Queer Songbook Orchestra
In celebration of Pride Month, the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre proudly presents the Queer Songbook Orchestra. Presented in partnership with Intrepid Theatre's OUTstages.
"Sensational... a superb pop ensemble" - NOW Magazine
"9 out of 10... unleashing the unifying power of music" - Exclaim Magazine
Throughout much of the twentieth century the lives of queer artists were hush hush, quietly and swiftly swept under the rug. The Queer Songbook Orchestra lifts that rug and takes a look at the last one hundred years of popular song with the queer lens intact revealing the backstories and personal narratives behind much of this music.
Their living archive of songs acknowledges the contributions of LGBTQ artists and explores the unifying and empowering elements of music shedding light on revelations such as the contradiction of a public which adores the art but shuns the artist.
A Toronto based project, the Queer Songbook Orchestra is an 11-piece chamber ensemble, made up of a selection of the top queer and allied musicians. Not simply covering the songs as per the original artists recording, the QSO commission all new interpretations of the material from many of Canada’s top composers and arrangers, and present the songs alongside the narratives that illustrate their place in the Songbook.
Queer Songbook Orchestra musicians:
- Shaun Brodie, Artistic Director/Trumpet/Flugelhorn
- Alex Samaras, Vocals
- Alanna Stuart, Vocals
- Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Storyteller/Poet
- Jennifer Burford, Violin
- Evan Lamberton, Cello
- Lief Mosbaugh, Oboe/English Horn/Vocals
- Micajah Sturgess, French Horn
- Thom Gill, Guitar/Vocals
- Ghislain Aucoin, Piano/Vocals
- Dan Fortin, Double Bass
- Stefan Schneider, Drums/Percussion
The QSO has featured an ongoing selection of guest singers, narrators and storytellers which has included Mary Margaret O'Hara, Mark Tewksbury, Veda Hille, Bill Richardson, Katherine Duncan, leZlie lee kam, Louis Negin, Wayson Choy, Syrus Ware, Remy Huberdeau, Torquil Campbell (Stars), Lorraine Segato (Parachute Club), Felicity Williams, Daniela Gesundheit (Snowblink), Katie Ritchie (The Organ, Vag Halen), Casey Mecija (Ohbijou), Vivek Shraya, Lisa Bozikovic, Geordie Gordon (The Magic), Simone Schmidt (Fiver) and Gary Beals.