The Festival Bush Orchestra was initiated by Graham McDonald as a way of exploring collected dance tunes through simple arrangements. He passed the baton on to Greg O'Leary who similarly arranged and taught some tunes. My son James and I took it on in 2012. We were allocated a 5 minute spot in the Budawang final concert and we managed to get 25 musicians on, perform and off in just over 6 minutes. From 2013 to the present I have done the arrangements and conducted the orchestra and our final concert has been a programmed event in the Trocadero.
The Festival Bush Orchestra has become an important part of the National Folk Festival. Truly, it is the participatory events of the NFF that distinguish it from other music festivals.
You are very welcome to play with the Bush Orchestra at the National. You will need to be proficient (not expert) on your instrument and be able to sight read music (and will need to have a ticket for entry to the festival).
It is my intention to have the music available here in the leadup to the Festival. You can download it and have a run through before the NFF if that would make you more comfortable. There are versions for Bb clarinet and Eb saxophone too.