I went to a beautiful concert last night by the Heidelberg Chorale Society. It was the world premiere of a piece called ‘When the Bugle Calls’ written by Australian composer Nicholas Buc to a libretto by one of the chorale members, Leigh Hay. It commemorates two battles: the July 1916 battle at Pozieres, and the battle only fifty years later at Long Tan. The motifs of the bugle, the army chaplain and the nurse combine the two battles, and the spine-tingling final movement asks:
They fought for home and country, not for an empty fame
Ask of your hearts, which shall we do- rejoice or mourn for them?
It’s a strange feeling, knowing that you’re hearing something performed in public for the first time. It’s a beautiful piece- and you can hear it again at the Melbourne Recital Centre next Saturday 20th August, along with Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. They sang a couple of pieces from that last night, too, and I realized that I had heard fragments of it before. It should be a lovely concert and you can find out more about it here.
There’s an associated photographic exhibition at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar school this week until Thursday 18th in their Hillsley Centre, Noel Street Ivanhoe. Called Cameras at War, it features an exhibition from Bendigo RSL of WWI images taken by the local Grinton brothers, which were discovered in a biscuit tin in a farm shed ninety years later. These photographs are supplemented by images from Long Tan, including some of the Little Pattie and Col Joye concert that was held that very day (I hadn’t realized that), and photographs from Heidelberg Historical Society showing the military presence on homefront Heidelberg during WWI. It’s on between 15-18 August inclusive between 10.00 and 3.oo.