We believe music can uplift, heal and inspire.
We believe we can make a difference.
We believe in changing lives through music.
The Western Australian Charity Orchestra Inc. (WACO) is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to changing lives through music.
As well as presenting outstanding events, our musicians regularly perform in the community, presenting numerous concerts annually. Thousands of audience members have been reached throughout Perth since WACO’s launch in 2008.
Our ensembles include the West Coast Philharmonic Orchestra, West Coast Philharmonic Chorus & WA Wind Symphony and are comprised of 200+ volunteer musicians from all walks of life. Our members include professionals, students, educators, medical and legal professionals, and retirees, united by our love for delivering outstanding musical performances.
In an effort to change lives through music, WACO Inc. supports the WA community all year round by not only providing a welcoming and encouraging space for our musicians to create wonderful experiences, but also by performing in nursing homes and hospitals, which brings sunshine into the lives of those who may have difficulty in accessing our concerts.
In 2007, our founder and music director Samuel Parry began studying classical performance at university. Throughout his first year of study he was impressed by the high standard of his colleagues’ enthusiasm to make as much music as possible, and noted the limited musical opportunities in Perth over the summer holidays.
As a result, the Western Australian Charity Orchestra was born.
The orchestra and choir presented their first ever performance in February 2008 in the Perth Concert Hall under the direction of Burhan Güner and Donna Taylor. The performance was given to raise funds for the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and was met with such enthusiasm that many performers requested for this one-off event to become an annual performance.
In February 2009 the ensemble again performed in the Perth Concert Hall to raise funds for charity. Concerts were again given in February 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 in aid of local charities Legacy, Youth Focus, CanTeen, DreamFit, Redkite, Beyond Blue and Guide Dogs WA. From 2008-2016, WACO raised in excess of $100,000 for charity.
In 2017 WACO launched its first year-long season, which included nine performances in total. The organisation grew to include the WA Wind Symphony and the NHarmonic Chorale. In its first public performance, the WA Wind Symphony participated in the WA State Band Championships and took home the A division championship trophy. The WACO ensembles continued to reach for higher standards tackling works such as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Philip Sparke’s Music of the Spheres, Gustav Holst’s The Planets and John Rutter’s Requiem.
Rather than fundraising for other charities, WACO is now a charity itself that seeks to do its own work in the community and to partner with other organisations to change lives through music.
WACO Inc. has raised more than $100,000 for charities including Legacy, Youth Focus, CanTeen, DreamFit, Redkite and Guide Dogs WA and had more than 1000 musicians participate in our various ensembles.
The WA Wind Symphony won the ‘A’ Division Championship trophy in the WA State Band Championships in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021*, 2022 & 2023. The ensemble was also awarded three platinum and one gold award for their entry in the A Grade division National Online Festival of Bands 2021 – their first national performance entry.
*2020 State Championships postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Western Australian Charity Orchestra Inc. Committee members are elected volunteers from across our ensembles and our supporters, who have a passion and love for performing and sharing quality classical music.
2022/2023 Committee Members:
Shayne Harris, President
Joanna Parry, Vice-President
Janine Taylor, Secretary
Alice Wong, Treasurer
Bayden Adams, General Member
Jasmin Hardie, General Member
Westley Lam, General Member
Gabriel McMahon, General Member
Melissa Mickucki, General Member
Kristian Müller, General Member
Anne Phillips, General Member
Lila Raubenheimer, General Member
Oliver Stark, General Member
"Thank you so much you awesome and talented beautiful young people for giving [us] such a wonderful and first time experience to listen and witness a live orchestra of such quality and passion! What an inspiration you all are! We all loved it!"