Endeavour (Australia 1788-1988)

The Festival of Bands commissioned Endeavour for the Bicentennial World Brass Band Championship held in Brisbane, Australia on July 29th 1988.

The piece takes it title from the name of the ship in which Captain James Cook circumnavigated the globe in an effort to find the mysterious ‘Terra Australis’, a large continental landmass that was believed to exist in the southern oceans. The work is in three sections:

The Unknown Continent attempts to depict the countless fruitless voyages undertaken by many explorers to find Australia. The mysterious opening on muted basses leads to an enigmatic euphonium solo. As land is eventually sighted the mood brightens and the full band joins in a triumphal chorale. This gives the way to in trepidation as land is reached.

The New Challenge describes the struggles of the early pioneers to settle the new land. Various strident motives are laid on to a bass ostinato until eventually a sturdy march themes develops. A fugal passage follows which reaches a climax and dissolves into a slower central section with solos for flugel and euphonium, followed by accompanied cadenzas for cornet and horn.

Then follows a Celebration of Australia today, a young nation full of youthful confidence. A fanfare opening leads to many diverse but interrelated themes being thrown around the band. Fragments from the ‘New Challenge’ are recalled, this time in optimistic mood, and a gradual accelerando leads to triumphal ending.