'Loud and proud' gay men's choir hitting the right notes
Ireland's only gay men's choir is gearing up for their Christmas concert.
The members of the 40-strong Dublin Gay Men's Chorus range in age from 25 to 40-plus and are as eclectic a bunch as their repertoire, which goes from classical music to jazz, pop and rock plus camp musicals such as The Sound of Music.
"We want to give a voice to people to be out there and to sing loud and proud," said chorus member and spokesman Jim Ippoliti (32) as they rehearsed for next month's free Christmas con cert at the Freemasons' Hall.
Formed in 2012, the chorus is already hugely-popular in the gay community.
However, it is also attracting a growing number of fans in the straight community following its annual Summer Serenade and Christmas shows and a concert held to commemorate the victims of the Orlando gay club shooting that killed 49 people in June.
The choir also sang hymns as part of an ecumenical thanksgiving to celebrate the outcome of last year's same-sex marriage referendum at St Audoen's Church in Cornmarket during this year's Dublin Pride festival.
Church of Ireland Canon Mark Gardner, who attended the service, said the choir's performance was "truly uplifting", and he hopes the service will become an annual event.
"Their sound is rich and their spirit is generous," he told the Herald.
The chorus is also increasingly being asked to perform at wedding receptions and other celebrations where it performs some "camp favourites" from gay icons including Madonna, Cher, Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin, as well as a mix of contemporary and classical music.
The chorus' upcoming Christmas concert takes place at 6.30pm on Sunday, December 4.