Big Voice
Big Voice
Big Voice
Item#: BIG-1103
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Running Time: 83 minutes
& 53 Minutes - With Special Features
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
Grades 8 - Adult
A Film by Varda Bar-Kar



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

“You have beautifully represented the craft to which we choral educators have devoted our lives. In an age when such cynical pabulum as Pitch Perfect, Glee, and American Idol masquerade as being a representative of the vocal arts, your work is nothing short of miraculous. You have treated your subject matter with respect, humanity, humor, and above all veracity. I know that untold hundreds of thousands of choral singers and conductors will cherish this film.”
–Dr. Scott W. Dorsey, Director of Education & Communication, American Choral Directors Association

“Big Voice is an immensely engaging and emotional film. Beautifully and simply told, this portrayal of a beloved taskmaster of a teacher at a large public high school will surely make you weep. But it is more than just the relationship and students; It is also about music, community, belonging, and love.
–Janet Yang, Producer

“Big Voice is a passionate and beautiful film that shows just how important the arts are to individual students and the entire community. This inspiring documentary helps spread the word that against all odds, it’s possible to have thriving music and arts programs in our schools.”
–Marcy Ross, President, Skydance Television

“The class and a year-end choral presentation by the students demand discipline, hard work, commitment and dedication. That’s the mantra they hear from Huls. To watch the young choir grow in skill and self-confidence is what makes Big Voice so compelling a film. Our education system and our society now more than ever need the Jeffe Huls of this world.”
–Desert Local News

“By teaching these students to read music, to express a song with true artistry, and to learn to cooperate so that they can merge their voices to become one ‘big voice’, Huls is giving them a gift that will enrich their lives forever.”


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




All prices include DVD and limited Public Performance Rights
• K-12 Schools, Public Libraries & Community Groups: $89
• Colleges, Government, Business: $295
• Colleges, Government, Business (with DSL): $350

The Power of Music Education to Transform Lives

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.


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