On 21 February, the historian James Grant AM launched the book Ernest Wood and the Foundation of the Musical Tradition at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne – A Documented History. (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2015) by Senior Lecturer in Music at ACU, Dr Ian Burk.
Apart from the general public, the launch was attended by representatives from the University of Melbourne, Trinity College, various historical societies and St Paul’s Cathedral.
The book focuses on an aspect of nineteenth-century imperial opportunism: the attempt to transplant and establish a curiosity of English and Anglican culture in Australia, the English Cathedral Music tradition (an all-male choir, of boy choristers and professional choir men, with an exclusive choir school for the education of the boys) notably at the newly-built St Paul’s Cathedral in pre-Federation Melbourne.
It explores the religious, musical and cultural motives and reasons for establishing and preserving such a tradition and documents its implementation and organisation by the Cathedral authorities.