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Orange Regional Museum project shares the music of the Dunera Boys

By January 25, 2023Museum, News

Orange Regional Museum will host performances of music composed by Max-Peter Meyer, one of the ‘Dunera Boys’ whose stories are featured in the Enemy Aliens: the Dunera boys in Orange, 1941 exhibition.

ORM Talks – New Songs in a Strange Land: The Music of the Dunera boys will be held at 6pm on Friday 10 February.

Meyer was one of about 2000 men, many of them musicians, philosophers, scientists, artists and writers, who were transported to Australia on board the HMT Dunera during World War II. Around 400 of the Dunera boys spent time interned at Orange Showground.

DUNERA MUSIC: Orange Regional Conservatorium Project Manager James Buchanan and Head of Voice and Early Childhood Sam Bartholomeusz look forward to performing the music of the Dunera Boys.

Orange City Council’s Services Policy Committee Chair, Cr Mel McDonell said the project received $2500 funding from Create NSW’s Country Arts Support Program, administered by Arts OutWest.

It will be presented in conjunction with Orange Regional Conservatorium and Sydney musician and researcher Nicole Forsyth.

“Enemy Aliens makes a perfect backdrop for this performance by illustrating the experiences of the internees during their time in Orange. Meyer’s music is similarly significant in providing another window into the creative pursuits and emotions felt by the Dunera Boys,” Cr
McDonell said.

Conservatorium staff and students have been rehearsing movements of the Meyer Piano Quartet and select choral works, which will culminate in two performances and a publiclecture at the museum.

Ms Forsyth will share the stories of Meyer and some of the musicians who were among the Dunera boys, before joining Orange Regional Conservatorium musicians for a performance of Meyer’s music.

“Like the artworks on display, music was an avenue for the men interned as ‘enemy aliens’ to respond to the chaos of internment in a foreign country. This project enables both the performers and audience alike to gain a meaningful understanding of the music in the context
of this little-known aspect of Orange’s history,” Cr McDonell said.

Tickets cost $15, which includes a glass of wine, grazing platters and an after-hours viewing of the exhibition Enemy Aliens: the Dunera boys in Orange, 1941. Bookings are essential via Eventbrite.

A second event is planned for Saturday 25 March, when members of the Orange Regional Conservatorium’s student choirs will perform choral works also composed by Meyer during internment.

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