Great Scott!

We are getting pretty excited about the arrival of the 45-strong boy’s choir of the Shore Preparatory School, Sydney for two performances of the multi-media piece ‘Great Scott!’ at St David’s Cathedral here in Hobart.  The choir will perform two free concerts on Saturday 4 August, at 2:00pm and 6:30pm.  The sessions are free to the public, but seating is limited, so we are recommending that you arrive early for the best seats. Presented as part of the Australian Antarctic Festival, the work has previously been performed in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra, and at Plymouth Cathedral in the United Kingdom to mark the 100th anniversary of Robert Falcon Scott’s death, along with all members of his expedition party, in a bid to reach the South Pole in 1912.

Written by David Jensen and David Burke, the connection tracks back through the The King’s School, Parramatta where Jensen was working when the piece was created.  The King’s School, Australia’s oldest independent school was the alma mater of Frank Debenham, a geologist who went on Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition in 1910.  Having injured his knee playing football on the ice, he did not accompany Scott on his final push to reach the South Pole.  That victory was claimed by Norway’s Roald Amundsen and all of Scott’s dispirited crew died on the return journey.  Debenham was a member of the search party that found the bodies.  He went on to become a war hero and a principal biographer of Robert Falcon Scott.

‘Great Scott!’ is said to be an uplifting experience and a living testament to courage and fortitude in appalling conditions.  Scott’s favourite hymn, ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, is woven through the piece as a theme.

Travellers at the Hobart International Airport are rumoured to be in for a surprise the the choir arrives off their Virgin Airlines flight on Thursday, August 1 at around 4:00pm.  The tip is to have your camera ready!