MD Kathleen and her thoughts on music and singing

Photo of Kathleen Cronie Our new musical director, Kathleen Cronie has a CV which demonstrates her commitment to the world of music and singing. You can read her public version here. But what drives Kathleen’s enthusiasm and where does she get it from. We asked her to reveal all.

Can you say why working with an LGBT+ choir is so important to you?

I really couldn’t be happier to be working with an LGBT+ choir! I think that choral singing is about more than just arriving at a rehearsal, singing your notes and going home. I believe that singers come to choir for many different reasons – some singers enjoy learning new styles and pieces of music, some attend because it’s good for their physical/mental health, and some enjoy meeting new friends and colleagues who share an interest in music with them. I think it’s especially important that an LGBT+ choir allows singers to feel part of a choral community. My experience singing with LGBT+ choirs has had a huge effect on my approach to conducting. Whilst singing with these groups, the support of friends and team-mates helped me to find a place to feel amongst allies and have fun with like-minded people – I hope I can offer this experience to any chorister I work with as a conductor!

How do you believe music can change the world?

Music is so powerful and song even more so. Singing to an audience allows you to talk about difficult subjects in a non-threatening way and getting involved in singing bonds people more powerfully than anything else I’ve experienced – just think of picket lines and protest marches where people break into song, it’s amazing! I’m also totally convinced that singing comedians make more persuasive political arguments than most politicians. I’m not really sure what we’d do without music – we’d certainly have a lot less fun…!

Do you have a favourite LGBT+ anthem/song

Tricky – it’s so hard to pick just one! I did have Sissy That Walk by RuPaul played at my wedding dance… (All the guests lined up on one side of the floor and we sashayed our little hearts out during the chorus!)

I think my top 5* (in no particular order) would have to be:

  • Rise Like a Phoenix (Conchita Wurst)
  • I Am What I Am (La Cage aux Folles)
  • I Want to Break Free (Queen)
  • Champion (RuPaul)
  • The entire soundtrack to the Rocky Horror Picture Show!

*It’s no coincidence that this list is also a list of my top 5 karaoke requests!

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