MCUI Celebration Day 2020…and that’s a wrap!

Rachel Whealy
| November 26, 2020

Music Count Us In Celebration Day 2020 took place on November 5th when schools from all over the country came together (online) to perform the ‘SAME song, on the SAME day, at the SAME time’. The event saw hundreds of thousands of Australian school children unite as one powerful national voice in advocacy and celebration of Australian school music!

The 2020 event was broadly inspired by the program’s core values of INCLUSIVITY, and EQUAL ACCESS; along with RESILIANCE – as shown by music teachers and students in a year of tough restrictions around music making during Covid.

The ‘Beauty of the Australian Landscape’; and the importance of ‘Language Preservation’ ‘Sharing of Knowledge and Culture’, and ‘Caring for Country’ also inspired the performances, presentation and event location choices.

Three featured performances of the 2020 Program Song ‘You Wont Bring Us Down’ were filmed from 3 unique and visually stunning Australian locations. These served as an important reminder of the beauty of our country. Performances included an English Language version, an Auslan signed version, and a Wajarri (indigenous) language version of the song. These 3 performances ran one after the other and were livestreamed to hundreds of thousands of schools, teachers and students across Australia, who joined us online at 12pm (AEDT) to watch and perform the Song.  Click to watch:  Celebration Day – Song Performances (Lgs. English, Auslan, Wajarri) 

The English Language version of the song was performed and led from the beautiful Cairns Esplanade Lagoon (Cairns, QLD). Performers were the combined choirs of St Monica’s College and Edge Hill State School with all choristers positioned in a physically distanced formation in and around the Lagoon. This performance was conducted by Chris Burcin. Cairns Mayor Bob Manning opened the performance with an Acknowledgement of Country and ‘Welcome’ to schools across Australia. Click to watch: Celebration Day Performance – Cairns Choirs

The Auslan Signed version of the song followed, and was performed from Sydney Harbour waterfront (Sydney, NSW) with the dramatic Sydney Opera House and a traditional ‘Tall ship’ in the background. Performers were the Signing Choir of the Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children’s Thomas Pattison School conducted by Melina Williams. NSW Governor, Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC delivered an Acknowledgement of Country and delivered a warm and heartfelt tribute to the resilience of music teachers who have continued to find creative ways to keep music going in their classrooms during Covid-19, despite being one of the hardest hit and adversely impacted EDU sectors, with bans and restrictions on singing, ensembles and wind/brass instrument playing. Hundreds of schools (particularly in NSW and Victoria) rehearsed and prepared the Auslan signed version of the song so that they could join the performance on Celebration Day without singing! Click to watch:   Celebration Day – Auslan Performance

The Indigenous Language (Wajarri) version of the song was performed from the beautiful and culturally significant riverbank of Ellendale Pool, Yamatji Country (Mid-West region, WA). The translated song was titled ‘Yamatji Remix’, sung in a combination of Wajarri and English languages, and included indigenous instruments such as didgeridoos and clap sticks. Four local primary schools combined to rehearse and give this beautiful performance from the riverbank. These were Rangeway, Waggrakine, Beachlands and Allendale. This performance was conducted by Rachel Whealy. Local Elders Graham Taylor and Gloria Fogarty joined the students and delivered a Welcome to Country. They shared rich site-associated knowledge, culture and stories with the children, including the tale of the enormous river serpent ‘Bimarra’ who lives in the Ellendale Pool! Click here to watch:   Celebration Day – Wajarri Language Performance

Click to watch:   Celebration Day Highlights from Wajarri Language Performance

As the Music Count Us In 2020 program now draws to a close, the MCUI Team would like to thank all the schools and teachers who participated in the Program; our partner organisations and providers who contributed so enormously to the creation of the Program; and all those who performed so beautifully at our final Celebration Day event as they led and united schools across Australia ‘in song’ and powerful advocacy of Australian school music.                                                                    Click here to watch: The whole Celebration Day event (45mins)

Click here to Access our Youtube Playlist where you can find:  All Celebration Day 2020 videos

Rachel Whealy (Program Manager)



The MCUI 2021 program will be operating under a new model. Details are fully explained in the 2021 brochure here. We urge schools to register their interest ASAP to take advantage of the full program which commences with the Songwriting Competition in January/February next year, and the early-bird discount available now.

To REGISTER just fill in a short request form here, and one of our team will be in touch to confirm your school’s registration and answer any questions.


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