School choirs hit the right notes for Telethon

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More than 1000 WA children have overcome the tyranny of distance in this vast State to form a virtual mass choir for Telethon this weekend.

The children, who are members of choirs at 21 public schools, will perform their rendition of the Foo Fighters’ Times Like These at the Telethon broadcast on Channel 7 on Sunday.

The creation of the choir’s special piece in honour of Telethon was a logistical mission stretching the length and breadth of WA, in the spirit of uniting WA children after a challenging and unsettling year.

Young singers were filmed on the beaches of Karratha and Broome, in the historic setting of New Norcia in the Wheatbelt, in the bush and parks of Perth and en masse at Langley Park in the CBD.

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Camera IconFat Cat with student choirs performing a song for Telethon, Langley Park, Perth Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Telethon chair Richard Goyder said bringing together young children from across WA to participate in a song of celebration and positivity symbolised the heart and soul of Telethon.

“All the kids involved had a great time and their performance will raise everyone’s spirits especially given the challenges we have all faced in 2020,” he said.

“Watching primary school children of all ages and backgrounds singing their hearts out is very moving and I look forward to the rest of WA watching this beautiful choir over the Telethon Weekend.”

Mary-Anne Goyder, director of the WA Massed Choir Festival who helped organise the choirs which took part, said some schools had not been holding choir practices this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, but many were keen to be involved with Telethon.

“To see it all come together brought tears to my eyes,” she said.

“It’s fabulous, particularly because of the year we’ve had. It really just brings it all together about kids supporting each other and getting together under extreme circumstances and producing something absolutely amazing.”

“The kids loved it. It’s the most fantastic song, so moving. It was an opportunity to do something different that none of them has ever been involved with before. They hadn’t been in a recording studio. They had anything to do with filming and cameras.”

Around 300 children from 10 school choirs were invited to learn a part of the song and have it recorded by sound engineer Lee Buddle at Crank Recording in Northbridge.

Premier Mark McGowan records his vocals for the 2020 Telethon song in the Northbridge studios of Crank Recording.
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan records his vocals for the 2020 Telethon song in the Northbridge studios of Crank Recording. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Soloists then had to be selected and record their part in the recording studio, so the entire track could be mixed by Mr Buddle.

Next, hundreds of choir members were filmed performing the song near their school, culminating in the final big shoot at Langley Park.

The production also features a few adult cameo performances, including Eagles player Nic Naitanui, WA Premier Mark McGowan and former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

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