band playing outdoors

Concert band dreams of Ireland and plays at New Norfolk

MANY Derwent Valley Concert Band members are looking wistfully at their calendars because it is about now that they were due to be leaving Tasmania for Ireland on their 11th overseas tour. The pandemic has intervened but chief conductor Lyall McDermott said there is some consolation in being able to present a program of Irish music at the Festival of Bonnets weekend at New Norfolk week.

“The Festival of Bonnets is a commemoration of the lives of the 25,566 convict women who were transported to Australia between 1788 and 1853,” Mr McDermott said. “Festival creator Christina Henri has produced similar bonnet tributes in many places around the world including Canada, the UK, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and the US. This coming festival remembers in particular those who had a relationship with New Norfolk and the Derwent Valley region, and those who spent time on Norfolk Island. Many of those women were Irish,” he said.

The festival runs from 10am-4pm on August 7-8, at historic Glen Derwent in Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk. The Derwent Valley Concert Band will present a program of arrangements – for concert band, saxophone quartet and vocal ensemble – of Irish songs both old and contemporary, including songs of revolution, emigration, transportation, and parting. “Many of these will be well-known, such as Molly Malone, The Wearing of the Green, Danny Boy, The Parting Glass, and we haven’t forgotten to include tunes such as Phil the Fluter’s Ball that show the Irish love of dancing and the ‘having of a good time.”

The band will perform at 2.15pm on Saturday, 7. For more information on the weekend’s events, visit:, or you can book for any of the workshops and sessions across the weekend at:

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