It was a hot October afternoon in the heart of the Northern Territory, the sun low in the sky as the Darwin Symphony Orchestra sat, bows poised, at the foot of Uluru. It seemed almost a contradiction in terms having a symphony orchestra, steeped in European tradition, transplanted to this iconically Australian setting.

The gargantuan landmark seemed nonplussed by the goings-on, but for everyone else present, including international critics from the likes of BBC Music Magazine and Italian Vogue, there was a palpable buzz of excitement in the air. The Darwin Symphony was about to become the first orchestra ever to play at Uluru.

For people in cities like Sydney and Melbourne, the happenings of the Territory orchestras have always been something of a mystery. What exactly do the Darwin Symphony and Canberra Symphony do? Who plays in them? How do they operate?

This lack of awareness may be due to the lack of funding allocated to these orchestras by the federal government. While major orchestras such as the Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland Symphonies flourish, the Territory orchestras have, perhaps, been left out in the cold.

With $9 million in Arts Council funding going to state orchestras such as the Melbourne Symphony,...