Traditional Beating Retreat Ceremony and Concert concluding with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
Royal Military College-Duntroon Parade Ground
Thursday 27th September and Friday 28th September 2007
March on at 6pm
Beating Retreat is a modern ceremony that is thought to have its origins in the 16th Century, when drummers would march upon the ramparts of a fortified city to warn all those outside the gates that the gates were about to be closed and everyone should return to safety within the walls. Fighting would also cease at sunset, and following the beating retreat many regiments would sing a hymn in honour of their fallen and the evening watch would fire three musket volleys ‘to put to flight the evil spirits of the enemy dead’. Finally the regiment’s Colours would be lodged in the Colour Ensigns quarters at the end of the days activities. This coincided with the mounting of the evening watch, and in more modern times the procedure has given way to lowering the National Flag.
“The Beat the Retreat and 1812 Overture performed by the Royal Military College is a visual and entertainment spectacular that is one of the highlights of Canberra’s Floriade Festival each year,” said the Army Announcer Major Robert Morrison.
The 1812 Overture was first performed by the Royal Military College Band in 1968 as a relatively low-key affair but proved such a success it has become an annual event at the college. This year, following Beating Retreat, a musical concert by the combined bands of the Royal Military College, and the Australian Army Band Tasmania, joined by the Artillery cannons of Wallaby Troop will present the 1812 Overture as it was written by Peter Tchaikovsky. The performance culminates with a triumphal fire works display.
The donations collected at each performance will be dispersed among local charities that support the Defence Community.
Major Robert Morrison
(02) 6265 9364 or 0418 414 711
Defence Media Liaison
(02) 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664