Qld Music Festival Unveils 'You're The Voice' Choral Concert To Support Domestic Violence Victims

5 April 2017 | 1:20 pm | Staff Writer

More than 10 choirs will lend their voices to the event

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The upcoming Queensland Music Festival is set to shine a light on the persistent issue of domestic violence by bringing together thousands of singers from around the country for a massive choral concert in Brisbane's South Bank Plaza.

Artistic director Katie Noonan has put the call out for vocalists in community, school and professional choirs — as well as musically inclined individuals, so don't fret if you're not a member of a formal choir — to lend their voices to a mass rendition of John Farnham's iconic track You're The Voice as part of an initiative of the same name.

The singalong will feature more than 2000 people (including Noonan herself) in the flesh as well as several thousand more appearing via simulcast livestream on the QMF website and social media channels.

"Everyone has a voice and I’m calling on them to use it for good," Noonan said in a statement. "Australia’s domestic and family violence crisis is not an easy subject of course but a pertinent one that cannot be ignored, and as a woman in the music industry I think it’s time we united our voices.

"John's iconic song of 30 years ago is more pertinent than ever. Sung through the filter of our domestic and family violence crisis, lyrics like "this time we all can stand together, with the power to be powerful believing we can make it better" are incredibly apt. We all can stand together and commit to caring for each other.

"We can sing together for those whose voices have been silenced by fear and use the power of music to educate, empower and create change."

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So far, more than 10 choirs have signed up to be a part of the event, including Cheep Trill, Choirbolical, Emmanuel College Chorus, Mansfield Melody Makers, Peace 'n' Choir, QPAC Choir, Redland City Choir, Redland Rhapsody Chorus, School Of Hard Knocks — Absolutely Everybody Brisbane Choir, SingSpire Chorus, Songlines Community Choir, The Urban Village People and WOWAYA!.

The initiative is a response to the ongoing struggle against domestic violence in the state and across the country, with the event being organised with assistance from the Allison Baden-Clay Foundation (as well as board member and Allison's sister, Vanessa Fowler) plus Rosie Batty, the Luke Batty Foundation and DVConnect.

Choir Of Hard Knocks and School Of Hard Knocks founding artistic director Dr Jonathon Welch knows firsthand the healing potential of music, and has come aboard as the event's choral director, and will help to recruit choirs, work with other choral directors in the lead-up to and during the concert, and serve as the choirs' conductor.

"Our School of Hard Knocks 'No Excuses' women's choir program in Melbourne has had a huge impact and many of the women have experienced family violence, saying that the music has given them a voice and empowered them to start healing and turn their lives around through shared singing," he said in a statement.

The You're The Voice mass concert, which features The Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO — also the chair of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland — as its Patron, will be preceded throughout the day by pop-up choir performances at South Bank Parklands before the big event gets under way at 5pm.

The wider Queensland Music Festival runs from 7-30 July and comprises more than 100 events over its three-week duration.

For domestic and family violence support, contact DVConnect: Womensline 1800 811 811; Mensline 1800 600 636.