Matilda Goes Walkabout! (Wind Band)

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Earlier last year, Nigel Wood, who runs Saxtet Publications, who publish my music for saxophone, asked me whether I’d like to write him a new piece to show off his latest ’toy’ - the Soprillo saxophone. He wanted something showy, but fun, and which would hopefully exploit the instrument’s capabilities. Perhaps because I had the idea of doing something with Waltzing Matilda, I set about writing an antipodean fantasy, which will be known as Waltzing Soprillda.
Nigel only recently played the piece to great acclaim with the National Saxophone Choir at the 2006 World Saxophone Congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and will be publishing a version for clarinet.

I have produced a version for solo clarinet* and wind band which will hopefully find its way onto the concert programme, as some of the other arrangements have done in the past, especially as a good concert encore.
The basic plan is something which has been done before, of course - taking a well-known popular, or folk tune, and presenting it as different composers might have done. The sections are pretty self-explanatory, and the tune is never very far away. The alla antipodean section is simply the tune upside down - or downunder, you might say. Just at the end, there’s a brief reference to Australia’s ’national anthem,’ as I’m sure, given time, and with subsequent generations, Australia will become a Republic in its own right. I snapped the guy in the picture playing the didgeridoo at Sydney’s Circular Quay, and swapped this for the clarinet, of course!
Until the piece is hopefully recorded, I’ve attached an MP3 file of it ’played’ via Garritan Personal Orchestra (Sibelius Edition). This gives a much better idea than MIDI playback, although even with a fast processor, and plenty of onboard memory, with reverb on, the PC just occasionally struggled a tad!
Following a request from my good friend, Mark Allen, I have added Eb versions of the Horn parts, a treble clef version of the Trombone parts, and a bass clef version of the Baritone part. Mark is a Tenor Horn player and the Bandmaster with the Bilton Silver Band, as well as helping with the training band. Mark also conducts the Scirocco Wind Ensemble, which is also based in Rugby.
P.S. If anyone should ever want anything else ’customised’, please just let me know, and I’ll see what I can do to help!

  • Following a request from Hong Kong based saxophonist, Kevin Ling, I have now added versions of the solo clarinet part for soprano and alto saxophone, respectively. Should there be a need for a further solo instrument version, do, please, let me know!

STOP PRESS: The attached MP3 has been made using NotePerformer rather than Sibelius 7 Sounds. I think it makes for a more ’natural’ sound overall.

Score ID
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
5 minutes
Concert band / wind band
Classical music

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