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Singing the Lord’s song in a strange land: An examination of the nexus between the Southern Gospel Choir and the city of Hobart, Tasmania

Legg, A ORCID: 0000-0002-4058-9935, Philpott, CJ ORCID: 0000-0002-5778-5748 and Blacklow, P ORCID: 0000-0002-4177-7567 2018 , 'Singing the Lord’s song in a strange land: An examination of the nexus between the Southern Gospel Choir and the city of Hobart, Tasmania', in S Brunt and G Stahl (eds.), Made in Australia and New Zealand: Studies in Popular Music , Routledge, New York, pp. 133-144.

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The Hobart-based Southern Gospel Choir (hereafter referred to as SGC), established byTasmanian-born musician and academic Andrew Legg in 2000, has a unique and powerfulvoice within the local community, as well as within the wider Australasian popular musicscene. Drawing on contemporary African American gospel music traditions, the AustralianRecord Industry Association (ARIA) award nominated choir has produced internationalsellingCDs and DVDs and has been recognized for its distinctive sound and significantimpact upon the sociocultural life of its home city. With the support of the University ofTasmania’s Conservatorium of Music, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Museumof Old and New Art (MONA), the SGC has attracted some of the biggest names in gospelmusic from the United States to Hobart and has also played a key part in the establishmentof two of Tasmania’s largest music festivals—Festival of Voices and Standing in theShadows of MONA. In turn, Hobart and its community have played pivotal roles in shapingthe choir’s sound and experiences—most recently by assisting the SGC to accept invitationsto tour some of the largest venues for gospel music in the United States. By bringing AfricanAmerican gospel music performers to Tasmania, and by taking a Tasmanian choir to thecountry where African American gospel music originated, Andrew Legg and the SGChave demonstrated that it is possible for a popular genre of music to travel across culturalboundaries and to develop local traits that are ultimately acceptable to, and celebrated by,audiences in both places.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Legg, A and Philpott, CJ and Blacklow, P
Keywords: Southern Gospel Choir, singing, Tasmania, culture
Publisher: Routledge
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Copyright 2018 Taylor & Francis

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