Peter Thornton was one of South Australia’s leading accordion and concertina players in the genre of Traditional Folk Music & Australian Bush Music. Peter’s passion for the Fleurieu Folk Festival as Co-Founder & Director and the South Coast Folk Club as Co-Founder & Manager were unsurpassed. He lived, breathed and spent every minute playing and encouraging his beloved music. In 2016 Pete was inducted into the Adelaide Music Collective South Australian Music Hall of Fame for his involvement in Folk Music. Although very humbled by this award he accepted it with pride and passion.

His encouragement of young people to play Traditional music has been reiterated over and over again by local young musicians and singer songwriters who continually talk of their inspirational conversations they had with him.

Pete’s request to his family was to sell his very precious antique Concertina and to use the money to continue to encourage young musicians to play melodies in the Traditional style.

The Peter Thornton Memorial Award will be presented to a young person 25 years of age and under who plays melodies in the Traditional style on a melody instrument and shows promise as an up and coming young musician

The recipient will be chosen each year by Peter’s family - Annie, Melissa, Corey, Daryn and grandsons Max and Marlee

The recipient will be awarded a monetary prize of $500, a keepsake trophy of The Peter Thornton Memorial Award and their name inscribed on a larger perpetual trophy.

The first award winner (2017) was one of Pete's favorites: Lucy Kammermann

Pete's Tunes

Peter Thornton was a generous and fun musician, his enjoyment of music plain, clear and decidedly infectious. He shared his tunes far and wide, with a kind word (or ten) to the up-and-coming, always encouraging, always with charm, a full heart and a smile.

But not everyone knows about Peter’s own compositions....

Six great tunes in all – the lovely Annie’s Waltz, The New Old Time Waltz and Highland Dreams, the lively Crossroads and Peekaboo Polkas and the lonesome, lyrical air The Aftermath.

Sheet music and audio samples of Pete's tunes are in the folder below, so you are welcome to join in to learn and play, enjoy and celebrate Pete’s tunes.