Or­ches­tra’s sights on char­ity

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

MORE than 100 mu­si­cians, singers and vol­un­teers from the West Aus­tralia Char­ity Or­ches­tra (WACO) will band to­gether next month to raise funds for Guide Dogs WA.

The not-for-profit com­mu­nity-led or­ches­tra has per­formed an­nu­ally since 2008, rais­ing more than $90,000 for Aus­tralian char­i­ties.

WACO cre­ative di­rec­tor and founder Sa­muel Parry said he be­lieved mu­sic was uni­ver­sal in its power to speak with peo­ple of all abil­i­ties.

“Guide Dogs WA has al­ways been at the top of our list as a po­ten­tial con­cert part­ner,” he said. “Their work in train­ing the won­der­ful an­i­mals to help peo­ple who are blind or vi­sion im­paired is some­thing we be­lieve needs more recog­ni­tion.

“They have a long and im­por­tant his­tory in the WA com­mu­nity and we be­lieve our ob­jec­tive of chang­ing peo­ple’s lives through work aligns very closely.”

The full-sized or­ches­tra and choir have a range of tal­ented stu­dents, am­a­teur and pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians who gather each sum­mer to pre­pare a con­cert pro­gram.

“Many of our con­cert-go­ers can’t be­lieve the sound we cre­ate is made from such a di­verse group of mu­si­cians, many of whom are ei­ther in school or univer­sity,” Mr Parry said.

“Some of our reper­toire is very chal­leng­ing and we’re al­ways ea­ger to push the bound­ary of our skills to reach that next level of per­for­mance.”

It takes two years and costs more than $35,000 to train a guide dog and Guide Dogs WA is re­liant on com­mu­nity sup­port to fund the train­ing pro­gram. Visit www.waco.org.au.

Pic­ture: To Dream a Story

WACO with guide dog Gidgee.

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