MCUI Celebration Day 2019: The Song That Stops The Nation

Image Credit: Peter Crichton
Ruth Mulvey
| October 29, 2019

On Thursday 7 November thousands of school children from all over Australia will join together in the biggest simultaneous sing-along in the country as part of Music: Count Us In’s Celebration Day!

This year Music: Count Us In (MCUI) is delighted to be live streaming the program’s main Celebration Day event from Surfers Paradise where local primary school teacher Susannah Callaghan has been organising the MCUI events each year since 2013. Susannah talked to us about about her involvement with MCUI and what to expect from this year’s Celebration Day event:

“My name is Susannah Callaghan, I have been a Primary Music specialist in QLD for over 20 years. I am the founder and coordinator of the MCUI Surfers Paradise event which is a dual massed choir event at the Surfers Paradise beach and at the SkyPoint Observation Deck.

In 2013 I was drawn to MCUI as an advocacy platform for music education in primary schools. MCUI is an exciting opportunity to bring students and teachers together to highlight the crucially important benefits of music education.

At the time, music in QLD state schools was the envy of our interstate colleagues. Music programs consisted of qualified string, band and classroom music teachers in every school, ensuring students were given the best sequential music program, regardless of their socio economic status.

So, the initial concept of hundreds of children singing as a massed choir from SkyPoint Observation Deck Q1 and the iconic Surfers Paradise beach was the most logical, high profile platform I could imagine on the Gold Coast.

Over the last seven years the event has grown to become one of the most celebrated and treasured events in our region with the assistance of the business community of The Surfers Paradise Alliance.  It has involved thousands of local children, Community, Regional and National partnerships.  School music teachers, celebrities and musicians have generously given their time, consistently commenting that it is a wonderful event to be involved in.

Children are always excited when progressing from beach performances, to being at SkyPoint in their final year of primary school. They are filled with pride in their achievements.

The songs have now become part of a generation, creating memories and moments that the kids cherish.  When I play a previous year’s song, the children invariably announce with joy, “I remember that song, we sang that on the beach when I was in year 4!” They eagerly recount their favourite moments.

This year promises to be a fantastic MCUI celebration with 1000 children ready to sing at the beach and a 130 piece advanced choir and string ensemble ready to shine at SkyPoint. We’ll see you at the Surfers Paradise event on November 7.

Thank you Music Australia!”

Thanks Susannah, we can’t wait to join you, John Foreman and this year’s mentor Jack River on 7 November.

Watch the live stream here from 12pm AEDT on 7 November. For more details on Celebration Day head here.

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