The Roaring Forties

The Roaring Forties was commissioned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Australian Army Band Corps and is dedicated to Lt. Col. Patrick Pickett, Commandant of the Australian Defence Force School of Music, and the musicians of the AABC whose motto is Instrumental in Defence. The first performance took place in August 2008.

The title, suggested by Lt. Col. Pickett, refers to the events of the 40th anniversary celebrations but is also the name given, especially by sailors, to the latitudes between 40S and 50S, so called because of the boisterous and prevailing westerly winds. Because there is less landmass to slow them down, the winds are especially strong in the in the Southern Ocean below Australia.

The work opens with a fanfare, followed by a chorale, based on the initials of the Australian Army Band Corps AABC and the shape of this four-note motif appears in much of the works melodic material. A lively vivo follows which incorporates the regimental march of the Australian Army Band Corps, The Minstrel Boy, and eventually the opening fanfare and chorale reappear to end the work triumphally.