Perth: More than 80 local schools set for this year’s WA Massed Choir Festival

Perth: More than 80 local schools set for this year’s WA Massed Choir Festival

POPULARITY of the annual WA Massed Choir Festival continues to grow, with two school music teachers set to lead more than 4500 students in this year’s performance.

Wembley Primary School’s Mary-Anne Goyder and Churchlands Senior High School’s Mirelle Hopwood have conducted the festival together since 2012, and will extend September’s event to nine nights to accommodate 87 public schools.

“One of the biggest challenges we will face this year, for the conductors, band members and committee, will be maintaining the stamina and energy required for the nine rehearsals and nine performances which will span over a full fortnight, “she said.

WA Massed Choir Festival committee member Stephanie Bojanich said the biggest challenge was trying to cater for everyone as the number of schools wanting to be involved has increased.

“The festival started in 1994 at Guildford Grammar School running for one night; we are now in its 24th year, running over nine nights with about 4700 students participating, it’s a huge achievement,” she said.

Each concert features a different massed choir of about 500 students, with vocal soloists and student comperes as well as two different guest choirs each night.

Ms Goyder said the sound of 500 voices singing in a beautiful acoustic venue such as the Perth Concert Hall was an amazing experience, as well as a privilege.

“I love the look on the students’ faces when they know that a piece of music has come together really well and gives them a great sense of satisfaction,” she said.

“We have some wonderful soloists on every night; it is such an amazing thing for a young person of 9, 10 and 11 years of age to do, singing to an audience of 1200 people.”

The two teachers agreed the success of the festival wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated team of music teachers, who volunteer on the committee and share passion for teaching music, eating cakes and having a good laugh together.

WA Massed Choir Festival

Dates: September 12-15, 17-21

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Perth Concert Hall

Tickets: $26 through Perth Concert Hall website