Wind Symphony plays a part in Salem exhibition

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Australian Wind Symphony.

CANBERRA’S Australian Wind Symphony has benefited from the increasing internationalisation of music because of Covid, with a commission from as far afield as Salem, Massachusetts.

They’ve been engaged to provide a recording in which the popular hymn “Abide With Me” is overlaid with “The Last Post”, performed by Canberra trumpeter Louisa Walton.

The work is a staple of the Wind Symphony’s annual tribute on Remembrance Day at the Warrior’s Chapel in St Andrew’s, Manuka. A YouTube recording has hit 30,000 views.

Canberra trumpeter Louisa Walton.

The composer/arranger of the piece, American brass specialist Jay Dawson, is tickled pink with the opportunity, but has never actually played “The Last Post”, because the USA has its own version, “Taps”.

The recording will be used as part of  the “Fadia Deshpande” exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, due to run for five years from November.

It will serve as a transition between a gallery of 19th century Indian art into the Davida and Chester Herwitz Collection of modern Indian art.

The Wind Symphony will be heard as visitors progress from the vestibule to the second gallery, which deals with Independence and Partition.

Since “Abide With Me” was known to be one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite musical works, it will, they hope, nod to the themes and events of both galleries, where explanatory wall-text will be installed.

“We are exceptionally proud that our home-grown, self-funded initiative has now gained international recognition,” says artistic director of the symphony, Geoff Grey.

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Helen Musa
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