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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 and Philpott, C and Blacklow, P, 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, Made in Australia and New Zealand: Studies in Popular Music, Routledge, S Brunt and G Stahl (ed), New York, pp. 133-144. ISBN 9781138195684 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

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The Hobart-based Southern Gospel Choir (hereafter referred to as SGC), established by Tasmanian-born musician and academic Andrew Legg in 2000, has a unique and powerful voice within the local community, as well as within the wider Australasian popular music scene. Drawing on contemporary African American gospel music traditions, the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) award nominated choir has produced international-selling CDs and DVDs and has been recognized for its distinctive sound and significant impact upon the sociocultural life of its home city. With the support of the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the SGC has attracted some of the biggest names in gospel music from the United States to Hobart and has also played a key part in the establishment of two of Tasmania’s largest music festivals — Festival of Voices and Standing in the Shadows of MONA. In turn, Hobart and its community have played pivotal roles in shaping the choir’s sound and experiences — most recently by assisting the SGC to accept invitations to tour some of the largest venues for gospel music in the United States. By bringing African American gospel music performers to Tasmania, and by taking a Tasmanian choir to the country where African American gospel music originated, Andrew Legg and the SGC have demonstrated that it is possible for a popular genre of music to travel across cultural boundaries and to develop local traits that are ultimately acceptable to, and celebrated by, audiences in both places.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Southern Gospel Choir, singing, Tasmania, culture
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Music
Research Field:Musicology and ethnomusicology
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Music
UTAS Author:Legg, A (Associate Professor Andrew Legg)
UTAS Author:Philpott, C (Dr Carolyn Philpott)
UTAS Author:Blacklow, P (Dr Paul Blacklow)
ID Code:102914
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Creative Arts and Media
Deposited On:2015-09-10
Last Modified:2019-01-21

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