Big Voice (53 Minute Version)
Catalogue Number: TVP010
Producer: Video Project, Inc.
Subject: Arts, Documentary, Guidance, Health, Music, Social Issues, Sociology
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2015
Running Time: 53:00
BIG VOICE chronicles a challenging year in the life of a determined public high school choir director as he pushes his students to achieve a high level of artistry and become “one big voice”, despite the many obstacles they face.
Santa Monica High’s Jeffe Huls’ passion for the choral arts and music fuels his desire to exceed all standards and expectations.
Following a series of competitive auditions, Mr. Huls convenes his dream choir ensemble. But he soon discovers that these 32 teenagers are the most unwieldy group he has ever taught. Some face serious personal or academic issues, while others are simply not prepared for the hard work necessary to achieve the excellence Huls seeks.
Huls must convince his students to set aside their problems, conflicts, and teenage angst to achieve the artistry he knows they are capable of.
BIG VOICE is as much a story about the transformative power of arts programs in helping students face the many struggles of high school life as it is about choir and music.
Despite budget cuts that endanger arts programs everywhere, this committed choir teacher strives to create a vibrant vocal music program that successfully ignites in his students a passion for music, a sense of belonging, and the value of working hard to achieve their dreams as they prepare to step into adulthood.
WITH SPECIAL FEATURES
Why Join Choir? - 8:03
Choir Girls Aspirations - 2:10
What One Big Voice Feels Like - 3:50
Students on What Makes Mr. Huls an Effective Teacher - 10:00
Mr. Huls on Being a Reflective Teacher - 2:17
Gary Marshall Awards Mr. Huls a Bravo award - 2:25
Mr Huls on Selecting Music - A Gregorian Chant - 2:30
Mr. Huls Conducts Dies Irae - 1:20
Mr. Huls on His Nebraska Roots - 7:07
American Documentary Film Festival
Julien Dubuque Film Festival
LA Femme Film Int’l Festival
Heartland Film Festival
Carmel Int’l Film & Arts Festival
Take 2 Hamptons Documentary Film Festival
Sonoma Film Festival
• Best Family Feature, South Dakota Film Festival
• Best U.S. Premiere, Documentary Feature, Heartland Film Festival
• Best Documentary Feature, NFMLA Film Festival
"Starred Review. An outstanding chronicle of teaching, learning, and creating high-quality collaborative art. Filmmaker Bar-Kar’s editing matches the choirmaster’s meticulous attention to detail. In the end, everyone here thrives in a climate of serious fun, even when perfection remains elusive.”
– Library Journal
“Starred Review. Exceptional...inspiring and thought provoking. A combination of cajoling, encouragement, innovative techniques, sheer force of will, and a deep-held love of music play a role in motivating and teaching his students. Secondary music teachers and students will find much here to appreciate, as will those who love music.”
– School Library Journal
"Starred Review. This thoughtful film shares insights on the power of the arts and the work of a personable, dedicated choir director who teaches five classes daily. In the state competition and impressive final concert, we are treated to top-notch, meaningful, and moving performances. "
"Highly Recommended. Championing the cause of arts education in public schools, Big Voice is an entertaining and uplifting portrait of a dedicated teacher and the students he motivates to strive for excellence. Top-quality in every technical aspect.... It’s an especially fine choice for school and academic libraries supporting programs in music education and performance, and deserves a place in public library collections as well."
– Educational Media Reviews Online
"Recommended. Filmmaker Varda Bar-Kar's optimistic if also evenhanded documentary."
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