Massed Choir Festival an epic challenge at Perth Concert Hall


Mirelle Hopwood and Mary-Anne Goyder with students Rochelle Bertani (East Hamilton Hill Primary), Jessica Freame (Woodlands Primary), Charlotte Wood (Eddystone Primary), Kameron Back (Success Primary), Angelina Newby (Rossmoyne Primary), Charles Sherrington (Falls Red Primary), Aleah Panjaroen (Yuluma Primary), Sienna Ahipene (Kyilla Primary), Izzy Gordon (Bayswater Primary) and Lara Hannaford (Mt Claremont Primary).
Mirelle Hopwood and Mary-Anne Goyder with students Rochelle Bertani (East Hamilton Hill Primary), Jessica Freame (Woodlands Primary), Charlotte Wood (Eddystone Primary), Kameron Back (Success Primary), Angelina Newby (Rossmoyne Primary), Charles Sherrington (Falls Red Primary), Aleah Panjaroen (Yuluma Primary), Sienna Ahipene (Kyilla Primary), Izzy Gordon (Bayswater Primary) and Lara Hannaford (Mt Claremont Primary).

FEATURING 4000 Perth primary school students from 78 public schools, The Massed Choir Festival is the largest choral festival in WA.

Now in its 23rd year, the former Winthrop Hall event debuts this week at Perth Concert Hall with year 4 to 6 students performing across eight nights.

Organiser Mary-Anne Goyder, of Wembley Primary School, who conducts with Mirelle Hopwood, of Churchlands Senior High School, said the festival provided children an experience they would never forget.

“A lot of kids would never get the opportunity to sing in something of such a grand scale as this,” Goyder said.

“Being in a choir, they have to work together – it’s a huge team effort – and if they don’t pull together, then it just doesn’t happen.”

Hopwood said the festival selected complex works to challenge the youngsters.

“The songs are chosen for their educational benefit: we always do a work that’s based on an aspect of WA’s history, so we tick boxes with the curriculum in primary school,” she said.

“The repertoire has been very carefully chosen to suit young voices and give them an educationally sound experience.

“We have a commissioned work each year: this year it’s the Carpet of Silver by Dan Walker, about the Zuytdorp shipwreck off Kalbarri,” Goyder said. Bayswater Primary School Year 5 student Isabella Gordon said she loved singing and dancing and had performed in her school choir as well as the Australian Girls Choir six times.

“We have been putting in a lot of hard work and you have to put in a lot of effort to be able to do this, I’m really happy when I sing and everyone else is doing great,” Isabella said.

“I sing for the fun of it, and the thrill of everyone watching is what I enjoy most about it.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Massed Choir Festival

When: Sept 13-16 and 18-21

Where: Perth Concert Hall

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au

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