The Power of Persistence: Musical Advocates North of the Tweed
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The establishment of higher education institutions in Australia has normally been an initiative of government. However, in case of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, the long and tortuous journey towards its opening in 1957 was characterised by the dogged persistence by numerous individuals, who today might be termed lobbyists. Without their collective efforts, the institution's arrival might have delayed even longer than the half-century which elapsed from the time when Queensland having a premier music school was first mooted. Themes of cultural deprivation that amounted to a 'state's rights' catchcry figure strongly, and also became a socio-political issue as families sent their musically talented children to conservatoria in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney or overseas. The succession of agitators for a Queensland conservatorium provides an interesting snapshot of the state's musical community during the early 20th century. This article discusses the 'power of persistence' by a number of musical advocates, some of them well-known community leaders, and others whose contributions have faded from public memory, but were no less significant.
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Musicology and Ethnomusicology