West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) marks a decade of Crescendo, shining a spotlight on the extraordinary outcomes of a program that continues to enrich the lives of disadvantaged students through the power of music.

The only program of its kind in Western Australia, Crescendo delivers a whole-of-school, year-round, music learning program; recognised as a catalyst for student success in the classroom and beyond. Operating exclusively in Kwinana, south of Perth, the program is currently being delivered at two schools; Medina and North Parmelia Primary. What began as a pilot project in 2014 for a single year level in these schools, has blossomed into a comprehensive music education initiative reaching every student from Primary to Year 6.

Crescendo 2023 End of Year Concert at Medina Primary School. Image credit: Rebecca Mansell.

A TALE OF TWO SCHOOLS: Unlocking Extraordinary Musical Talent

In a decade of empowering disadvantaged students through WASO's Crescendo program, two remarkable individuals stand out as they graduate Year 6 in 2023.

Ryan Webb has been invited to join Perth Modern School with a music scholarship in 2024 following 6 years as a Crescendo participant, including three years of violin lessons. Meanwhile, at North Parmelia Primary School, hip-hop sensation Inkabee (Ethan Eggington) also participated in Crescendo throughout his schooling and will join John Curtin College of the Arts on a music scholarship after he graduates this year. Inkabee’s infectious beats and powerful lyrics are garnering national attention including his 2023 track that emphasises the importance of education, 'Saved by the Bell.'

These are two unique stories, among many, that underscore the success of Crescendo; helping students like Ryan and Ethan (Inkabee) to reach their potential.



The impact of this program extends far beyond the realms of music, with students exhibiting improved school attendance, accelerated learning, and increased confidence to tackle challenges and devise solutions. The program's success is underscored by the happiness and stronger connections these young individuals build within their communities. This, in turn, lays a strong foundation for resilient, empowered adults with bright futures.

Karen Davey, Principal of Medina Primary School, attests to the transformative power of Crescendo: "Music education is an important aspect of providing children with a well-rounded education… WASO through the Crescendo program provides our students with so many wonderful opportunities; that allow our young students to explore new experiences, learn new skills, and develop their potential. It provides the chance for the students to step out of their comfort zone, face challenges and adapt to new situations.”

A report conducted by analysts at Culture Counts following the graduation of the first full-term Year 6 cohort in 2021 reflected on student, parent, and community outcomes. The findings affirm the social necessity of programs like Crescendo, emphasising the positive impact on students' lives, the sense of inclusion within the community, and the development of personal agency that has led to improved academic performance.

WASO’s Crescendo endures due to the long-term commitment of generous Foundations and individual donors who have invested in WASO and the life of this program.

Students from North Parmelia Primary School warming-up for their 2023 End of Year Crescendo Concert. Image credit: Rebecca Mansell.


At the End of Year Crescendo Concerts last week, WASO announced a new initiative to the program for 2024. Every year, an eligible Year 4 student from each school (learning the cello or violin) will be awarded a Crescendo Scholarship following an application process. The Bunning Crescendo Scholarship (Medina Primary) and The Rosalin and Joy Durbin Sadler Crescendo Scholarship (North Parmelia Primary) will support a student in their final three years at primary school; offering additional opportunities through extra-curricular lessons, guidance through Australian Music Education Board (AMEB) exam preparation, practice technique and what it means to be a 21st Century musician. The specialised tuition will offer these talented emerging musicians the best possible pathway through to further studies, with an aim to secure a career in the field.

WASO CEO Paul Shannon said, “Celebrating this life-changing music education program, I’d like to thank the whole community that surrounds and protects Crescendo; enabling it to become stronger and reach further each year; the Foundations and individuals who fund the program, the WASO Teaching Artists who inspire these young people every single day, parents who embrace the program, and to the entire school community of Medina and North Parmelia Primary for welcoming us so whole-heartedly into your schools.”

The Crescendo program is supported by The Balnaves Foundation (Lead Partner of Crescendo), Feilman Foundation, The Stan Perron Charitable Foundation, Tianqi Lithium Australia, The Bunning Family. The Crescendo Giving Circle, The Government of Western Australia, Department of Education - Instrumental Music School Services.