The Royal Australian Navy Band will perform two special concerts commemorating Remembrance Day, one in Sydney on November 11 and Canberra on November 12, with former ABC presenter and author Mike Carlton acting as emcee and narrator.
At the stroke of the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, there will be silence for the centenary of Remembrance Day. And then, as there has been for more than 100 years, there will be music from the Royal Australian Navy Band, commemorating the Armistice and paying tribute to those who fought, the families and communities left behind, and their legacies.
Director of Music – Navy, Lieutenant Commander Steven Stanke said that music had long played an integral role in the lives of those who have served.
“Whether on the beaches of Gallipoli or the waters of the Indian Ocean, Australian soldiers and sailors served with pride and courage during the First World War,” he said.
“Volunteers were called from far and wide, singing Australia would still be there as they sailed away from home.
“And patriotic songs were sung around the family piano to lift the spirits of those remaining, encouraging others to enlist and do their part.”
The first Centenary of Armistice concert will be held on Sunday 11 November at City Recital Hall, Angel Place at 7:30pm, featuring Mike Carlton as emcee and narrator.
Mike Carlton is the author of several books with a maritime theme, including ‘Cruiser: The Life and Loss of HMAS Perth and Her Crew’ and ‘Flagship: The Cruiser HMAS Australia (II) and the Pacific War on Japan’.
“Like a lot of people, my image of the RAN Band is cheerful march tunes played on the wharf when a frigate gets back from the Gulf,” Mike Carlton said.
On Monday 12 November, the RAN Band will travel to Canberra to present the concert at the Australian National University’s Llewellyn Hall at 7:30pm.
The concerts will include patriotic recruitment songs from the time, including ‘Australia Will Be There’ and ‘Oh What a Lovely War’, as well as fanfares, marches, and ‘Mars’ by Gustav Holst.
There will also be a performance of ‘First Victory’, a newly commissioned work by PO Martyn Hancock honouring the Sydney-Emden battle, and ‘Ship Without a Name’ by LEUT Matthew Klohs, written in memory of Australian submarines AE1 and AE2.
“The music is extraordinary and the Sydney-Emden piece is breathtaking,” said Mr Carlton.
Since the entry of the first RAN fleet into Sydney Harbour in 1913, the Royal Australian Navy Band has become one of Australia’s most recognised and valued military ensembles.
“Remembrance Day has always been a poignant and respectful day of reflection,” Director of Music LCDR Stanke said.
“With this being the 100th year since the signing of the Armistice that ended the Great War, we give special thanks to those who fought for us and created the uniquely Australian Anzac spirit in those trenches far away.
“At home and abroad, the band provides a visible outreach of the Navy far beyond a ship, and is a reminder of the place in our communities for a respected and protective defence force.”
For tickets and more information visit https://www.cityrecitalhall.com/events/centenary-armistice