In 2010, nine students were chosen and flown to Sydney from around Australia, to work in teams with some of Australia’s leading songwriters, under the expert eye of Ambassador, John Foreman. Each student had received the song brief in advance and came to the workshop with lots of ideas to contribute, knowing that John Foreman would be picking the song which would go on to be professionally recorded as this year’s song.
After a hard day’s work against the clock, the workshop yielded three great songs, each representing a different response to the brief:
Team 1 Song: Come Play Your Part, a rootsy call to action
Mentor: bluesman, Paul Greene
Students: Shekinah Moye (Toormina High School, Coffs Harbour, NSW), Taylor Pomery (Albany Senior High School, Albany, WA), Henry Beale (Essington School, Darwin, NT)
Team 2 Song: Ourselves Together, an upbeat and country-tinged celebration
Mentor: 5-time Golden Guitar winner, Melinda Schneider
Students: Maddie Brenner (Scotch College, Adelaide, SA), Anthony Barnhill (Yarra Valley Grammar, VIC) and Lauren ‘Lolly’ Tarver, (Wanneroo Senior High, WA)
Team 3 Song: Just a Simple Song, a heartfelt power ballad
Mentor: Writer/producer (Delta Goodrem’s ‘Born to Try’) Audius
Students: Alissa Williams (Fairvale High, NSW), Olivia O’Brien (Santa Maria College, Melbourne, VIC) and Clinton Cave (Cairns State High, QLD)
After a nailbiting wait the students were told that John had decided that all three songs would be professionally recorded and made available to schools to learn, rehearse and perform. That decision met with a huge cheer! Then he announced that the program song would be Come Play Your Part – at which Taylor burst into tears of joy!
This experience would definitely be one of the best things I have ever done with my music. I feel privileged to have met and worked with the 8 other students, mentors, and John Foreman. I wish we had more time. I didn’t want to go home I loved it that much!” – Shekinah Moye
A-week-and-a-half later and all three songs came to life in the studio as a succession of talented Melbourne secondary students arrived to play their part, with some of Australia’s best session musicians on hand as mentors: Simon Hosford (guitar), Dave Beck (drums) and Craig Newman (bass).
The student session players on the recordings were:
- Drums: Jason Milic, VCASS
- Bass, electric: Bryce Buxston, VCASS
- Bass, upright, acoustic: Toshi Clinch, Blackburn High
- Guitars: Matt Hoyne, VCASS
- Piano/keyboards: Harry Cooke, VCASS and Anthony Barnhill, Yarra Valley Grammar
- Horn section: All from VCASS – Jarrod Brereton, Jun Somkiat and Fabian Acuna
Lead vocalist on Come Play Your Part is 15 year old Williamstown High School student, Bobby Andonov. Bobby has been singing and performing since the age of 6. He was chosen from 3000 hopefuls to play Young Simba in Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ in Melbourne, Sydney and in Shanghai. He represented Macedonia in the Junior Eurovision competition in 2008, performing to a TV audience of more than 55 million. For four years, Bobby has been a student of renowned Australian Vocal Coach, Susie Ahern ( X Factor, Kylie Minogue, Guy Sebastian, Anthony Callea). He’s just been announced as the first Finalist in Channel 7’s current season of Australia’s Got Talent. What a voice!”
Lead vocalist on Just a Simple Song is 17 year old VCASS student, Riv Ngwenya. This was her first session in a pro studio and she loved it. She did backing vocals on the other two songs, too.
Lead vocalist on Ourselves Together is country star and Music: Count Us In mentor, Melinda Schneider, who made the song hers when she performed it with her team on the workshop day. We are thrilled she agreed to sing it on the recording.
Backing vocals: Georgia Wilkinson and Zoe Drummond, VCASS