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Ash Wednesday : concert band

by Barry McKimm (1983, this version: 1986)

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Ash Wednesday


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Ash Wednesday : for concert band / Barry McKimm.

Library shelf no. 784.8/MCK 1 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

Memories and impressions of the tragic bush fires in S.E. Australia, February 1983.

The Ash Wednesday bushfires, were a series of bushfires that occurred in south-eastern Australia on 16 February 1983, which was Ash Wednesday in the Christian calendar. The work is structured in the way the events of the day unfolded. Dramatic introduction, rising temperature, rising wind, normal day activities, fire storm, destruction. Then the second half - lamentation and grief that transforms into positive emotions as strangers rescue each other. Finally a coda which is unresolved in the knowledge that bush fires are part of our environment and will always occur.

Originally commissioned for brass band by Footscray-Yarraville City Band in 1983 after the Ash Wednesday bush fires. Test piece for the Australian National Band Championships in 1985 and 1988. Performed by brass bands in U.K. USA, Europe.

Re-orchestrated for concert band in 2017.

Work Details

Year: 1983, this version: 1986

Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, Eb clarinet, 3 clarinets in Bb, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3 trumpets in Bb, flugelhorn, 3 trombones, bass trombone, 4 horns in F, euphonium, 2 tubas, double bass, timpani, percussion (3 players).

Duration: 11 min.

Commission note: Originally commissioned by the Canberra Youth Orchestra Society Inc. (1986). New, revised, version commissioned in 2017 by Dr. Matthew van Emmerik, Cameron University, Lawton, OK, U.S.A

Work re-orchestrated in 2017.


Performances of this work

1983: Melbourne Concert Hall (Hamer Hall). Featuring Footscray Yarraville City Band.

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