Music: Count Us In offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a talented young person to have their song sung by over half a million students. On October 31st 2013, schools right around Australia will join together to sing Keep On, the 2013 program song.
This year, four students from around Australia were selected to work with mentor, Katie Noonan, and Program Ambassador, John Foreman. They spent an intense day working together at AMEB Queensland, combing the ideas, melodies and lyrics of their submissions to create a wonderful upbeat tune about working hard to achieve your dreams. Those students were:
- Aidan Rolfe, Year 12, Kardinia International College, VIC
- Abbey Slattery, Year 9, Penleigh and Essenden Grammar School, VIC
- Holly Winter, Year 10, Emmaus Christian College, SA
- Ritchell Lim, Year 12, Canning Vale College, WA
Congratulations also to the following students. Judges awarded them high commendations for their excellent submissions in the songwriting search:
- Trinitie Fazaah, Year 7, Stormfront Music Tutoring, WA
- Reyne Durrant, Year 10, Albany Senior High School, WA
- Brianna Hawkins-Cain, Year 10, Toormina High School, NSW
- Isabel Estephan, Year 11, St Patrick's College Campbelltown, NSW
- Oliver Ditcham, Year 9, St Aloysius Catholic College, TAS
- Merinda Dias-Jayasinha and Claudia Cameron, Year 11, Brisbane Girls Grammar School, QLD
- Nathan Wendt, Year 11, John Paul College, NSW
- Nicole Gardin, Year 11, Millicent High School, SA
- Maral Ghamkhar, Year 9, Box Hill High School, VICKeep On was recorded at Allan Eaton Studios in Melbourne and Trackdown Studios in Sydney! Students from Princes Hill Secondary College contributed backing vocals, keys, bass, guitar and drums, and the amazingly talented Darren Percival performed lead vocals.
The students were mentored by Program Ambassador John Foreman, along with Gerry Pantazis (drums), Craig Newman (bass) and Simon Patterson (guitar). Students performing on the recording are:
- Pelaya Arapakis (drums)
- Ronan Nicholson (bass)
- Connor Harry-Blackall (guitar and vocals)
- Elliott Jenkins (keys)
- Gabriel Askew, Susannah Laurence, Dominique Salvatore, Moritz Commichau, Thea Lang (vocals)
To stay in touch and be notified when next year's competition is open for entries, sign up to the Music: Play for Life enewsletter.
The Song 2012
When the funding green light came through from Peter Garrett (thanks, Minister!), we were nearly half way through 2012 so we knew we needed to act quickly to get a song in sufficient time for schools to be able to learn and rehearse it.
A call went out to all student songwriters to try to meet the brief: an optimistic, upbeat song that the whole of Australia could get behind. No pressure!
With Program Ambassador, John Foreman, at the helm, our judges narrowed the 80 submissions down to three songs but struggled to reach a decision about The One. So we decided to put those three student songwriters in a room, for a day, with songwriting mentor, Josh Pyke, to work from scratch on this year’s program song.
Different People (Stand Together) is the result of that workshop.
Josh’s three co-writers are:
- Jorja Bromley, Year 10, Shepparton High School, VIC
- Ryan Chelva, Year 12, Heathdale Christian College, VIC
- Sun Woo Kim, Year 12, James Ruse Agricultural High School, NSW
From the strong foundation laid by Josh and his co-writing team, the baton was passed to producer, John Foreman, to oversee the arranging and recording of the track.
“We knew we wanted a cool, indie/folk vibe on the recording this year,” says John. “Plenty of airy harmonies, an acoustic feel and an opportunity to showcase mandolin and banjo too.”
The song was recorded at iconic Sydney venue, Studios 301. Leading Sydney musicians Gordon Rytmeister (drums), Mark Costa (bass) and Rex Goh (guitars) joined John to mentor some of NSW’s most promising instrumentalists through the session.
The players on the recording are:
- Drums, lead and backing vocals: Joe Mungovan, Kiama High
- Bass: Jack Single, Chatswood High
- Guitars: Daniel Willington, Pittwater High
- Piano, keys, backing vocals: Josiah Fajardo, Sydney Con High
- Mandolin and Banjo: Tom Beasley, Erina High
- Lead and backing vocals: Kai Jacobs, Ulladulla High
- Backing Vocals: Cypriana Singh, Junior Papalii, Kobie Midson, Campbelltown Performing Arts High; Lily Richardson, Grace Richardson, Ulladulla High.