Friday July 07, 2017

How the Queer Songbook orchestra brings voice to LGBTQ experiences

The QSO covers pop hits from the last 100 years and they're all about building an archive of music and stories that relate to the LGBTQ2S experience.

The QSO covers pop hits from the last 100 years and they're all about building an archive of music and stories that relate to the LGBTQ2S experience. (Guntar Kravis )

Listen 12:56

The Queer Songbook Orchestra wants to change the way you think about pop music. They're a 12-piece Toronto-based chamber ensemble, but a night at a QSO show is unlike any other symphonic soirée.

The QSO covers pop hits from the last 100 years, and they're all about building an archive of music and stories that relate to the LGBTQ experience.

Shaun Brodie, the artistic director behind the QSO and who founded the orchestra in 2014, talks to q about how he started the QSO to shine a light on the ways that music can connect the LGBTQ communities. In addition to Brodie, three QSO collaborators who have contributed stories for QSO performances over the past three years tell stories about songs that have been particularly meaningful to them.

The QSO is performing at the AGO in Toronto tonight, and at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Sunday, July 9.

— Produced by Cora Nijhawan