To Celebrate the Past and Plan for the Future

Now available to download on all major platforms.
All proceeds have been gifted by the composer to the Commonwealth Music Education Fund


On 28 April 1949, the Modern Commonwealth was born out of the international collaboration that had been generated throughout the First and Second World Wars. In an act of continuum, the political leaders in the second half of the 1940s were determined not to lose this spirit of international brotherhood and mutual support. With King George VI as its Head, the Commonwealth of Nations was first established as a voluntary group of eight independent countries; Australia, Canada, Ceylon, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Today the Commonwealth comprises 53 nations across all six inhabited regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Pacific. Each of the 53 independent nations is an equal stakeholder and with national populations ranging from 9,600 to 1.3 billion, and with multifarious races and faiths, the Commonwealth encapsulates the concept of “Embracing Diversity”.

The 21st Century Commonwealth, now in its 70th year, is building on its dynamic legacy and heritage - with international engagement and diversity at its core, and the opportunity to maximise individual, national and international potential, it offers the possibility to be a model of mutual human respect, support and understanding.

Believe composed by Simon Haw MBE was commissioned by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir. The song is dedicated to Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, on the occasion of Commonwealth Day 2019 and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of The Commonwealth.

Believe is a song which is written for all children of the Commonwealth, inspiring them to aspire to greatness in whatever path in life they wish to take.

Its central message is that from whatever beginnings a child starts in life, with a little help, opportunity and encouragement and through their own sheer determination to succeed, anything is possible - you just have to believe.

Believe is gifted by the composer to The Children of The Commonwealth.

Run seek and find who you are.
Run seek and find who you are.
There's nothing you can't do
believe it could be you.
There's nothing you can't do
believe it can be you.

From the shore-line to the mountains,
from the foothills to the top;
from the vast horizon calling,
calling you to never stop.
You must search your deep ambition,
you must summon all you may,
your life's great-ness lies before you,
And be-fore you lies the way.

Follow your dreams don't give up.
Follow your dreams don't give up.
It's time to find out how,
your life's before you now.
It's time to find out how,
your life's before you now.

From the smallest seed grows greatness,
it don't matter where you start;
your long journey is a calling,
calling you to make your mark.
You must search your deep ambition,
you must summon all you may,
your life's greatness lies be-fore you
And be-fore you lies the way.

Oceans, music and words by Simon Haw MBE, is a musical portrait of mankind's final earth-bound frontier; from the tumultuous, angry Atlantic Ocean, to the frozen, wind-swept black abyss of the Arctic Ocean, the deep, restful blue of the Pacific Ocean, the serene Indian Ocean and the vast horizons of the Southern Oceans, seemingly untouched for all time; Oceans is a journey of discovery. Our Oceans help preserve the air we breathe and contain almost all of the world’s water. They sustain the food we eat and by absorbing carbon dioxide, they help reduce the effects of climate change.

Oceans was commissioned by CYO in 2019 to mark and celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and it is dedicated to all who are working to save our Oceans.

1. Atlantic Ocean
Taste the sea!
The giant, angry, tumultuous Atlantic sea!
Taste the sea!

2. Arctic Ocean
Hear the bitter Arctic wind?
Shrieking whining,
Cursing cussing,
Spitting hissing
Pulling tugging;
White wisps playing a merry dance,
Above the black abyss.

3. Pacific Ocean
Breathe, Breath, Breath

4. Indian Ocean
Swim, slide,
Swoosh, stop,
Touch, feel
Linger, drift,
Life’s tender warmth;
Love’s embrace.

5. Southern Ocean
See the vast horizons,
Trace the vast horizons:
Seemingly etched, for eternity.
Breathe, Breath, Breath

Earth Dance, music by Simon Haw MBE, Commonwealth Music Composer-in-Residence.

Earth Dance was commissioned by the CYO in 2018 to mark and celebrate the occasion of the Biennial Meeting of the 53 Commonwealth Heads of Government held at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in April 2018 and is dedicated to HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth.

The six sections of Earth Dance characteristically represent each of the six continents of The Commonwealth: Africa, Americas, Asia, Caribbean, Europe and Pacific. The words and music of the six sections seek to covey the core values and aspirations of The Commonwealth and as such are entitled: Engage, Unity, Respect, Diversity, Renew and Empower.

The recording of Believe and Oceans was made at Abbey Road, Studio 2, on 17 January 2019.

Solo vocals: Mica Paris
Commonwealth Children’s Choir
Commonwealth Scholars’ Choir
Commonwealth Orchestra & Youth Orchestra
Conductor: Simon Haw MBE

Executive Producer: Sally Shebe
Producer: Simon Kiln
Engineer: Arne Akselberg
Assistant Engineers: Daniel Hayden, Andy Maxwell
Video Producer: Richard Staplehurst
Directors: Dom Ellis, Richard Staplehurst
DOP: Dom Ellis
Camera Operator: Joe Smith