A Very Gospel Christmas - Southern Gospel Choir
Major Creative Work
Additional Document Info
This major concert performance was conceived on two significant levels; firstly, to provide Tasmania with a contemporary music-oriented alternative to Christmas carols - an opportunity to hear original African American-inspired Legg arrangements of carols and other less well known African American Christmas music; and secondly, the concert would serve as a technical run for the Brighter Day concert scheduled for July in the following year. Given the increased technical demands of the Brighter Day concert - specifically filming and live international broadcast requirements - 'A Very Gospel Christmas' enabled the musicians, technical crew and Legg as Chief Conductor to investigate and research the nature of the demands that would follow. The concert was tremendously successful, selling out two days before the event (1100 capacity), although issues with the sound quality and the broadband spread for the broadcast were noted at subsequent production meetings and ameliorated.
The concert brought to Tasmania two particularly significant national artists as soloists in Silvie Paladino (Wicked) and Michael Spiby (Badloves), as well as providing an increased horn section (2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 4 saxes), extended rhythm section (piano, bass, guitar, drums, synth, Hammond) and larger choir (130). Legg arranged all the charts for this performance in collaboration with Mr Kelly Ottoway, and acted as chief conductor. Coordination of the large ensemble whilst performing as a soloist (piano and voice) proved to be one of the major challenges, requiring Legg to research the nature of such performances in their originating culture. By examining the performances of Aretha Franklin, James Cleveland and Kirk Franklin - via text and phone interview (Franklin) - Legg was able to gain valuable insights into the way in which other successful international artists managed the issues that arise in such performances. Modifications to mic placement and usage and the use of subs (and the cross-over point in particular) were a direct result of this research, and profoundly affected the quality of the final performance.