E=mc2 the Musical, the story so far…

The story behind the writing of E=mc2 the Musical

Early Collaboration with Hope Vale School

The collaboration with Hope Vale school and Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (CYAAA) is part of the National Music Teacher Mentoring Program (NMTMP) which is a national program and began in 2018 . David Collins-White was granted permission by the NSW Department of Education (DoE) to travel to Hope Vale and begin mentoring teachers. He made 2 week visits to Hope Vale in 2018.

David Collins-White with Lillian and Ella Bowen (Lillian is a teacher at the Hope Vale school and David arranged some of her songs for music lessons. Ella is Lillian’s mother)
Hope Vale School students performing at the Sydney Opera House

In 2019 a group of Hope Vale students travelled to Sydney & were billeted by Haberfield PS families so they could perform at the Sydney Opera House with Haberfield students SBS story here FYR. This was part of the NSW DoE Cantabile Music Festival which featured a primary school choir of 700 public school students with the students from Hope Vale singing a special arrangement by David Collins-White of the Hope Vale school song in the Guugu Yimithirr language. A special video story was produced to commemorate the event which can be viewed here. David again made 2 visits to Hope Vale in 2019 to continue mentoring as part of the NMTMP.

David Conducting in Cantabile Music Festival 2019 at the Sydney Opera House
Hope Vale and Haberfield Public School Students Choir 2019
Hope Vale School students rehearsing song
Hand Washing Song

In early 2020 during the Covid-19 lockdown Noel Pearson suggested that a song he learnt as a child about Hand Washing could be used to promote good hygiene, resilience, wellbeing & music education with students in both Hope Vale and Haberfield Schools. David arranged the recording which was sent to him by Noel, resulting in the Hand Washing song or Gunbu Gundala in the language Guugu Yimithirr. The outcome of the project can be viewed here.

Gunbu Gundala with Hope Vale School QLD and Haberfield Public School NSW
Creation of the E=mc2 musical

In July 2020 Noel Pearson and Bernie Dengigan CEO of Good to Great Schools discussed with David Collins-Whitean idea about writing a musical about the famous Albert Einstein formula E=MC2 to promote science, mathematics & music education for primary aged students at Hope Vale.

After David drafted some musical and script ideas, a team which included David, Chris Kohn director/writer and music arranger/composer Lindsay Scandrett were commissioned to write the musical which was finished in May 2021.

The musical is a homage to the legendary scientists who contributed to some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the past three centuries leading up to Einstein’s breakthrough E = mc².

There are 12 hip-hop, choral and pop style songs  in which Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Emile du Chatelet, Antoine and Marie-Anne Lavoisier, Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn feature. The four main characters use a time machine to travel to meet these famous scientists at various points in their lives. To have a sneak preview of the songs which David has composed click here.

Scene 1 Hero of the Day from E=mc² The Musical

The two schools collaborate by sharing production and teaching resources. David Collins-White travelled to Cape York to work with the students from Hope Vale school in June 2021.

The world premiere of E=mc2 the Musical was in Hope Vale State school September 10 2021.

There have been many hurdles, including a world pandemic to overcome in presenting this unique collaboration between a remote indigenous school in Cape York and a Sydney metropolitan school, based around the story behind the famous science formula E=mc2.

Hope Vale School – E=mc2 Musical world premiere
E=mc2 musical at Haberfield Public School

The Haberfield PS production involves a cast of 30 students with another 30 students working on the production roles such as Visual Arts, Design, Sets, Audio and Video production. There are a number of teachers involved and a group of parents/caregivers who are also involved in the production team. This performing arts project brings the whole school community together in a way which has not been possible over the last 2 years due to Covid-19.

First parent/student musical meeting in May 2021 at Haberfield Public School main hall

During the Sydney lockdown, David worked with the Haberfield PS students via zoom and continued these rehearsals in Term 4.

Performances were originally planned at Haberfield Public School in October 2021, however they were postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown in Sydney. The performances by Haberfield Public School are now May 26 to May 28 2022.

E=mc2 teaching video 3 Scene 3 Mass Waltz (Haberfield Public School)
E=mc2Teaching video 1 Scene 1 (Haberfield Public School)