Our choir recently went to Brisbane to be involved in this extraordinary “pioneering choral project,” designed to “encourage Australians to unite their voices and turn the tide on domestic violence”. This was organised by Mrs Lockett, who took the Emmanuel Chorus to Brisbane and reports that: “as part of the Queensland Music Festival, our students joined 2,500 people in a mass choir performance at the Suncorp Piazza to sing John Farnham’s iconic piece, `You’re the Voice’.
Under the direction of conductor Dr Jonathon Welsh AM (founder of `The Choir of Hard Knocks’), 135 choirs from around Australia, including some 4,500 people learnt the commissioned acapella arrangement of the song.” Queensland Music Festival Artistic Director Katie Noonan, who developed this project, said: “This is not an easy subject of course but a pertinent one we can’t keep ignoring. Music is a powerful vehicle to comment on the order of the day and I think it’s time we united our voices to sing about making change.” In addition to a mass choir workshop, our choir spent the day at South Bank. They performed their own `Pop-up’ Choir performance in the beautiful acoustics of the State Library Knowledge Walk.
South Bank was filled with song throughout the day, with performances from choirs spanning the generations. It was wonderful for our students to see that singing is a life-long activity, and that people coming together to sing sends a powerful message of unity and solidarity with those members of our community who need a voice. The day culminated in a concert featuring Katie Noonan, Kate Ceberano and Isaiah Firebrace (Australia’s Eurovision representative 2017). After months of rehearsal, nothing could prepare our students for the incredible experience of standing to sing `You’re the Voice’ with John Farnham – the surprise guest performer of the evening.