26 January, the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet from Great Britain in 1788, is a day in which Australians from many diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate our national day. As we know, it is a controversial date for some of our first Australians but it is also a day when we can all reflect and rejoice in the nation’s achievements and its most successful multicultural identity as most of us are immigrants or descended from immigrants.
Fine Music will be broadcasting the official Australia Day Salute from 11.30am to 12.30pm. This ceremony will involve the Australian Army, Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force. The Governor of New South Wales, on board HMAS Canberra in Sydney Cove, will receive the salute which will be relayed from the ship to Fine Music. On the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, school choirs will sing the National Anthem.
In the afternoon, having resumed normal programming, we’ll have a chamber music program with fine Australian artists and an Australia Day Concert beginning, tongue-in-cheek, with a work celebrating that wonderful line in our National Anthem, ‘our land is girt by sea’: a joyous work of Richard Mills called Seaside dances. To celebrate the European heritage which has enriched our lives time and time again through migration, two works composed in 1788 will follow. Remembering that not all of the Australian heritage is from our first peoples or from Europe, we remind you that our broadcasting at other times encompasses the music of other cultures, particularly in the World Music programs heard every Sunday at 1pm.
We return to the live Australia Day celebrations at 7.30pm for another two hours before resuming our usual program. Live from The Quay is a harbourside show from Circular Quay with musical performances by an orchestra and many other entertainers. If you can’t be at the actual Australia Day events at Sydney Harbour, then let Fine Music be your companion in the celebrations of this special day.
Please join us as Fine Music participates in the Sydney celebrations of Australia Day on 26 January at 11.30am and 7.30pm.
This article appeared in the January issue of Fine Music Magazine. Read the full magazine online here.