TALENTED Muswellbrook performer Brady Cavanagh will play an integral role in Australia's largest school music participation program, Music: Count Us In (MCUI), this year.
The youngster, who recently took part in the Muswellbrook High School's High Hopes tour, which visited Lake Ainsworth, Ballina, Kingscliff and Tweed Heads last month, was one of the initiative's winning student songwriters, along with Roan Nair (Victoria), Amber Farnan (Queensland) and Sawab Mlaih (NSW).
The quartet joined 2019 mentor Holly Rankin (AKA Jack River), as well as award-winning MCUI program ambassador John Foreman OAM, at Church St Studios in Sydney, to write the latest tune, We Are.
Growing steadily since 2007, MCUI sees pupils from throughout the country learn the same song - and then sing it on the same day at the same time.
"I'm so excited to work with young songwriters on this extremely important and ridiculously fun project," Rankin said.
"Music heals, inspires and pushes mental boundaries.
"To be involved in spreading its importance on a national and educational level is really exciting."
Foreman admitted he was thrilled with the final product.
"Each year, a new group of students comes together to write a song for Music Count Us In and, as a result, each song is unique," he said.
"Of course, each song has its own melody, lyrics and chords, but it also has its own style, its own energy.
"Often, the songs reflect the style of the music that is popular in that particular year.
"In 2019, at the recording session, I wanted to encourage the student musicians and their mentors to take the song in a slightly more contemporary direction in terms of its production.
"We still have all of the usual elements - a great drummer, bass player, guitarist and keyboard player, as well as two fantastic vocalists - and there's just a touch more electronic production this year.
"I hope you enjoy the song."
We Are was recorded at Sony Studios, Sydney, by talented instrumentalists from The Arts Unit and male and female lead vocalists from the Talent Development Project.
Foreman led the day in collaboration with leading professional musicians Gordon Rytmeister (drum mentor), Mark Costa (bass mentor), Rex Goh (guitar) and Virna Sanzone (vocal mentor).
Participating schools can now access a range of free resources as well as lesson plans and professional development sessions to help learn the song, all available from the MCUI website.
The program, delivered by Music Australia, saw more than 3400 schools and in excess of 745,000 students participate in 2018, including Muswellbrook Public, providing them and their teachers with the opportunity to develop their music skills and simultaneously perform with schools around the country in a celebration of music.
So, it's time to start planning events within the shire.
Register now, for free, and mark Thursday, November 7, in your diary for Celebration Day and join more than half a million pupils around Australia in song.
Head to the website to enrol your school and learn this year's song, We Are, at www.musiccountusin.org.au
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