By Mike Atkinson | Drive Producer
4000 students from 74 schools will contribute to a choral ‘wall of sound’ at the Perth Arena in August to help build relationships with other schools and members of the community.
The festival encourages participation rather than competition and allows students to build good bonds with other schools in the community.
In the first year, six schools participated with 450 students singing. 2016 marks the 17th anniversary of the festival with more than 4000 students performing at Perth Arena for the first time. This year students will come together to perform as One Big Voice in front of a 40 metre curved LED screen, the only one of its kind in Australia.
Musical Director Donna Marwick O’Brien said the teachers notice a difference in students engagement towards music after participating in the program.
“It is fantastic feedback and it blows us away and that’s why it’s (the program) gone from 450 kids to the amount it is today,” Mrs O’Brien said.
PODCAST: Donna Marwick O’Brien with Jeziel on Drive
“People love being in it. It seems to attract teachers who have this absolute passion and love for music. Everyone gets on so well and every time there’s a workshop there’s big hugs and everyone is so delighted to see each other. It’s a beautiful energy and that just seems to be something people want to come back to.”
Rehearsals are underway with the students and teachers for the big concert on Friday August 12 and Mr’s O’Brien said students and teachers are waiting with baited breath for the performance.
“The individual teachers are working in their classrooms right now as we speak, and I’ve got my own choir at Bambara Primary School and we’ve been practicing their songs as well.
“As far as the major rehearsal (is concerned) it doesn’t happen until the day of the festival. It’s the first time all the kids will be together.”