Last Thursday saw the winners of the national songwriting competition come together for the annual Music: Count Us In Songwriting Workshop. The day was held at the newly built Golden Retriever Recording Studios in Sydney. It saw students Abby (Melbourne), Sophia (Sydney), Hazel & Roanna (Nambour) and Emma (Wollongong) come together with program ambassador John Foreman OAM and 2018 mentor Justine Clarke to write this year’s Program Song.
From the outset, it was clear that the day would be like no other. The calibre of the songs in the 2018 competition was far beyond expectations. The four winners (one a sister duo) all stood out with their incredible melodies and lyrics.
After a meet and greet with John and Justine, the day took off with each of the students performing their winning composition a few times for the group. Before too long the students started joining in singing one another’s songs. As the morning progressed pieces of the songs started to combine with each other. Similar chords and complimentary melodies meant parts of each composition could fit together seamlessly. After a few hours the four winning compositions had morphed into one SUPERSONG.
The cooperation and enthusiasm in the room was something rarely seen in a group of songwriters who had only met hours before. By lunch time the Program Song had truly taken shape. Faster, I’m told, than any year in the past.
John Foreman, having been the program ambassador for 12 years now, has an incredible knack for bringing out the best in each of the songwriters on the day. His wit and humour immediately creates a relaxed atmosphere in the studio. Likewise, Justine Clarke’s positive energy and steady guidance encouraged the students to feel comfortable expressing their ideas and enabled the whole day to flow smoothly.
Although John and Justine had only themselves met that morning, watching them work you could be forgiven for thinking they’d been doing it for years.
Not long after lunch, and with hours to spare, applause erupted at the announcement of the completion of the song.
The seven strangers who walked into the studio that morning walked out partners in a composition that will now be recorded and spread across the country to be sung by over 700,000 students.
To be part of MCUI 2018 register here.