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Jandamarra: Sing for the Country

Sheet Music: Score

Jandamarra: Sing for the Country : a cantata for baritone solo, choirs, orchestra, Indigenous ensemble and actors / music by Paul Stanhope ; text by Steve Hawke, with the Bunuba People.

by Paul Stanhope and Steve Hawke (2014)

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  • Library Availability: 782.554/STA 3 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: Solo baritone, Two boy soprano soloists (from Children’s choir if possible), SSAA Children’s Choir, SATB Semi-chorus, SATB Large chorus, actors, narrators and ensemble of Indigenous singers, dancers and actors from the Bunuba community or alternatively of indigenous descent with permission of the Bunuba community. Orchestra: Piccolo, 2 flutes (2nd doubling alto flute & piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais), 3 clarinets (2nd doubling Eb clarinet, 3rd doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (2nd doubling contra), 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (4 players), harp, keyboard player (synthesizer/sampler doubling celesta), strings.
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Gondwana Choirs, Simon Lobelson, Yilimbirri Ensemble, Brett Weymark, Sydney Symphony Orchestra from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 52.


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This dramatic cantata or (concert music drama) is about the life of the young Bunuba warrior and resistance hero, Jandamarra. An epic tale set in the dramatic landscape of the central Kimberley recounts a time of conflict and incursion of white settlers onto traditional land. Jandamarra is a flawed hero: having been incredibly effective as a tracker for a local law officer, rounding up his own people and sending them to jail, the elders allow themselves to be captured and sing Jandamarra back home. Jandamarra is faced with an awful choice but liberates his people by shooting Richardson, the policeman. This begins a time of resistance fighting which allows his people to live in safety. Ultimately, he pays for his heroism and like a grand Greek tragedy, pays with his own life, having been hunted down by another tracker.

The Jandamarra story is owned by the Bunuba people from Western Australia who are the creative partners in this musical work. Their participation in the cast is an integral aspect of the story telling and the music making.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (202p. -- A3 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional Symphony Orchestra or high standard Youth Orchestra, high standard choral ensembles

Duration: 1 hours

Dedication note: Libretto dedicated to: Adam Andrews, Hazel Hawke, Molly Jalakbiya

Commissioned by Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

First performance by Gondwana Choirs, Simon Lobelson, Yilimbirri Ensemble, Brett Weymark, Sydney Symphony Orchestra — 16 Jul 14. Sydney Opera House

Commissioned by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the SSO and the Australian network orchestras, Singers and Dancers of the Yilimbirri Ensemble, Gondwana National Indigenous Choir, Gondwana Chorale and Sydney Children’s Choir, with the generous support of Vicki Olsson and Geoff Ainsworth.
Created in collaboration with the Bunuba people, who own the Jandamarra story.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-720150-26-0

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 52.
CD: Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 52.


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- Browse other works by Paul Stanhope

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