Let me introduce you to our very first large scale Happiness Project… CQUniversity’s Legend & the Locals.
This is my baby. I care deeply about what we’re doing here, so let me tell you why…
In 2013 I took a bunch of musicians on tour with me around Queensland. I wanted to perform in the smaller towns because I knew, from growing up in regional Queensland, that these communities are far more appreciative than city crowds. Along the way we held workshops and got to know the locals. In one town, Moranbah, a workshop participant wrote me a letter opening her heart and sharing with us her story of feeling alone and out of place, and she thanked us for working with her and making her feel like she really did belong after all.
All we had done was play music with her, and allow her to play music as part of our show. And this letter struck me. It made me realise that while music seems like something we just do for fun, it has an incredible power to uplift and bond and set people free.
And so came the first inception of the Legend and the Locals tour concept. In 2014 Wendy Matthews joined us on tour, and we expanded the workshop idea to work with over 100 locals – giving people the chance to sing a duet with her, and trialed working with an orchestra for one of the shows. The feedback was heart-warming and I knew I could develop it even further. And so it grew….
By now I had fallen in love with the towns we were going to, and I wanted to support them at all levels. I wanted to create a show that would attract people from larger centres, bringing tourism and helping the local economies, and I wanted to give the locals something to dream about and aim for, helping to lift the moral of the communities overall.
Emerald State High School Orchestra playing with Wendy Matthews at the 2014 concert in Capella
I decided on the name Legend & the Locals and convinced Sara Storer (ARIA winner for Country Album of the Year) to be our very first Legend. I took the concept of community workshops, and connected with choirs or orchestras in each of our towns. I found a wonderful composer to write new music for them to perform. I found duet singers and local support acts, and just like that in a tour with 12 shows across Queensland we worked with over 400 regional Queensland locals in 2017!
To top it all off we produced a highlights video from each event that the towns can use as promotion to attract more visitors, and we recorded a special ‘Interview with a Legend’ where Sara shares some of her industry knowledge, helping to make the Queensland music industry even stronger.
Check out Sara's interview here:
So you see my baby has grown and is now a project with layer upon layer of goodness and it fills my heart to overflowing to see how many lives we have touched.
A huge thank you goes out to everyone who has supported this dream of mine so far…
This project is proudly supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal with thanks to the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, CQUniversity, Southern Cross Austereo, Stage & Audio and of course Keppel Coast Arts.
For all the details and photos from the 2017 tour, plus all of the updates on the 2019 tour head to www.legendandthelocals.com.au