National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

Hassett Gallery

Hassett Gallery

Opens June 3rd

Farewell Zealandia: Forgotten Kiwi Songs of WWI

Pierrot Concert Party (NAM 2003.345)

Farewell Zealandia: Forgotten Kiwi Songs of World War One has been developed by Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History, Palmerston North in association with the Musical Heritage New Zealand Trust in Upper Hutt. The exhibition consists of recordings and background stories to nineteen songs written by New Zealanders between 1914 and 1918 and these are complimented by artefacts from the collection of the National Army Museum.

Apart from one of the songs, no original recordings of any of these songs are known to exist, and it is unlikely that the songs would have been recorded anyway as they were often published in small numbers and played only at home. For a lucky few musicians, their song may have been played at a local concert or fundraiser for the war effort, and maybe even received a review in the local newspaper.

For the composers of these songs, their dream would have been to hear their song played by a small orchestra, which were popular at the time. Now 100 years later, their dream has been realised as the developers of the exhibition worked with Radio New Zealand concert to have these songs recorded by a salon orchestra in Auckland in 2015, in preparation for the launch of Farewell Zealandia.

The exhibition will be on display in the Hassett Gallery until 25th October.

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