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Cape Symphony presents Passport Down Under in April 2023

“Passport Down Under” Show Notes

The Cape Symphony presents Passport Down Under on Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, April 2 at 3:00 PM at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center.

Guest Artists

Carolyn Watson, Guest Conductor
William Barton, Didgeridoo

Download a printable version of the Show Notes.

Table of Contents

Program

About Today's Program

Enjoy “Passport Down Under”

Program

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR
Arr. Peter Sculthorpe

COUNTRY GARDENS
Arr. Percy Grainger

THE IMMOVABLE DO
Percy Grainger

SYMPHONIC SUITE FROM THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
Howard Shore, arr. John Whitney; Guest Vocalist: Cape Symphony vocal student, Grace Callahan

KAKADU
Peter Sculthorpe

Intermission

AUSTRALIAN MOVIE MUSIC MEDLEY
Arr. Alonso Pirio

APII THATINI MU MURTU (TO SING AND CARRY A COOLAMON ON COUNTRY TOGETHER)
William Barton

WALTZING MATILDA
Arr. Gabriel Evans

DIDGE FUSION
William Barton

DOWN UNDER
Colin Hay of Men at Work, Arr. by Joe Twist

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About Today’s Program

Written by a Scottish-born Australian named Peter Dodds McCormick in 1878, "Advance Australia Fair" was adopted as the national anthem in 1974, replacing “God Save the Queen,” which then became known as the royal anthem. The song was performed by a choir of 10,000 people (!) in 1901 at the inauguration for the newly named Commonwealth of Australia. Ten years after he wrote it, McCormick was paid 100 pounds by the Australian government. Noted Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe arranged this version.

The tune of "Country Gardens" probably started out as part of an 18th century English opera, and was used in the 19th century for Morris Dancing (a kind of English folk dancing). Australian composer Percy Grainger arranged it for piano in 1918; this version became very popular, and he later orchestrated it, creating a work that is often performed today.

Percy Grainger was born in Australia but later moved to the United States and became an American citizen, where he enjoyed a career as a well-known concert pianist. One of his most famous original works is “The Immovable Do” (“Do” as in “Do, a Deer”) in which, as he explained in his notes on the score, “the ‘immovable Do’ is a high drone on C which is sounded throughout the whole piece.”

The “Symphonic Suite from The Fellowship of the Ring” is by Oscar-winning composer Howard Shore. The score for the first film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy won Shore his first Academy Award as well as a Grammy Award. In total, Shore wrote over 13 hours of music for the three films, including multiple leitmotifs for the different characters, places, and cultures. He also composed a main theme for the Fellowship itself – a group of varied characters who unite for a vital quest. The trilogy was shot entirely in New Zealand, over more than 150 locations on both the North and South Islands. You can tour the locations and even see the village of Hobbiton, which remains as a permanent attraction.

In 1988, Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe was inspired by Kakadu National Park, a World Heritage site in northern Australia, to write “Kakadu.” Sculthorpe said, “This enormous wilderness area stretches from coastal tidal plains to rugged mountain plateau, and in it may be found the living culture of its Aboriginal inhabitants, dating back for fifty thousand years.” The melodies in “Kakadu” were suggested by Aboriginal chant. Our guest artist William Barton performed the piece with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Symphony Orchestra at a special concert in 2014 commemorating the life and music of Peter Sculthorpe.

After intermission, the Cape Symphony will return to the stage with an Australian movie music medley, performing the main themes from The Man from Snowy River, Gallipoli, Crocodile Dundee, and Babe. Note that the music from Babe was adapted from Symphony No. 3 by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns.

“Apii Thatini Mu Murtu (To sing and carry a coolamon on country together)” is a recent piece for didgeridoo and orchestra by our special guest William Barton. William was commissioned to compose this piece by The Honorable Anthe Philippides, recently retired Judge of the Court of Appeal of Queensland and one of Queensland’s most well-known citizens. In 2021, William performed the world premiere with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

“Waltzing Matilda” is often called the unofficial national anthem of Australia. The style is that of an Australian bush ballad, and the title was slang for traveling on foot (waltzing) with your worldly goods in a bag slung over your back (matilda). The version many of us sang at camp as children was written in the early 20th century and used for an advertising jingle for a product called Billy Tea (tea made over a campfire in the outback using a metal can with a handle known as a “billycan”). The line “he sang as he watched and waited ‘til his billy boiled” refers to tea – who knew?

Another William Barton original that he’ll perform with the Cape Symphony is “Didge Fusion” from his 2014 album Birdsong at Dusk. William says, “My passion is to create a journey for people through music and present to them a diversity in musical styles with the didgeridoo and engage with audiences about the uniqueness of Australia.”

William Barton and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed a moving orchestral version of the famous Men at Work song “Down Under” at the memorial service for former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, held at the Sydney Opera House in 2019 with thousands of dignitaries attending and millions watching on TV. “Down Under” was released in the United States in November 1983 and was the #1 song in January 1983. The song and album were a global smash, and Men at Work won the Best New Artist Grammy in 1983. “Down Under” remains a popular song in Australia and is often played at sporting events.

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Enjoy “Passport Down Under”

Join the Cape Symphony for Passport Down Under on Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, April 2 at 3:00 PM at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, 744 West Main Street, Hyannis MA 02601. To purchase tickets for Passport Down Under, visit capesymphony.org, call the Box Office at 508-362-1111, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit 2235 Iyannough Road in West Barnstable, MA. For Box Office business throughout the concert weekend, you must email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There is no phone at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center, so we can only be reached by email.

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With thanks to Wikipedia.

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