Flora Australie Photo.jpg
High Street Screamers Photo.jpg

Melba Hall
1:00pm - 1:45pm, Sunday 29 July, 2018


Flora Australiae - a three movement work for large jazz ensemble and saxophone soloist.

In an age when society finds itself riven by acrimonious debate and polarising, isolating identity politics, it is more important than ever for us to reflect on what we
have in common with our fellow human beings on this small and embattled planet. This work, entitled Flora australiae, uses iconic Australian flora as metaphors
for shared human experiences and emotions. Eucalyptus regnans, the tallest of the eucalypts, symbolizes the desire of us all to reach for the sky, to be the best we can at whatever we do in life. Ozothamnus ledifolius, a hardy, frost resistant shrub found in alpine regions, represents resilience and tenaciousness in the face of the harsh realities of life. It’s about keeping hold of what you have, what is dear to you, and what nourishes you. The final movement, Bougainvillea glabra, is inspired by the exuberant, flamboyant blossoms of the bougainvillea and jacaranda. They express the joy and celebration necessary for a complete and well-lived life. As thriving introduced species, they also represent the migrant foundations of Australian society and its unparalleled success.

The work takes the form of a ‘jazz concerto’, featuring in turns Diana Tolmie and the ensemble, and employing a musical language drawing on both the jazz and classical traditions.

Dr Diana Tolmie has led an impressive life as a freelance woodwind specialist exploring a multitude of genres, performing in countless interstate and international tours, plus live radio and television broadcasts. Appearing with many Australian professional orchestras and the acclaimed Malaysian Philharmonic, Diana has additionally explored chamber music with her nationally recognised group Collusion, which continues to commission, record and perform Australian new music and dance collaboratives. A recipient of the Churchill Fellowship Award and the Queen Elizabeth Trust Scholarship, her more recently Arts Queensland and Australia Council for the Arts funding has contributed to her saxophone activities. This included her featured solo with the Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra in the 2015 XVII World Saxophone Congress; and the commissioning and recording of new Australian works for the Queensland Conservatorium Saxophone Orchestra. Diana is full time Lecturer, Professional Practice at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University passionately teaching performance, pedagogy, musicians’ health and vocational preparation. Her teaching excellence has been recognised and awarded an AEL Group Learning & Teaching Citation (2014), and a Highly Commended in the “Employability within the Curriculum” category of the Griffith University Awards for Excellence in Teaching (2016). She is currently endorsed by D’Addario Woodwind.

The High Street Screamers are a high energy, 17 piece big band made up of some of Melbourne’s best young musicians. Each member of the band has their own unique sound which comes from performing with a variety of different groups in many different genres. High Street Screamers celebrates the unique voice of each musician and blends these together to create an unpretentious, sometimes raucus style of big band performance that straddles the genres of traditional swing, beautiful ballads, hard-hitting funk, and contemporary art music. As for the name, originally we were just to play on High Street Northcote & Thornbury, but for the Mebourne International Saxophone Festival, we’ll make an exception.

Alto Saxophones: Ben Nieuwkerk (Director), Loren Brealey; Tenor Saxophones: Arin Grigg, Lauren Mullarvey; Baritone Saxophone: Hector Harley; Trombones: Josh Bennier, Jay Scarlett, Emily Caracella, Kiran Samuel; Trumpets: Anthony Foon, Anthony Topea, Brae Grimes, Owen Millar; Drums: Sean Newell; Bass: Ivan Rosa; Guitar: Daniel Waddingham; Piano: Ben Maltby