Blue Mountains schools sing out for music therapy

Blue Mountains schools have developed an end-of-year tradition of making the trip to Sydney Town Hall to join a 1000 voice choir of primary, secondary and adult singers to raise funds for The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

More than $600,000 from this concert has been raised over 27 years. In recent years, all money raised has supported the Music Therapy Unit, which plays a vital role in the healing of sick children but receives no government funds.

COVID-19 restrictions have prevented the live concert from taking place in 2020, but the Sing Out team, led by Mal Hewitt of Faulconbridge, has harnessed technology to ensure that singers and instrumentalists from across Australia can still sing out for Music Therapy in a YouTube Charity Concert, smartphones and individual recordings and videos, all brought together by talented filmmaker Otto Khoo to form a virtual choir and orchestra.

Music performed will include an abridged version of the Ode to Joy from the Finale of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, celebrating his 250th birthday. In a world first, it will be sung in the Wiradjuri language, translated by elders Mary McLean and Rex Cochrane from Orange. People will also hear the finale from Beethoven's famous 5th Symphony. The concert will conclude with a rousing performance of the traditional carol, O Come All Ye Faithful.

The online concert also includes footage of many of the performers, and covers the work of the Music Therapy team at Westmead Children's Hospital.

Choirs from Faulconbridge Public School, conducted by Dimitra Theoharis, and Wentworth Falls Public School, conducted by Gwen Blackwell, who also conducts the combined primary choir, will be taking part, after being recorded at their schools in groups of five.

The Celebration Sing Out! YouTube Charity Concert will be launched at 8pm on Wednesday, December 16. Donors and ticket holders will receive a password for exclusive access, with live concert chat on Face book and twitter. The fundraising target is $30,000, so please join in this historic concert and give generously.

For detailed information, access to the concert and to donate, visit the website csme.org.au