One Big Voice was formerly known as the Westcoast Songfest. It was established by Judy Vorster in 2000 to provide a performance opportunity for developing primary school choirs, encouraging participation rather than competition and allowing the students to build good relationships with other schools and members of the community.
The first performance involved six local schools (Currambine, Kinross, Mindarie, Quinns Rocks, Joondalup, and Merriwa) and 450 students.
In 2001 the first committee was formed with Judy Vorster, Donna Marwick - O’Brien, Helen Fabri, Paul Storey, and Berne Rogers. This committee continued to work together until 2006 when Judy relocated to Queensland, leaving the festival in the capable hands of Donna Marwick-O’Brien, Helen Fabri and Paul Storey who continued to develop it.
Sadly, Paul Storey resigned due to ill health and in 2015, passed away. His contribution to music, children and this festival was significant.
By 2015 four festivals were held with approximately 4600 students participating in total. 2016 marked our 17th anniversary with 4000 students from 74 schools performing at the Perth Arena, and the realisation of our dream of performing as One Big Voice.
After sixteen years with the festival, Helen Fabri has moved on to other projects. Her role in the development of this festival has made a positive contribution to music education in Western Australia.
In 2017 schools will again come together at the world-class venue, Perth Arena, to perform for one evening performance as One Big Voice. Once again Lux Events will be working alongside us, providing an amazing 40 metre curved LED screen (the only one in Australia) and effect lighting to add some extra magic to the performance.
Our popular Young Talent section was introduced in 2013 and provides an opportunity to showcase the talents of our older students who are no longer in primary school. Outstanding young performers are invited to entertain the audience for 30 minutes before the concert begins.
One Big Voice has become an important part of the school year and is a highlight for students and teachers. Donna Marwick-O’Brien continues to develop the musical programme. The repertoire and professional development provided annually, assists music and classroom teachers in their school environment.
The teachers involved in One Big Voice work as a team. They are talented, hardworking and enthusiastic; preparing their students for this special experience.
As Plato said, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything".