NAIDOC anthem strikes a chord with WAM nod

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Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
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St Mary’s College school choir.
Camera IconSt Mary’s College school choir. Credit: Tania McKenna

After celebrating NAIDOC Week 2019 by creating and performing an original song, a local school choir has struck a chord with West Australian Music.

WAM recently announced the nominees for its 2020 Song of the Year awards, with the St Mary’s College choir receiving a nod for the Act-Belong-Commit award for its song Voice Treaty Truth.

The choir is in the same company as fellow nominees MissGenius, Brandon Poletti, Helen Townsend, Tracey Barnett and Indigo Ellis.

St Mary’s College music specialist co-ordinator Tania McKenna said she was over the moon and it was a “beautiful surprise” to find out the choir had been nominated.

“I feel very proud that the music is speaking for itself and the message behind it is in a position to be recognised in this way because that’s what’s important,” she said.

“The choir and I are just the facilitators of the beautiful lyrics and music so I’m very happy the song is nominated.

“To be nominated alongside some well-established artists is just fantastic and it gives me hope and encouragement that a school choir is capable of getting to that level.” Ms McKenna said if the choir was to win the award, she would hear the children screaming with joy.

“We would just be so elated if we won the award,” she said.

“They may not grasp the full concept but I think that recognition is really important because they are such a hardworking choir and it would really become a full circle moment for them and maybe convince a few people that it’s actually cool to sing in a school choir.” Ms McKenna said the song was a collaborative effort between the students and her to give last year’s NAIDOC Week theme even more of a voice after spending several years performing covers to open the NAIDOC Week celebrations in Broome.

“The song is very simple but I think the message of the song is very powerful and strong and writing the song together was just whatever rolled off our tongues,” she said.

“We initially presented it as the opening of last year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations here in Broome but we decided to take it a step further and we recorded it professionally and filmed a video clip to go along with it.

“Doing all of that has just helped breathe a new life into the song and allowed us to get the song as far out to the masses as we can.”

The WAM Song of the Year awards will take place virtually for the first time, where the awards ceremony will be live streamed on the WAM Facebook page on Wednesday, July 29.

The virtual party will be hosted by Perth musician Odette Mercy and feature appearances from some of WA’s most notable musicians.

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