2016 Program Song

Music Mentor

Music: Count Us In was thrilled to have  Jay Laga’aia  as the MCUI Mentor for 2016. Jay Laga’aia is a familiar face to many around Australia. He is particularly loved by some of Australia’s youngest people and their parents thanks to his work on PLAY SCHOOL and as the host of JAY’S JUNGLE. Jay is deeply passionate about music for young people and music in schools. He is an award winning writer, producer and singer having been awarded the 2007 Sydney Critics Award for the best Children’s Stage Show with JAY’S PLACE and has received 4 Australian Aria nominations for his past children’s albums.  Jay is an experienced performer of stage and screen and understands the power of music – especially as a tool for learning and educating young people.

Creating the Song  final songwriters New Image Size

Four students from around Australia were selected to work with Program Ambassador John Foreman OAM and Program Mentor Jay Laga’aia. Our 2016 Student Songwriters were:

  • Stella Kelly (16, WA)
  • Tom Meadows (11, VIC)
  • Bonnie Staude (14, WA)
  • Breanna Truscott (14, QLD)


Recording the Song

Students from all over Sydney worked together in the recording of the 2016 Program Song. These students from The Arts Unit gathered at Studios 301 in Sydney to work with Program Ambassador John Foreman OAM, Program Mentor Jay Laga’aia and a gang of wonderful session musicians who mentored them through the day. Our mentors for Recording Day were John  Foreman, Jay Laga’aia, Jess Ciampa, Greg Royal, Chris Kamzelas and Neil Thompson. Our team of recording students included:

  • Keys – Matt Harris
  • Drums – Alistair Hayes
  • Bass – Oscar Peterson
  • Guitar – Joshua Meader
  • Strings – Lauren Olofsson, Lydia Sawires, Isabella Fonti and Min Kwon
  • Vocals – Kay Hughson, Jessica Franke, Sefa Laga’aia and Tana Laga’aia

Listen to ‘Let It Play’ – 2016 Music: Count Us In Program Song

Watch the 2016 Songwriting Workshop

Watch the 2016 Song Recording Day

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