Music Count Us In ‘counting down’ to Celebration Day!

Rachel Whealy
| October 27, 2020

ONE WEEK TO GO… and it is with both excitement and trepidation that I farewell the four walls of my tiny WA quarantine hotel room, and at long last venture forth to Yamatji Country to work with local schools and oversee final preparations for one of our three Celebration Day event segments!

Yamatji Country is in the Mid West region of Western Australia and stretches from Carnarvon in the north to Meekatharra in the east, to Jurien in the south. The Yamatji area makes up nearly one fifth of Western Australia and includes coastal, regional and remote areas; and covers several different aboriginal language groups of which ‘Wajarri’ is one.

In 2020 Music Count Us In partnered with indigenous arts and cultural group Garrijjimanha and the BundiyarraIrra Wangga Language Centre to create the program’s indigenous resources. These include a ‘Yamatji Remix’ of the Program Song with lyrics translated in to the ‘Wajarri’ language, along with a set of ‘Wajarri ‘pronunciation videos, and a fascinating collection of Yamatji Storytimes narrated by local elders. We have had tremendous feedback from schools and teachers as they have incorporated this learning into their lessons and plans for Celebration Day.

This year’s Celebration Day will for the first time include a featured performance of the ‘indigenous language version of the song’. In 2020 the Wajarri language translation of the song will be performed by 4 local primary schools, from a visually stunning and culturally significant location in the Yamatji region – said to be the home of Bimarra the river serpent!

Can I wait to get there? NO!

CELEBRATION DAY 2020 – NOVEMBER 5th 2020 (12pm AEDT)

Celebration Day brings together hundreds of thousands of school children from all over Australia as they connect via livestream to ‘perform’ the same song, on the same day, at the same time!

All registered schools/teachers are provided with a login so that they can tune in and watch.

Celebration Day begins with 30 mins pre-performance entertainment which is a compilation of footage showing how schools have engaged with the program and program song and continued music making in their classrooms despite Covid 19. All are then invited to join us in a massed ’10 second countdown’ before launching into the 1st performance of the song ‘You Wont Bring Us Down’.

In 2020, with an emphasis on themes of INCLUSION and RESILIENCE, there will be 3 versions of the song performed (one after the other) as follows:

  • Performance 1 – The Program Song (Led by Cairns Schools, QLD)
  • Performance 2 – Auslan Translation of the Song (Led by RIDBC Thomas Pattison School, NSW)
  • Performance 3 – Indigenous Language (Wajarri) version of the song – ‘Yamatji Remix’ (Led by schools of the Yamatji Region, WA)

We encourage schools to participate in all 3 versions; any one version; or any other version of the Program Song as works best for them and their school, in accordance with local health advice.

For those schools/states unable to sing, we have provided a tonne of non-singing resources. You can perform the Auslan Translation of the song…or choose from the plethora of ensemble arrangements available to you eg Big Band, Orchestra, String Orchestra, Ukulele  Ensemble, Marimba Ensemble, Recorder Ensemble, Boomwhackers, Percussion Ensemble, Marimba Ensemble, Bucket Drums, Stick Percussion…and many more!

The myriad of fantastic footage we are receiving from schools preparing for Celebration Day is testimony to the inspiring and creative ways that Australian teachers and students are finding to overcome the obstacles and keep the music going during this tough time!

Please help us advocate for quality music in schools by encouraging any teachers you know to register:

Best Wishes

Rachel Whealy
Program Manager



Date:    Thursday 5th November 2020

Time:    State – Broadcast Start / Song Performances Start

NSW – 12pm / 12:30pm
NT – 10:30am / 11:00am
VIC – 12:00pm / 12:30pm
QLD – 11:00am / 11:30am
SA – 11:30am / 12:00pm
TAS – 12:00pm / 12:30pm
VIC – 12:00pm / 12:30pm
WA – 9:00am / 9:30am



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