Musical tribute for CDU symposium 

Darwin composer Dr Cathy Applegate has composed a special musical tribute for this month's Creative Citizenship symposium

Darwin composer Dr Cathy Applegate has composed a special musical tribute for this month’s Creative Citizenship symposium organised by Charles Darwin University.

Dr Applegate, a GP from the suburbs of Darwin, encapsulates the theme of the symposium that everyone has the potential to tap into their creative instincts.

As well as her busy medical and family life with three children, Dr Applegate is passionate about music—both as a performer and composer.

She is a pianist and cellist with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra with several major musical compositions and children’s musicals to her credit. She has also written books for children.

This month her reworking of Prokofiev’s famous symphonic narrative Peter and the Wolf, was presented at the Alice Springs music festival, with NT Administrator Ted Egan taking the role of Narrator—this time telling the Top End story of Peter and the Croc.

Dr Applegate has also written the Wetlands Suite, based on animals found in Arnhem Land.

Her new composition commissioned by CDU for the Creative Citizenship symposium draws inspiration from the desert country of Australia. Entitled Rhapsody for a Painted Desert, it will be performed by guitarist Adrian Walter, violinist Jane Coleman and cellist Therese O’Brien. Mr Walter, a classical guitarist with an international reputation, is also convener of the symposium.

“I spent some time working in the centre of Australia, and relied on memories of the vivid colours of the desert, and of the Indigenous people I met to create the work,” says Dr Applegate.

Rhapsody for a Painted Desert will be given its premiere at the conclusion of the first day of the symposium at the Araluen Centre in Alice Springs.

A line-up of distinguished academics and artists will discuss what it means to be a creative citizen, and how the arts can bring communities closer together and forge a strong sense of identity.

* Creative Citizenship: Community, Creative Industries and the Future is at the Araluen Centre, Alice Springs on September 27 and 28. Registration for the public is free. For more information or to register log on to, or email or phone 8946 6529.