2011 Tour of Austria
In July 2011 the Orchestra embarked on a tour of Austria and travelled through Vienna, Graz, Salzburg and Schladming. While in Austria, the Orchestra performed in a variety of locations including playing for an enthusiastic local audience at Jufa in Graz. They joined with traditional Alphorns, playing on the summit of Mt Planai, for an open air concert to celebrate the Styrian Festival. Then the ensemble performed for the Lange Nacht der Musik (The long night of music) for the Mid Europe Wind Band Festival in Schladming.
It was an exciting experience for the musicians; for many it was their first venture out of Australia. One of the challenges was presented by the logistics of shipping instruments. The difficulty was managed by the savvy negotiations of the tour organising committee who succesfully transported the four timpani drums, drum kit, tuba's, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone and euphonium (to name only the larger instruments) by plane to Austria!
The Austrian tour showcased a diverse range of repertoire including well-known Australian Composer Percy Grainger, European Masters Bizet and Brahms as well as contemporary composers Sarah Hopkins and Brian Hogg. Prior to departing for Europe the Orchestra held a number of Australian concerts which were enthusiastically attended by local communities who came out in-force to hear the group perform. The concerts also involved a number of local secondary school students who participated in ‘Honour the Earth’ by Sarah Hopkins.
The concerts and the Austrian tour was an overwhelming success for the Orchestra.
The Austrian Tour Repertoire
- Lincolnshire Posy – Percy Grainger
- Folksongs Suite No 3 – David Stanhope
- Irish Tune from County Derry – Percy Grainger
- The Hornets Nest – Ralph Hultgren
- West Side Story – Leonard Bernstien
- Tico Tico – arr. Naohiro Iwai
- The Stone Guest – Brian Hogg
- Hungarian Dance No. 5 – Johannes Brahms
- Pops March “Wonderful Days” – Nahiro Iwai
- Waltzing Matilda – arr. Ralph Hultgren
- Honour the Earth – Sarah Hopkins
- Carmen Overture – George Bizet
2012 Carmina Burana
In 2012 the Ballarat Wind Orchestra took on a local challenge; to perform Carl Orff’s masterpiece, Carmina Burana.
The work is known for lyricism, romantic intensity, gigantic architectonics and rhythmic audacity. Carmina Burana was Orff’s successful attempt at creating a total theatre experience where music, words and movement came together produce an overwhelming effect. It is a collection of songs about wine, women and love and its haunting melodies have been loved by audiences through the generations.
For the Carmina Burana performances the Ballarat Wind Orchestra joined with the talents of the Victoria Chorale and soloists Mandy Brook, Daniel Sinfield and Matthew Tng. This audacious challenge, involving 100 performers, was successfully realised by the combined efforts of the Orchestra, Chorale and soloists, and resulted in sell-out concerts and standing ovations.
Ballarat Wind Orchestra, Victoria Chorale and soloists Matthew Tng and Mandy Brook performing Carmina Burana in St Patricks Cathedral Ballarat 2012. Photo courtesy of Andrew Neil Downey