ve Got You”.

A moving tribute to Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II revealed “Climb every Mountain” weaving within “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in which Qwire elevated the afternoon even further, singing in an uplifting and joyous manner to rapturous applause.

“I Sing Because I’m Happy” by Civilla D Martin and Charles H Gabriel and “Thank you for being a Friend” by Andrew Gold closed the show, both pieces ably delivered in a cheerful and enthusiastic manner.

Canberra Qwire’s great strengths are their excellent harmonies and joyous and entertaining delivery. A few moments of doubt exist sometimes at entry points and in rhythmic accuracy, elements to be honed further in rehearsal. 

During many of the pieces performed, the singers were ably backed by the wonderful trio of Jessica Stewart on piano, George Cora on drums and Hayley Manning on bass.

An inspiring and heartwarming afternoon of song that left all who attended feeling that life is indeed worth living.

First published in City News online edition, June 19 2022