FESTIVAL SETS CHALLENGE
4000 STUDENTS PARTICIPATING
MASSED Choir Festival conductor Mirelle Hopwood says the festival aims to challenge children and teach them how to be musicians.
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 years 4 to 6 students performing across eight nights.
Organiser Mary-Anne Goyder, who conducts with 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 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.
The festival brings together 4000 primary students from 78 public schools. d473829
Mirelle Hopwood and Mary-Anne Goyder with students taking part in the Massed Choir Festival.