An anthem composed by one of Australia’s leading contemporary musicians that salutes the values of the past but speaks to the future, will have its international premiere at two concerts in Armidale next week.
Paul Jarman’s piece ‘Soldier On’ was commissioned to capture the essence of the spirit The Armidale School, which he said is embodied in the themes of service, friendship, compassion and unity.
The work has been created over the past several months, following a week-long residency at the school February.
From the first Old Boy to die in the Boer War to the last in Afghanistan, Mr Jarman said he was “overwhelmed” by the number of names on the school’s honour boards, the stories behind them, and the legacy of that service to the current and future generation of boys and girls at TAS.
“There would be few schools in Australia with such a rich military history as this, but it is one wrapped up in a country philosophy – rolling up your sleeves and having a go,” he said.
There would be few schools in Australia with such a rich military history as this.Paul Jarman
“I’ve been struck by the stories I’ve heard - of school mates who, by coincidence, lept into the same trenches in Afghanistan; the letter from an Old Boy who saw his old teacher being shot and cradled him in his arms on the Western Front. But rather than being bogged down in history the piece also needed to reflect that same sense of spirit being carried forward by new generations of students.”
Mr Jarman is best known for his choral music and original lyrics commissioned by ensembles and community groups across Australia and overseas.
These commissions are as diverse as orchestral pieces for the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup, to marking the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King for the Boston City Singers.
His piece ‘Shackleton’ featured on ABC Classics, sung by Gondwana Voices is one of the most popular and widely performed choral works in Australia. It was used in this video by the New England Conservatorium of Music:
“It is a tremendous privilege to have Paul Jarman capture these elements that continue to reflect the spirit of TAS, and I look forward to hearing the work with our community next week,” Headmaster Murray Guest said.
The TAS Foundation will host the launch concerts, on Friday, October 13 at 6.30pm and again at a gala concert with light supper on Saturday, October 14 at 6.30pm, both in the school’s Memorial Hall.
For more details and to book at one of next week’s concerts, visit goo.gl/S346sb