Hymn Setting: For Australia

The hymn “For Australia” was written jointly by Michael and Honor Thwaites, originally to the well-known hymn tune “Westminster Abbey” by Henry Purcell. The words are found here on this site.

In 2023 the Australian Hymn Association commissioned Penelope Thwaites to compose a new and original setting for the hymn, to reflect its particular significance for Australian congregations.

The new setting was premiered at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia, on 19 May 2024. A recording of a rehearsal performance by the Cathedral choir is available at this link.

Hymn: “For Australia” new setting 2024

Penelope Thwaites’ provides this note on the performance:

The Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Philip Nicholls, sent me this first run-through of my setting of my parents’ hymn, For Australia. The setting had been commissioned by the Australian Hymn Association.

The choir is joined here by congregation members, reading the setting for the first time.

I was delighted by the excellent balance between singers and the magnificent organ, as well as by the confident and soaring spirit with which the descant was sung.
Penelope Thwaites –  30 May, 2024