During the second half of the nineteenth century, most orchestral music composed in colonial Australia consisted of dances, descriptive pieces, concert overtures or overtures and preludes to exhibition or ceremonial cantatas, to operas and other music theatre pieces.1 The limited descriptions of the overtures, for example of South Australian comic operas by Cecil Sharp (resident in Adelaide from 1882-92 before achieving fame as a folk-song collector and arranger in Britain), suggest an assembling of the main tunes of the opera in pot-pourri style like Sullivan’s overtures for his operettas.2 Popular colonial orchestral concerts, consisting of a miscellany of overtures, vocal and instrumental solos, dance music and opera excerpts, coupled with their limitation in instrumental resources did not encourage the composition of full symphonies.